Iran and the Ancient World

Under the directorship of Professor M. Rahim Shayegan, the Pourdavoud Institute for the Study of the Iranian World at UCLA has established a series, Iran and the Ancient World (IAW), as a leading publication venue for innovative research on pre-Islamic Iranian history, literature, and religion.

In coordination with UC Press, Iran and the Ancient World will occupy a singular place in the current publishing landscape in its representation of both specialized monographs in Iranology and research that integrates the field into the broader study of the pre-modern period. IAW will address the need to support innovative work within the traditional parameters of pre-Islamic Iranian studies, and its will encompass specialist studies of ancient Persian history, literature, archaeology, and religion. But the series will also promote a second objective: the integration of ancient Iran into the historiographic mainstream of the pre-modern world. Accordingly, it will foreground the Iranian plateau’s connected history with adjacent regions of antiquity, fostering comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives on questions of broad import to the humanities and social sciences. Iran and the Ancient World is well positioned to capitalize on recent developments across the entire chronological range of the field, from the first millennium BCE to the first millennium CE.

The first manuscript, delivered by Professor Daniel Potts (New York University), was published in Fall 2023.

Originally delivered as the Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lectures, Aspects of Kinship in Ancient Iran is an exploration of kinship in the archaeological and historical record of Iran’s most ancient civilizations. D.T. Potts brings together history, archaeology, and social anthropology to provide an overview of what we can know about the kith and kinship ties in Iran, from prehistory to Elamite, Achaemenid, and Sasanian times. In so doing, he sheds light on the rich body of evidence that exists for kin relations in Iran, a topic that has too often been ignored in the study of the ancient world.

A free ebook version of Aspects of Kinship in Ancient Iran is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program: <>.

Book orders can be placed at the University of California Press website, as well as at all major international bookseller websites.

Additional manuscripts by Professor Jake Nabel (Pennsylvania State University) and Professor Robert Rollinger (University of Innsbruck) are forthcoming.


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