Iran Persia

The Gorgan Plain has formed for almost a millennium the northeastern frontier zone of the Persian Empire. It is located between the temperate mesic Hyrcanian Forest in the south Caspian region and the Central Asian deserts. Several small lakes and peat bogs have been drilled within the plain but also in the northern foothills of Alborz-Kopeh Dagh mountain ranges in order to reconstruct the vegetation and landscape change during the last millennia in relation to both global/regional hydroclimatic changes and human activities. The main focus of this study is on the period corresponding to the latest Persian Empire, the Sassanian Empire (ca. 3rd-7th AD), before, during and after the construction of the Great Wall of Gorgan, a huge complex of walls and fortifications used to protect the northeastern frontiers of the Empire. Pollen and Non-Pollen Palynomorph (NPPs) analyses will be the main palaeoecological approaches to study the recovered core samples.

Publications

Shumilovskikh L.S., Bittmann F. Archaeobotanical studies in the Gorgan Plain. In: Sauer, E.W., Nokandeh, J., Omrani Rekavandi, H. et al. (eds.) Ancient Arms Race: Antiquity’s Largest Fortresses and Sasanian Military Networks of Northern Iran. A joint fieldwork project by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham (2014-2016). British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monographs Series, Oxford: Oxbow Books, in prep.

Shumilovskikh L.S., Talon B. Woodland use evidenced from anthracological analysis during the excavation season of 2016 in Gorgan Plain. In: Sauer, E.W., Nokandeh, J., Omrani Rekavandi, H. et al. (eds.) Ancient Arms Race: Antiquity’s Largest Fortresses and Sasanian Military Networks of Northern Iran. A joint fieldwork project by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham (2014-2016). British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monographs Series, Oxford: Oxbow Books, in prep.

Shumilovskikh L.S. Vegetation history of the Gorgan Plain evidenced from palynological analysis. In: Sauer, E.W., Nokandeh, J., Omrani Rekavandi, H. et al. (eds.) Ancient Arms Race: Antiquity’s Largest Fortresses and Sasanian Military Networks of Northern Iran. A joint fieldwork project by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham (2014-2016). British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monographs Series, Oxford: Oxbow Books, in prep.

Shumilovskikh L.S., Djamali M., Hopper K., Omrani Rekavandi H., Nokandeh J., Sauer E. Sasanian woodland use in treeless landscapes: case studies from the Gorgan Plain, SE of the Caspian Sea. In: Mashkour M. et al. (eds.) Caspian Sea shores. Oxford: Oxbow Books, submitted.

Sauer E.W., Nokandeh J., Rekavandi H.O., Bayati M.B., Caputo F., Heise M., Intagliata E., Mahmoudi M., Mohammadkhani K., Perini S., Ricci A., Safari E., Shabani B., Shumilovskikh L.S., Amirinezhad A., Arteghi B., Asghari Z., Hopper K., Zadeh M.H., Jahed M., Jürcke F., Lawrence D., Maleka M.T., Mansouri M., Mirmousavi M., Mohammadkhani S., Priestman S., Rahimi M.R., Rahmani M., Ruchonnet A., Salari A., Taji D. (2018) Forts and megafortresses, natural and artifitial barriers: the grand strategy of the Sasanian Empire. In: Kharanaghi M.H.A., Khanipour M., Naseri R. (Eds.) Proceedings of the International Congress of Young Archaeologists, vol. 3, pp. 236-256.

Shumilovskikh L.S., Djamali M., Andrieu-Ponel V., Ponel P., de Beaulieu J.-L., Naderi-Beni A., Sauer E. (2017) Palaeoecological insights into agri-horti-cultural and pastoral practices before, during and after the Sasanian Empire. In: Sauer E. (Ed.) Sasanian Persia: Between Rome and the Steppes of Eurasia. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 51-73.

Shumilovskikh L.S., Hopper K., Djamali M., Ponel P., Demory F., Rostek F., Tachikawa K., Bittmann F., Golyeva A., Guibal F., Talon B., Wang L.-C., Nezamabadi M., Bard E., Lahijani H., Nokandeh J., Omrani Rekavandi H., de Beaulieu J.-L., Sauer E., Andrieu-Ponel V. (2016) Landscape evolution and agro-sylvo-pastoral activities on the Gorgan Plain (NE Iran) in the last 6000 years. The Holocene, 26 (10), 1676-1691.

Kürschner, H., Shumilovskikh, L.S., Djamali, M., de Beaulieu, J.-L.A late Holocene subfossil record of Sphagnum squarrosumCrome (Sphagnopsida, Bryophyta) from NW Iran. Nova Hedwigia 100, 373-381.