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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
List of abbreviations
Part I. Background and beginnings
1. The history of archaeological research in Iran: A brief survey
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
6. The Chalcolithic in the central Zagros
Abbas Moghaddam and Ardashir Javanmardzadeh
7. The Later Village (Chalcolithic) period in Khuzestan
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
13. Early writing in Iran
14. The use of Akkadian in Iran
Katrien De Graef
15. Bronze Age Fars
16. Eastern Iran in the Early Bronze Age
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
19. The central Alborz region in the Iron Age
20. Linguistic groups in Iran
21. Iranian migration
22. Assyria and the Medes
23. Elam in the Iron Age
24. Elam, Assyria, and Babylonia in the early 1st millennium BC
25. Iron Age southeastern Iran
Part V. The Achaemenid period
26. Southwestern Iran in the Achaemenid period
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
29. Royal Achaemenid iconography
Mark B. Garrison
30. Color and gilding in Achaemenid architecture and sculpture
31. Eastern Iran in the Achaemenid period
32. Old Persian
33. Greek sources on Achaemenid Iran
VI. Seleucid, post-Achaemenid and Arsacid archaeology and history
34. Alexander the Great and the Seleucids in Iran
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
37. The Arsacids (Parthians)
Stefan R. Hauser
38. Parthian and Elymaean rock reliefs
Trudy S. Kawami
39. Arsacid, Elymaean and Persid coinage
40. Aramaic, Parthian and Middle Persian
41. The use of Greek in pre-Sasanian Iran
VII. The Sasanian period
42. Sasanian political ideology
M. Rahim Shayegan
43. Sasanian coinage
44. Sasanian interactions with Rome and Byzantium
45. Sasanian rock reliefs
Matthew P. Canepa
46. Kuh-e Khwaja and the religious architecture of Sasanian Iran
47. Sasanian administation and sealing practices
48. Luxury silver vessels of the Sasanian period
49. Sasanian textiles
50. Pre-Islamic Iranian calendrical systems in the context of Iranian religious and scientific history
51. The Islamic conquest of Sasanian Iran