"The Archaeology of Ancient Iran" in an introduction to the archaeology of ancient Persia, the modern country of Iran, from the time of the earliest inhabitants in the Paleolithic period, to the end of the Sasanian period and the arrival of Islam (ca. 10,000 BCE-651 CE). Though little work was published on the archaeology of Iran in English since the 1978 Revolution, recent archaeological studies and archaeological excavations during the last ten to fifteen years have brought new information to light. This is a cultural, rather than historical class, and we will emphasize cultural change over time, rather than political and historical events. This course studies how archaeology can inform us about our cultural past, and what remains to still be discovered in this important region.
The course is split into three sections: (I) The Pre-Urban World, (II) The Rise of Urbanism and Empire, and (III) Persia and the Global Context, covering roughly the three large cultural time periods in ancient Iran and the greater Near Eastern world.