Table of Contents


    E. P. Elwell-Sutton

    British orientalist (1905-1969).


    M. Tardieu

    the assumed author of a Christian polemic against the Manicheans composed before 348 CE.


    Multiple Authors

    The history of archeological research in Iran may be divided into two periods, before and after the Second World War. The early period can in turn be subdivided into a first phase of mainly French activity (ca. 1884-1931), and a second phase in which archeology in Iran became a multinational affair (1931-40). The modern period can be subdivided into what might best be called the “quiet phase” (1940-57) and the “explosive phase” (1958-78).

  • ARCHEOLOGY i. Pre-Median

    T. C. Young

    As early as the 17th century, a number of European travelers reported with surprise on the remarkable ancient monuments to be seen throughout the countryside. The first scientific and scholarly attempt to deal with one such monument, however, was Rawlinson’s recording of the Bīsotūn (Behistun) inscription (1836-41). 

  • ARCHEOLOGY ii. Median and Achaemenid

    D. Stronach

    The family of ceramics represented in the Median levels at Tepe Nush-i Jan seems to be associated with the moment that the Medes consolidated their power in the vicinity of Hamadān in the second half of the 7th century B.C. 

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    K. Schippmann

    Very few monuments from the Seleucid period have been discovered in Iran, and probably none from the time of Alexander the Great.

  • ARCHEOLOGY iv. Sasanian

    D. Huff

    Archeological field work has played a comparatively smaller part in forming the image of Sasanian history and culture than the large number of preserved monuments, buildings, and rock reliefs, collections of coins and objects of art.

  • ARCHEOLOGY v. Pre-Islamic Central Asia

    V. M. Masson

    Archeological remains of almost all the major epochs have now been uncovered, and the materials have been obtained that describe comprehensively the ancient civilizations of Central Asia of the pre-Islamic period.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • ARCHEOLOGY vi. Islamic Iran

    R. Hillenbrand

    From the outset Islamic archeology in Iran was overshadowed by the numerous and splendid sites of earlier periods, and archeological investigation of Islamic sites began appreciably later in the Iranian world than in western Islam and in the Indian subcontinent.

  • ARCHEOLOGY vii. Islamic Central Asia

    G. A. Pugachenkova and E. V. Rtveladze

    The study of the archeology of the Islamic period was initiated in Central Asia in the late 19th century by Turkestan amateurs and St. Petersburg scholars, and has been carried on with growing intensity since Soviet times. 


    M. N. Pogrebova

    In the mid-19th century,  European travelers became aware that the area of the republic  abounded in ancient ruins. Since the 1960s and 1970s several scores of archeological expeditions of the Azerbaijanian Academy of Sciences have been active.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Multiple Authors

    This series of articles covers architecture in Iran from ancient times to the Pahlavi period. 

  • ARCHITECTURE i. Seleucid Period

    T. S. Kawami

    The Seleucid architecture of Iran encompasses the buildings constructed during the period of Greek power from 330 B.C. through the 2nd century B.C. 

  • ARCHITECTURE ii. Parthian Period

    E. J. Keall

    It seems impossible to use the Iranian homeland of the Parthians as the basis for the definition of Parthian architecture. 

  • ARCHITECTURE iii. Sasanian Period

    D. Huff

    A great number of čahār-ṭāq ruins, surveyed all over Iran and most frequent in Fārs and Kermān, are regarded as fire temples. Nearly all of them were closed to the outside by blocking walls in their bays or the surrounding vaulted corridors.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • ARCHITECTURE iv. Central Asian

    G. A. Pugachenkova

    Architecture in Central Asia dates back to the late Neolithic period (6th-5th millennia B.C.).

  • ARCHITECTURE v. Islamic, pre-Safavid

    O. Grabar

    The beginnings of an Islamic architecture in Iran are still almost impossible to identify properly. Remaining monuments are few, most of them are very uncertainly dated, and literary information is scanty or difficult to interpret.

  • ARCHITECTURE vi. Safavid to Qajar Periods

    R. Hillenbrand

    Iranian architecture from the 16th to the 19th centuries is, not surprisingly, dominated by the Safavids. Though no accurate checklist has been drawn up, it is clear that within the present political borders of Iran several hundred buildings datable between 907/1502 and 1138/1725 survive.

  • ARCHITECTURE vii. Pahlavi, before World War II

    D. N. Wilber

    Two features of Reżā Shah’s efforts for the modernization of Iran were related to the architectural construction of the period. One was his reference to the country’s ancient history, which should inspire the present generation to achieve new glories. The other was his desire to adopt aspects of Western civilization in such a fashion that Iran would become equal to the West.

  • ARCHITECTURE viii. Pahlavi, after World War II

    N. Ardalān

    Between the close of World War II and the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime in 1979, an ancient and very traditional Iranian culture came fully into contact with contemporary developments, in particular, with the highly scientific and empirical world of the West.