Aspects of Kinship in Ancient Iran Available for Pre-order

Published: September 15, 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.

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Aspects of Kinship in Ancient Iran is part of the Pourdavoud Center’s Iran and the Ancient World (IAW) series published by UC Press. Occupying 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, Iran and the Ancient World (IAW) encompasses specialist studies of ancient Persian history, literature, archaeology, and religion. The series also promotes 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 provides a leading publication venue for pioneering research in Iranian studies while also putting the field in dialogue with broader endeavors of academic inquiry. The series encompasses both dedicated monographs on pre-Islamic Iranian history, archaeology, and literary traditions; and books that originate from the prestigious and endowed Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series at UCLA, which has a counterpart at the Collège de France.

Iran and the Ancient World thus promotes a more expansive role for Iranian studies in the current research landscape. Building and improving on the field’s strong philological foundations, IAW foregrounds Persia’s geographical interconnections with proximate areas of the ancient world like Rome, Egypt, and central Asia, as well as the field’s disciplinary points of contact with anthropology, comparative literature, archaeology, and the histories of other regions and periods.

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

The publication date is set for October 10, 2024.  Pre-orders can be placed at the University of California Press website and the following locations:


Aspects of Kinship in Ancient Iran
D.T. Potts
Series: Iran and the Ancient World 1
Pp. 148, 24 color illustrations
ISBN 9780520394995
Paperback $34.95, £30.00

About the Author

Daniel Potts is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and History in the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University. He received his AB (1975) and PhD (1980) in Anthropology from Harvard University, specializing in Near Eastern archaeology. He taught previously at the Freie Universität Berlin (1981-86), the University of Copenhagen (1980-81, 1986-1991) and the University of Sydney (1991-2012), where he held the Edwin Cuthbert Hall Chair of Middle Eastern Archaeology. His main areas of interest are greater Iran, Mesopotamia, and the Persian Gulf, and as a field archaeologist he has conducted numerous excavations, among others in Iran and Turkey. He is a Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute and ISMEO (Associazione Internazionale di Studi sul Mediterraneo e l’Oriente), and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.