An Imperial Frontier and its Landscape: the Gorgan and Tammisheh Walls in North-East Iran

Roger Ainslie, Jebrael Nokandeh, Hamid Omrani Rekavandi, Eberhard Sauer, Tony Wilkinson, Chris Oatley, Mohammad Ershadi, 2014

Data copyright © Roger Ainslie unless otherwise stated

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Roger Ainslie, Jebrael Nokandeh, Hamid Omrani Rekavandi, Eberhard Sauer, Tony Wilkinson, Chris Oatley, Mohammad Ershadi (2014) An Imperial Frontier and its Landscape: the Gorgan and Tammisheh Walls in North-East Iran [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000163

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Introduction

A joint AHRC-funded fieldwork project by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation, the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham (2005-2009).

Project by Hamid Omrani Rekavandi, Eberhard Sauer, Jebrael Nokandeh, Tony Wilkinson et al., 2010

Geophysical Survey by Roger Ainslie, Chris Oatley, Mohammad Ershadi et al..

The Gorgan Plain, Iran

The Gorgan Plain, Iran (© Roger Ainslie).

The overall objective of our project was to date and place within their strategic and landscape context the Gorgan and Tamishe Walls in NE Iran. At 195 km length the Gorgan Wall forms the longest continuous ancient linear barrier between the German Limes and the Chinese linear earthworks. The construction of a major defensive barrier, apparently in conjunction with canals, dams and reservoirs, was a massive feat of hydraulic engineering. By describing and dating these features the project has shed considerable light on the administration and deployment of power within the Sasanian Empire.

Please note that the reports on this website are all preliminary, and thus should not necessarily be relied upon, as some of our interpretation of the results have changed since. The primary purpose of the depository is to provide access to supplementary images and data, for which there was no space in our final report, not to provide the ultimate interpretation. We recommend that you consult also the final report and do not rely on the accuracy of information in the depository. The bibliographical details of the final report, which is unfortunately only available in print, are as follows:

Sauer, E.W., Omrani Rekavandi, H., Wilkinson, T.J., Nokandeh, J. et al., 2013. Persia's Imperial Power in Late Antiquity: the Great Wall of Gorgan and Frontier Landscapes of Sasanian Iran. A joint fieldwork project by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation, the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham (2005-2009). British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monographs Series II, Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. xvi + 712 [ISBN 978-1-84217-519-4].

Acknowledgements

Our project has been generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. We are grateful for further support to the British Institute of Persian Studies, the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation, the British Academy, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Iran Heritage Foundation, the Stein Arnold Exploration Fund of the British Academy and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham. Numerous colleagues have supported the project, and their help is acknowledged in the final report.

2005

A report of the work carried out also appeared in Iran, Journal of British Institute of Persian Studies 44 (2006), pp121-173. The 2005 season included geophysical surveys of part of Fort 1, Fort 9, Pishkamar, QizlarQaleh and Tammisheh kilns.