Monday, March 22, 2021

Ancient Iran: A Digital Platform


Ancient Iran had a pivotal role in world history, spanning parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa at its height and contributing to global literature, technology, and religion. Unfortunately, Ancient Iran receives only a fraction of the time and resources devoted to the study of Greece and Rome. In the spring of 2018, a group of faculty, students, and community members convened at the University of Washington to address this problem by designing a major public event to explore Ancient Iran's place in global history.

Thanks to the University of Washington's Near Eastern Languages and Civilization Department (NELC), we were able to collaborate with the Seattle-area Iranian community to put on Ancient Iran Day. Our event, which took place on December 1st, 2018, attracted more than 500 visitors from around Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest. Spread across five conference rooms, it included lectures, models, and thirteen thematic tables that explored Ancient Iran's vibrant history and culture through text, art, and archaeology. 

We have prepared this website to commemorate the event and to serve as a continuing public resource for the study of Ancient Iran. We also recognize the richness and diversity of Iran's culture during the Islamic period, although our project's scope concludes with the end of the Sasanian Empire.

The website is divided into four sections:

The Ancient Iran Day section describes the preparation and logistics of this one-day public humanities event. We happily share on this website extensive materials for educators or community groups who want to create something similar. Our activities page includes free downloadable copies of all posters; links found throughout the site provide additional educational material. 

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