webinar register page

Webinar banner
Pasargadae and Persepolis Revisited: The Extended Achaemenid Cities beyond the Royal Palaces
Besides their royal residences in old and populous cities such as Susa or Babylon, the first Achaemenid kings chose Pasargadae and Persepolis on the Iranian Plateau, sites with limited previous occupation. While the stone monuments that remain today are likely part of the royal palaces, the sites stretch beyond the Royal Quarter and central garden at Pasargadae, a pristine site of no earlier occupation. In Persepolis, the visible remains are just part of a larger site that stretches far beyond the terrace, north to the necropolis of Naqsh-i Rustam and west by six kilometers. Dr. Rémy Boucharlat and Sébastien Gondet describe this area as the Persepolis Settled Zone, which they have investigated using geophysical prospection as well as other archaeological methods that include fieldwalking prospection and mapping. These efforts were enriched by older cartographic documentation: maps and satellite photos from the 1970s and 1960s, respectively.

In this lecture, Dr. Boucharlat will discuss the results of this research, which reveal an image of Persepolis very different from the traditional view of the celebrated terrace and its impressive stone remains. Instead, he describes the site as a diffused cityscape that includes areas beyond the terrace. Spaces occupied by royal or elite construction used stone and were separated from the clusters of ordinary constructions often made in mud brick. Large empty spaces were left for crops, orchards, and woods. Despite the limited visual remains, the Persepolis Settled Zone was a loosely built city that included residential, domestic, and artisanal areas distributed within large green spaces. These could be the agricultural estates known in Elamite as partetash, which are frequently mentioned in the tablets of Persepolis.

This lecture is part of the series New Research on Ancient Iran, which is generously supported by The Tina and Hamid Moghadam Fund.

Jun 8, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Webinar is over, you cannot register now. If you have any questions, please contact Webinar host: Freer and Sackler.