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Multiscale approaches of past waterscapes in Pasargadae, Iran

Abstract : Founded by Cyrus the Great, Pasargadae, in the province of Fars (South Iran) was one of the regional centres of the Achaemenid Empire (539-331 BC) such as the later founded Persepolis and Susa. These centres served for multiple purposes like regional administration but also as royal residences and symbols of power. Firstly-known through monumental buildings, its spatial organisation have recently begun to be understood thanks to the combination of archaeological survey methods. These investigations revealed in Pasargadae an open cityscape of several dozen of hectares composed of a mosaic of inhabited and green areas structured by hydraulic features including basin and irrigation canals. This local waterscape needs to be considered as part of a regional hydraulic landscaping composed of monumental dams and canals of dozen of kilometres in length demonstrating a huge investment in water management. In such a semi-arid region, controlling water resources is of critical importance for the territorial development as well as of symbolic value for the Power. In the framework of the ANR-DFG program Paradise, we are investigating these features and landscapes in order to better understand their functioning and, more generally, how water sources were managed in the Achaemenid Empire. Since we are dealing with a site and its territory, and difficulties linked to landscape taphonomy in an intensive agricultural area, we have organised a multiscale and interdisciplinary approach combining archaeological, geoarchaeological and geophysical methods. Through this case study, we would like to foster a discussion on how to deal with multiscale water landscapes and on archaeohydrology as a comprehensive way to approach them.
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Contributor : Sébastien Gondet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 10:26:12 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 10:01:58 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01973086, version 1



Marie-Laure Chambrade, Sébastien Gondet, Jörg Fassbinder, Kourosh Mohammadkhani. Multiscale approaches of past waterscapes in Pasargadae, Iran. 5th International Landscape Archaeology Conference, The McCord Centre for Landscape and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University; The Department of Archaeology, Durham University, Sep 2018, Newcastle, Durham, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-01973086⟩



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