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ARCH 21908: Archaeology of the Ancient Near East : Antiquity

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Antiquity (about 539 BCE to 634 CE), marked the end of the classic history of the entirety of the Near East. Nearly all of the small and large states and empires of Mesopotamia, Turkey, Egypt, and Levant were subsumed and conquered by the Achaemenid Empire of Iran (539–330 BCE); which spanned from eastern China to North Africa, making the most extensive empire seen to-date. The Achaemenid Empire, known for its extensive and detailed system of governance and bureaucracy, long-distance trade networks along the Silk Road, and the home of the first Iranian religion, Zoroastrianism

Key Sites

Ecbatana (Iran)

Persepolis (Iran)

Palmyra (Syria)

Susa (Iran)

Key Citations

Balcer, J. M.

1978  Alexander’s Burning of Persepolis. Iranica Antiqua 13:119–133.

Colburn, Henry P.

2013  Connectivity and Communication in the Achaemenid Empire. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 56(1):29–52. DOI:10.1163/15685209-12341278.

Kuhrt, Amelie T.L.

1988  The Achaemenid Empire: A Babylonian Perspective. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 34(214):60–76.

Potts, D.T.

2005  Cyrus the Great and the Kingdom of Anshan. In Birth of the Persian Empire, edited by Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis and Sarah Stewart, 1:pp. 1–27. I.B.Tauris, London.

Wilson-Wright, Aren

2015  From Persepolis to Jerusalem: A Reevaluation of Old Persian-Hebrew Contact in the Achaemenid Period. Vetus Testamentum 65(1):152–167. DOI:10.1163/15685330-12301191.