Portraying social change in antiquity through mortuary evidence
Elam was an ancient civilization in the southwest of modern-day Iran that flourished before the rise of the Persian Empire. The EU-funded ELAMortuary project will portray a long timeline of social change in Elam through the exploitation of mortuary evidence. It will combine archaeology, philology and social theory with digital technology to analyse the uninterrupted sequence of mortuary evidence from small villages (ca. 4500 BCE) to the emergence of the Persian Empire (ca. 525 BCE) at the vast settlement mound of Susa on the Susiana plain. Taking a historical perspective that seeks long-term patterns in societies, it will reassess the validity of the linear model of social evolution that remains dominant in literature on ancient southwest Iran.