On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran


Rothman, Mitchell, and Hilary Gopnik, On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran (Costa Mesa, CA, Mazda Publishers in association with Royal Ontario Museum : Issue 1 of Bibliotheca Iranica: archaeology, art & architecture series, 2011), pp. 379.
On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran


With contributions by Robert C. Henrickson and Virginia R. Badler

The site of Godin Tepe is located in the southeastern corner of the Kangavar valley in central western Iran, at the western end of the Silk Road. Excavated by the late T. Cuyler Young Jr. under the auspices of the Royal Ontario Museum from 1965 to 1973, Godin provides the longest continuous sequence of occupation of any archaeological site in central western Iran. On the High Road will trace the 4000-year history of this uniquely important settlement and demonstrate how, at each successive phase of occupation, the people of Godin exploited their home's position at the crossroads of cultures.

"On the High Road" will provide the first major publication of the material remains from Godin. The assemblage of artifacts includes over ten thousand pottery sherds and elaborately painted vessels; about seven hundred unique stone, ceramic, bone, and metal objects including jewelry, bronze drinking bowls, and clay animal figurines; some of the earliest clay tablets and sealings from Iran; and hundreds of samples of organic material and animal bone which have provided evidence for early wine and beer production. The long overdue publication of Godin will constitute a major contribution to the scholarship of the archaeology of the Near East and will provide a fitting culmination to one of the most important archaeological projects of Iranian archaeology from the last half of the 20th century. The book will also serve as a record of the lifework of former ROM director and internationally respected scholar of early Iranian history, the late T. Cuyler Young Jr.

"On the High Road" will be aimed at a broad readership. The authors will weave a narrative of the remarkable 4000-year history of Godin while explaining how archaeological remains are used to reconstruct the past. Select architectural plans and reconstructions as well as photos and drawings of the most complete objects will illustrate the art and architecture of the various phases at the site, and will also be used to demonstrate how artifacts can offer us clues into the social, economic, and spiritual lives of the people that used them. The printed volume will be supplemented by an extensive online database that will provide further detail and illustration for those scholars in search of more indepth information about the site. This innovative approach to publishing Godin Tepe will make this important site accessible to a wider audience than can be served by a traditional site report, while at the same time providing the data that is required for future scholarship.

Link to a review of the publication

About the Authors

T. Cuyler Young Jr. was born in 1934 in Iran to American Presbyterian missionaries. He received his BA in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 1956 and his Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. from 1965 to 1973 he undertook the defining archaeological project of his career with the excavation of Godin Tepe in the Kangavar Valley of the Zagros Mountains in central western Iran. The discovery of the four thousand years of occupational remains at this site changed the way scholars understood the prehistory of Iran. After a full life dedicated to scholarship, including the directorship of the Royal Ontario Museum from 1985--1990. Cuyler Young passed away in 2006. This book is dedicated to his memory.
Hilary Gopnik received her BA in Anthropology and Classics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and her MA/PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation, under the supervision of Dr. T. Cuyler Young Jr., dealt with the ceramics from the Iron Age level at Godin Tepe. Gopnik is particularly interested in exploring the role of style in both modern and ancient, cultures. She has written about aspects of style as reflected in a range of artifact types including pottery, high art, and architecture, for the past ten years. Gopnik has worked as a professional writer and editor with an emphasis on history and biography. Since 2008 she has been the ceramicist and assistant director for the archaeological site of Oglanqala in Azerbaijan.
Mitchell S. Rothman is a professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Widener University in Pennsylvania. He was educated at Washington University, the University of Michigan, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received his Ph.D. in 1988. His major research projects include the reanalysis of the excavations of Tepe Gawra in northeastern Iraq; field projects at two late, fourth through third millennium sites on the Upper Euphrates River; a survey in the highland valley of Mus west of Lake Van, and the site of Shengavit in the Ararat Valley of Armenia. Rothman's research interests include the origins of complex societies in the late fifth through early third millennia BC in Mesopotamia, and the effect of crosscultural interaction on societal evolution.


ISBN: 9781568591650
Last updated on 05/28/2019