The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Empire

Matthews, Roger & Hassan Fazeli Nashli. 2022. The archaeology of Iran from the palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Empire. London: Routledge.

The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Archaemenid Empire is the first modern academic study to provide a synthetic, diachronic analysis of the archaeology and early history of all of Iran from the Palaeolithic period to the end of the Achaemenid Empire at 330 BC.

Drawing on the authors’ deep experience and engagement in the world of Iranian archaeology, and in particular on Iran-based academic networks and collaborations, this book situates the archaeological evidence from Iran within a framework of issues and debates of relevance today. Such topics include human–environment interactions, climate change and societal fragility, the challenges of urban living, individual and social identity, gender roles and status, the development of technology and craft specialisation and the significance of early bureaucratic practices such as counting, writing and sealing within the context of evolving societal formations.

Richly adorned with more than 500 illustrations, many of them in colour, and accompanied by a bibliography with more than 3000 entries, this book will be appreciated as a major research resource for anyone concerned to learn more about the role of ancient Iran in shaping the modern world.

Table of Contents

  • The Archaeology of Early Iran: Perspectives from the past for the Present
  • Placing Iran: Land, Environment and Ecology
  • Approaching the past of Iran: A History of Archaeological Investigation
  • Peopling Iran: The Palaeolithic Period, 500,000-12,000 BP
  • Domesticating Iran: The Neolithic Period, 10,000-5200 BC
  • Early Social Complexity in Iran: The Chalcolithic Period, 5200-3200 BC
  • Iran’s First State? The Proto-elamite Horizon, 3200-2900 BC
  • People on the Move: Prehistoric Networks of Bronze Age Iran, 3400-1100 BC
  • Iran Beyond Borders: Bronze Age Societies of Eastern Iran, 3100-1250 BC
  • Elam in the World of Bronze Age Southwest Asia, 2900-1100 BC
  • Iran Imperial: Villages, Cities, States and Empires of the Iron Age, 1250-330 BC
  • Themes and Issues in the Archaeology of Early Iran