"The objective is to conduct cutting-edge research into the archaeology of Iran, culminating in the publication of a state-of-the-art analytical study in the form of a book entitled 'Ancient Iran: a Social Archaeology'. The project will bring together Iran's leading archaeologist, Dr Hassan Fazeli, with a prominent UK researcher, Professor Roger Matthews, who will jointly carry out the research using the first-class facilities at the University of Reading for the first 24 months of the project. The final 12 months of the project will be spent in translation and publication preparation of a Farsi edition of the book.
The archaeology of Iran has been understudied in recent decades and a major objective here is to situate the rich Iranian evidence in the context of contemporary archaeological theory. Major research issues will include the articulation of a model for a social archaeology of Iran, the development of Iranian archaeology as a discipline, the early prehistoric occupation of Iran, the development of settled, farming communities from 10,000 BCE, Iran's role in the rise of the world's first urban, literate societies, and Iran in the first world empires of the Iron Age.
The research will be highly innovative in that no similar study has ever been conducted on the archaeology of Iran, and also very timely in that it will develop wider academic and public understanding and appreciation of Iran at a time when they are much needed. The researcher will benefit immensely from an extended period in the European Research Area, and will succeed in bringing his broad and detailed knowledge of the archaeology of Iran fully into the European arena, thus at the same time enhancing his own skills and expertise while raising the global attainment of Europe within the field of Iranian studies.
The research will serve as a platform for the continuing development of European-Iranian academic collaboration, in a field where the researcher and scientist in charge are already highly active."
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