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Iran's heritage is as varied as it is complex, and the archaeological, philological, and linguisitc scholarship of the region has not been the focus of a a synoptic study for many decades. Thus, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran fills a longstanding gap in the literature of the ancient Near East, providing up-to-date, authoritative essays by leading specialists based both inside and outside of Iran on a wide range of topics extending from the earliest Paleolithic settlements in the Pleistocene era to the Islamic conquest in the 7th century AD. The volume is divided into sections covering prehstory, the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Achaemenid period, the Seleucid and Arsacid periods, and the Sasanian period, concluding with the Arab conquest of Iran. In addition, more specialized chapters are included that treat numismatics (Elymaean, Arsacid, Persid and Sasanian), religion (the Avesta and Zoroastrianism), languages (proto-Elamite, Elamite, Akkadian, Old Persian, Greek, Aramaic, Parthian and Middle Persian), political ideology, calendrics, textiles, administrative seals and sealing, Sasanian silver and reliefs, and political relations with Rome and Byzantium. No other single volume covers as much of Iran's archaeology and history with the same degree of authority. This work will be of vast interest to a wide range of students and scholars, from archaeologists and art historians to philologists, Classicists, ancient historians, religious historians, and numismatists.
D. T. Potts is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and History at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.
Table of Contents
Contributors Acknowledgements List of abbreviations Introduction Part I. Background and beginnings 1. The history of archaeological research in Iran: A brief survey Ali Mousavi 2. Key questions regarding the palaeoenvironment of Iran Matthew D. Jones 3. The Paleolithic of Iran Nicholas J. Conard, Elham Ghasidian and Saman Heydari-Guran 4. The development and expansion of a Neolithic way of life Lloyd R. Weeks Part II. The Chalcolithic period 5. The Chalcolithic of northern Iran Barbara Helwing 6. The Chalcolithic in the central Zagros Abbas Moghaddam and Ardashir Javanmardzadeh 7. The Later Village (Chalcolithic) period in Khuzestan Abbas Moghaddam 8. The Chalcolithic in southern Iran Cameron A. Petrie Part III. The Bronze Age 9. The Early Bronze Age in northwestern Iran Geoffrey D. Summers 10. The Bronze Age in northeastern Iran Christopher P. Thornton 11. Luristan and the central Zagros in the Bronze Age D. T. Potts 12. Khuzestan in the Bronze Age Javier Álvarez-Mon 13. Early writing in Iran J.L. Dahl 14. The use of Akkadian in Iran Katrien De Graef 15. Bronze Age Fars Bernadette McCall 16. Eastern Iran in the Early Bronze Age Holly Pittman Part IV. The Iron Age 17. The Late Bronze and Early Iron Age in northwestern Iran Michael D. Danti 18. Luristan during the Iron Age Bruno Overlaet 19. The central Alborz region in the Iron Age Ali Mousavi 20. Linguistic groups in Iran Ran Zadok 21. Iranian migration M. Witzel 22. Assyria and the Medes Karen Radner 23. Elam in the Iron Age Javier Álvarez-Mon 24. Elam, Assyria, and Babylonia in the early 1st millennium BC Matt Waters 25. Iron Age southeastern Iran Peter Magee Part V. The Achaemenid period 26. Southwestern Iran in the Achaemenid period Rémy Boucharlat 27. Administrative realities: The Persepolis Archives and the archaeology of the Achaemenid heartland Wouter F.M. Henkelman 28. Avesta and Zoroastrianism under the Achaemenids and early Sasanians P.O. Skjærvø 29. Royal Achaemenid iconography Mark B. Garrison 30. Color and gilding in Achaemenid architecture and sculpture Alexander Nagel 31. Eastern Iran in the Achaemenid period Bruno Genito 32. Old Persian Jan Tavernier 33. Greek sources on Achaemenid Iran Maria Brosius VI. Seleucid, post-Achaemenid and Arsacid archaeology and history 34. Alexander the Great and the Seleucids in Iran Paul Kosmin 35. Media, Khuzestan and Fars between the end of the Achaemenids and the rise of the Sasanians Pierfrancesco Callieri and Alireza Askari Chaverdi 36. Fratarak? and Seleucids Josef Wiesehöfer 37. The Arsacids (Parthians) Stefan R. Hauser 38. Parthian and Elymaean rock reliefs Trudy S. Kawami 39. Arsacid, Elymaean and Persid coinage Khodadad Rezakhani 40. Aramaic, Parthian and Middle Persian Seiro Haruta 41. The use of Greek in pre-Sasanian Iran Georges Rougemont VII. The Sasanian period 42. Sasanian political ideology M. Rahim Shayegan 43. Sasanian coinage Nikolaus Schindel 44. Sasanian interactions with Rome and Byzantium P. Edwell 45. Sasanian rock reliefs Matthew P. Canepa 46. Kuh-e Khwaja and the religious architecture of Sasanian Iran Soroor Ghanimati 47. Sasanian administation and sealing practices Negin Miri 48. Luxury silver vessels of the Sasanian period Kate Masia-Radford 49. Sasanian textiles Carol Bier 50. Pre-Islamic Iranian calendrical systems in the context of Iranian religious and scientific history Antonio Panaino 51. The Islamic conquest of Sasanian Iran Michael Morony