2018 Grant Recipient
Luristan Excavation Documents: Sangtarashan, an Iron Age Site in Pish Kuh
Zahra Hashemi, specialist of the Iron Age archaeology of the Zagros Mountains, recently graduated with a PhD from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. She is associated with the VEPMO team of the ArScAn Laboratory. She participated in several archaeological excavations, surveys and study missions in Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan with Iranian, French and German teams. Her main research interest remains Zagros Mountain in the Iron Age, to which her PhD was devoted. The archaeological site of Sangtarashan from the beginning was a highly promising site for her. She published several articles about the subject during her years of study.
Sangtarashan (48/33/748E and 33/14/55N) is an archaeological site located in the heart of the Zagros Mountains, in the southern part of Luristan province in western Iran. It was discovered coincidentally in 2002, during the restoration of some water pipes in the region. The Iranian Culture, Heritage and Tourism Organization (I.C.H.T.O) took a very early interest and led the excavation over six campaigns directed by M. Malekzadeh and A. Hasanpour. The campaigns brought the discovery of more than two thousand different objects such as weapons, vessels, jewelry, figurines and cylinder seals, all made of various materials like bronze, iron, stone, terracotta, bone and ivory. Those finds were related to architectural stone structures, which are supposed to belong to a ritual place. This rich collection is especially noteworthy for the high percentage of Canonic Luristan Bronzes that have been dated to the Iron Age. While the majority of the examples known today originate from illicit excavations or cemetery contexts, Sangtarashan is among the very rare sites where Luristan Bronzes are found in a non-funeral archaeological context. In addition, this is particularly rare in the Iron Age of the Zagros region.
The high scientific value of this exceptional site makes the publication of a comprehensive monograph necessary and will have a great impact on our knowledge about various aspects of Iron Age Luristan. The lead researcher for the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program Project is Dr. Zahra Hashemi, member of the Iranian archaeological mission in Sangtarashan (I.C.T.O). She will be working with a Franco-Iranian team for material study and coordinating with directors of the site for the purpose of the publication of the monograph. She will also contribute an online website including a database as an electronic publication of raw materials.