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H 290 x W 205 mm

538 pages

Published Dec 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803274188

Digital: 9781803274195

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Sasanian; Late Antiquity; Archaeology; Agriculture; Craft; Landscapes; Environment; Material Culture

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Sasanian Archaeology: Settlements, Environment and Material Culture

Edited by St John Simpson

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This collection of essays offers an examination of the Sasanian empire based almost entirely on archaeological and scientific research, much presented here for the first time. The book is divided into three parts examining Sasanian sites, settlements and landscapes; their complex agricultural resources; and their crafts and industries.



General Introduction – St John Simpson ;

PART ONE: Sites, Settlements and Landscapes ;

Part One: Sites, Settlements and Landscapes - Introduction – St John Simpson ;

Parthian and Sasanian Site and Settlement Patterns on the Deh Luran Plain, Khuzistan Province, South-West Iran – J.A. Neely ;

The Sasanian Colonisation of the Mughan Steppe, Ardebil Province, North-West Iran – Jason Ur and Karim Alizadeh ;

The Army and Urbanism at the Sasanian Empire’s Northern Frontiers:Fieldwork on the Linear Barriers, Fortresses and Cities at the Margins of the Gorgan Plain (Results of a Joint Project Between the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organisation and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham) – Hamid Omrani Rekavandi (HO), Eberhard W. Sauer (EWS), Tony J. Wilkinson (TW),† Ghorban Ali Abbasi (GA), Roger Ainslie (RA), Francesco Caputo (FC), Mohammad Ershadi (ME), Morteza Fattahi (MF), Nikolaus Galiatsatos (NG), Kristen Hopper (KH), Julian Jansen Van Rensburg (JJ), Eve Macdonald (EM), Majid Mahmoudi (MM), Amin Nazifi (AN), Jebrael Nokandeh (JN), Chris Oatley (CO), Seth Priestman (SP), James Ratcliffe (JR), Kourosh Roustaei (KR), Esmail Safari Tamak (EST), Bardia Shabani (BS) and Lucian Steven Usher-WilsoN (SU) ;

A Temple Among the Fields: Preliminary Reconstruction of an Agricultural Landscape in the Serakhs Oasis, Southern Turkmenistan – Barbara Kaim ;

Excavations at Kirpichli depe in Dehistan – A.E. Atagarryev ;

The First Season of Excavations at the Sasanian Site of Tole Qaleh Seyfabad (TQS), South-west Iran: Preliminary Report – Parsa Ghasemi, Reza Noruzi and Azizallah Rezaei ;

Sasanian and Early Islamic Settlement Patterns North of the Persian Gulf – Ahmadali Asadi, Seyed Mehdi Mousavi Kouhpar, Javad Neyestani and Alireza Hojabri Nobari ;

Bushehr, Dashtestan and Siraf: the Transformation of the Maritime Trade Network in the Middle Persian Gulf – Seth M. N. Priestman ;

PART TWO: Environment and Resources ;

Charcoal and Wood in Fuel Residues in Sasanian and Early Islamic Merv: Wood Resources and Environmental Implications – Rowena Gale ;

Exploitation of Wood at Kush (Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE) in Sasanian Times: Results of the Charcoal Analysis – Margareta Tengberg ;

Two Sasanian Archaeofaunas from the Hamrin Basin, Eastern Iraq – F.G. Fedele ;

Fracture Patterns Amongst Sasanian Bones at Merv – Ian Smith ;

PART THREE: Material Culture ;

Part Three: Material Culture - Introduction – St John Simpson ;

Sasanian Pottery: Archaeological Evidence for Production, Circulation and Diachronic Change – St John Simpson ;

Imitations and Innovations in Kushano-Sasanian Pottery – V.A. Zavyalov† ;

Parthian, Sasanian and Islamic Pottery and Occupation of the Deh Luran Plain, South-west Iran – David V. Hill ;

Magic and Inter-Communal Relations in Sasanian Iraq: the Case of the Incantation Bowls – Ali G. Scotten ;

The Dating of Sasanian Glass in the Light of Excavated Finds from Bahrain – S.F. Andersen ;

Reconstruction of the Process of Cutting of Two Sasanian Glass Bowls in the Okayama Orient Museum and the British Museum – Tami Ishida ;

Sasanian Swords and Scabbards in the British Museum: A Scientific Analysis – J. Lang and St J. Simpson ;

General Conclusion – St John Simpson ;

Bibliography ;


About the Author

St John Simpson is a senior curator and archaeologist in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum. He specialises in the archaeological evidence and material culture of the Sasanian empire, has published extensively on this subject, excavated Sasanian sites in Iraq and Central Asia, and analysed Sasanian finds from the Persian Gulf to Iran and the Caucasus. At the Museum he has curated three major special exhibitions: Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia (2017/18), Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World (2011), and Queen of Sheba: Treasures from Ancient Yemen (2002), as well as three successive galleries for ancient Iran, the most recent being the Rahim Irvani Gallery which opened in 2007. His previous books with Archaeopress include Masters of the Steppe (2020), In Context. The Reade Festschrift (2020), Softstone (2018), and Looted, Recovered, Returned: Antiquities from Afghanistan (2014).