Ancient Languages and Texts (ALT)
Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften
Institut für Altorientalistik
Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies
09/2012 – 06/2015
University of Tehran, Ancient Culture and Languages
09/2004 – 06/2009
University of Shiraz, Agricultural Engineering - Agricultural Economics
Iranian Gods in the Persepolis Fortification Archive: Mesopotamia, Elam, and the Indo-Iranian Tradition
The proposed study aims to illustrate the position of Iranian gods in the Achaemenid pantheon and will serve as an important basis for the ongoing research on that pantheon and the cultic activities in the heartland of this empire, which up to now has been mainly focused on its Elamite divinities. It will contribute to a more dynamic and less one-sided understanding of ancient Iranian religion: not a monolithic development, but a synthesis that is truly Persian in its genesis and significance and that, in turn, has informed the development of Iranian religion in general, and that of later Zoroastrianism in particular.
This will be done by studying relevant documents in the Persepolis Fortification Archive, which will be complemented, through a mosaic of sources approach, by other sources related to this topic. In a further step, findingss of this research will be consulted with Mesopotamian and Indo-Iranian sources, not to find the source of a cultural phenomenon, but to find parallel traditions which can help formulate questions and models, and to phrase hypotheses to be tested in this study.
In pursuing this approach, I also hope to contribute to the understanding of the religious and cultural pragmatism of the Achaemenid kings. The meaningful synthesis that resulted from acculturation between various traditions is, as a historical fact, of great value and deserves more attention than it has thus far received. Finally, I hope that detailed work on individual dossiers in the Fortification archive will advance its usability by other scholars.
This dissertation is funded by a doctoral fellowship from the Einstein Center Chronoi.