Ali Mousavi is a Pourdavoud Research Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Iranian Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. He studied in Lyon, France, and took his B.A. in Art History, and his M.A. in Archaeology from the University of Lyon, France. He obtained his Ph.D. in Near Eastern archaeology from the University of California, Berkeley. He excavated in France, Turkey, and Iran, and contributed to the nomination of a number of archaeological sites and monuments on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. He is the author of a book on the site of Persepolis (Persepolis: Discovery and Afterlife of a World Wonder), and co-editor of two books: Ancient Iran from the Air, and Excavating an Empire. He has published on various aspects of Iranian art and archaeology, and holds a particular interest in the archaeology of Iranian Empires, from the Achaemenids to the Sasanians, and the history of archaeology in Iran and the Near East. He worked as a curator of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 2006 to 2013. He teaches Iranian art and archaeology at UCLA.
- PhD, Near Eastern Studies (Archaeology), University of California, Berkeley (2005)
- MA, Archaeology, History, and Languages of Old World Civilizations, Université Lyon II, France (1997)
- BA, Archaeology and Art History of Europe and the East Mediterranean, Université Lyon II, France (1996)
- 2016-2018: Excavations at Pasargadae, Iran.
- 2011: Reorganizing and re-installing new galleries of the arts at the ancient Near East at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
- 2008: Contribution to the nomination file of the Sassanian waterworks in Shushtar, Khuzestan, southwestern Iran for the World Heritage List of UNESCO, UNESCO – Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization.
- 2006: Excavation at Pasargadae, Iran.
- 2006: Remote sensing project of the monument known as Zendan-e Suleiman, Pasargadae, Iran.
- 2004: Research on ancient irrigation systems and qanāts in the region of Bam , a UNESCO project.
- 2004: Survey in the plain of Savajbulaq, near Tehran, joint project of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, University of California at Berkeley.
- 2004: Work on the nomination file of the site of Bam for the World Heritage List, UNESCO – Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization project (April 2004).
- 2004: Work on the National Project of Research, Conservation, and Management of the site of Susa, Khuzestan, Iran, in cooperation with the Iranian Cultural and Tourism Organization.
- 2004: Work on the nomination file of the site of Sultaniyeh (western Iran) for the World Heritage List of UNESCO, UNESCO – Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization.
- 2003: Second season of archaeological survey in the plain of Savajbulaq, Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization – University of California at Berkeley.
- 2002: Archaeological survey in the plain of Savajbulaq, region of Tehran, Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization – University of California at Berkeley.
- 2001: Excavation of the early Iron Age graveyard in Shahrud, northeastern Iran, Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization.
- 2001: Archaeological survey in the plain of Savajbulaq, region of Tehran.
- 2001: Participation in the preparation of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Institute, University of California, Berkeley, for preparation of a digital map of the Sasanian Empire.
- 2001: Research on Ernst Herzfeld’s papers, the archives of the Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- 2000: Work on two nomination files concerning the sites of Naqsh-e Rustam, southern Iran, and Takht-e Suleyman, northwestern Iran, for the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO.
- 1998: Geomagnetic survey and field work at Pasargadae, Iran, for the preparation of the nomination file for the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List, a joint project of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and C.N.R.S.-Paris
- 1998: Contribution to the nomination of the site of Bāmiyān (Afghanistan) on the World Heritage List of UNESCO as a monument in danger (1998).
- 1998: Research on unpublished reports of the Bronze Age/Iron Age site of Turang Tepe, northeastern Iran, in Paris.
- 1996: Excavation at the Roman temple at Fourvière, Lyons, France.
- 1996: Excavation at the Phrygian site of Gordion, Turkey, University of Pennsylvania – Royal Ontario Museum.
- 1995: Research on unpublished material from the Iron Age site of Khorvin, near Tehran, northern Iran.
- 1994: Excavation at the Neolithic site of Chalain, Ain Valley, France.
- 1994: Excavation at the Gallo-Roman site of St -Romain-en-Gal, Vienne, France.
- The Archaeological Gazetteer of Iran: an online encyclopedia of Iranian archaeology.
- Research and studies on the site of Pasargadae.
- The publication of excavation results from the archaeological site of Kaluraz, northern Iran.
- Ancient Iran from the Air
- Philipp von Zabern, 2012
- Discovery and Afterlife of a World Wonder
- de Gruyter, 2012
- Excavating an Empire
- Achaemenid Persia in Longue Durée
- Mazda Publishers, 2014
- Irans Erbe
- In Flugbildern Von Georg Gerster
- Philipp Von Zabern, 2009
Articles & Book Chapters
- History of architecture in Iran from Prehistory to the Islamic conquest, Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture, 21st edition, London, (forthcoming).
The Dating Methods of Achaemenid Stone Monuments Revisited: A Short Note on the Use of Toothed Chisel, Working on Stones in the Achaemenid Empire: Methods, Theories and Techniques Virtual Symposium, 17th to 19th September 2021, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran und Turan, vol. 50, 2022 (forthcoming)
- Achaemenid “Religious” Monuments: the Case of Monumental Towers, The Fourteenth Melammu Symposium, UCLA, Feb. 18-Feb. 28, 2020 (forthcoming).
- Ali Samani va barresihā-ye bāstānshenāsi-ye Eshkevar – Gilān, Journal of the Society for Iranian Archaeology, No. 2, 2021, pp. 155-160.
- Firouz Bagherzadeh va Markaz-e Bāstānshenasi-ye Iran, Journal of the Society for Iranian Archaeology, No. 2, 2021, pp. 161-164.
- Pasargadae and the Legacy of the Persian Garden, Lost in Paradise. A Journey through the Persian Landscape, Ch. Girot, F. Fahimi, and M. Uzor (eds.), Pamphlet 24, Zurich, 2020, pp. 22-29.
- Visual Display and Written Record: Reflections on some of Xerxes Inscriptions at Persepolis, The Art of Empire in Achaemenid Persia, Studies in Honor of Margaret Cool Root, E.R.M. Dusinberre, M.B. Garrison, W.F.M. Henkelmann (eds.), Achaemenid History XVI, Leuven, 2020, pp. 73-79.
Note sur un bas-relief provenant de Pasargades, Archiver, conserver, et collectionner en Orient : Alexandre Tourovets (1953-2019) in memoriam, Ch. Cannuyer et M. Michel (eds.), Acta Orientalia Belgica XXXIII, Bruxelles, 2020, pp. 329-334.
André Godard va bāstānshenāsi-ye Iran, Havā-ye Bidāri, No. 11, 1399/2020, pp. 99-106.
Herzfeld, kāvoshhā-ye Takht-e Jamshid va mālekiyat-e ma’navi-ye mostanadāt va tasāvir-e bāstanshenāsi, Havā-ye Bidāri, No. 11, 1399/2020, pp. 340-354.
- Persia (Achaemenid to Sasanid Empires), c. 550 BCE–651 CE., Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture. Murray Fraser (ed.), London, 2019, pp. 227-252.
- Medieval Medieval Iranians and Ancient Monuments in Fars: A Survey of the Epigraphic Evidence, L’Orient est son jardin. Hommage à Rémy Boucharlat, Sebastien Gondet and Ernie Haerinck (eds.), Acta Iranica 58, Leuven-Paris-Bristol, 2018, pp. 341-350.
- The history of archaeological research in Iran: a brief survey, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, D. Potts (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 3-16.
- The Central Alborz Region in the Iron Age, in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, D. Potts (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 392-406.
- Pilgrimage to Pasargadae, Cyrus the Great. An Ancient Iranian King, T. Daryaee (ed.), Afshar Publishing, Santa Monica, California, 2013, pp. 28-39.
- The Sasanian Empire: An Archaeological Survey, c.220 – AD 640, (co-authored with T. Daryaee), in A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, D. Potts (ed.), Willey-Blackwell, 2012, chapter 57.
- Les hauts et les bas de l’archéologie en Iran, La Pensée de Midi, Actes du Sud, 27, 2009, pp. 137-143 (A. Mousavi – N. Nasiri-Moghaddam).
- Late Bronze Age in Northwestern Iran, Iran, vol. 46, 2008,.pp. 105-120.
- Qanats: an early irrigation system in West Asia, Qanats of Bam: A Multidisciplinary Approach, edited by M. Honari, A. Salamat et al., UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, Tehran, 2006, pp. 87-97.
- Why Darius Built Persepolis?, Archaeology Odyssey, November/December 2005, pp. 22-35.
- Comments on the Early Iron Age Iran, Iranica Antiqua, vol. 40, 2005, pp. 87-99.
- Ernst Herzfeld, politics and antiquities legislation in Iran: 1900-1950, Ernst Herzfeld and the Development of Near Eastern Studies, Ann C. Gunter And Stefan Hauser eds., Leiden-Boston, 2005, pp. 445-475.
- Persepolis in Retrospect: Histories of Discovery and Archaeological Exploration at the Ruins of Ancient Parseh, Ars Orientalis, vol. 32, Ann Arbor, pp. 209-251.
- La région de Téhéran à l’aube de l’âge du Fer: reflexions et commentaires sur les nécropoles du IIe millénaire av. J –C., Iranica Antiqua, vol. 37, 2001, pp. 151-212.
- La ville de Parsa. Quelques observations sur la topographie et le système défensif de Persépolis, Iranica Antiqua, vol. 34, Festschrift David Stronach, 1999, pp. 145-155.
- Early Archaeological Adventures and Methodological Problems in Iranian Archaeology: The Evidence from Susa, Iranica Antiqua, vol. 31, 1994, pp. 1-16.
- Une brique à décor polychrome de l’Iran occidental (VIIIe-VIIe s. av. J.-C.), Studia Iranica, vol. 23, 1994, pp. 7-18.
- Tépé Horreeye, le bit akitu de Tchogha Zanbil?, Contribution à l’histoire de l’Iran. Mélanges offerts à Jean Perrot, edited by F. Vallat, Paris, 1990, pp. 143-145.
- Some Recently Found Column Bases from Central Western Iran, Iranica Antiqua, vol. 25, pp. 165-172.
- Two Bronze Statuettes from Tuzandejan, Khurassan, Bulletin of the Ancient Orient Museum, Tokyo, 1990, vol. 11, pp. 121-134.
- The Discovery of an Achaemenid Station at Deh-Bozan in the Assadabad Valley, Archaeologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, vol. 22, 1989, pp. 135-138.
Presentations and Conferences
- History of architecture in Iran from Prehistory to the Islamic conquest, Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture, 21st edition, London, (forthcoming).
- Takht-e Soleyman, Sasanians, Romans, and Mongols: Reflections on the Life and Afterlife of a Sacred Place, The World of Ancient Iran and the West, An International Symposium Convened by M. Rahim Shayegan (University of California, Los Angeles) and Jeffrey Spier (J. Paul Getty Museum) May 19–20, 2022.
- Art of the Empire: Monumental Cities of Ancient Persia, The J. P. Getty Museum, Getty Villa, April 24, 2022.
Payravi Conference on Ancient Iranian History III: Iran and the Transformation of Ancient Near Eastern History: The Seleucids, University of California, Irvine, February 24-25, 2020.
- Achaemenid Religious Monuments: An Archaeological Perspective, Fourteenth Symposium of the Melammu Project: Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World, University of California, Los Angeles, February 18-20, 2020.
Tepe Sialk au cœur de l’archéologie de l’Iran. The Louvre Museum, Paris, November 25, 2019.
- André Godard et l’archéologie iranienne, Colloque André Godard, the Louvre Museum, Paris, November 27-28, 2019.
- The contribution of archaeology to the history of the Achaemenid Empire, Payravi Conference on Ancient Iranian History II: The Persian-Achaemenid Empire as a ‘World-System’: New Approaches & Contexts, University of California, Irvine, March 11-12, 2019.
- From the Bronze Age to the Iron Age: Dynamics of Change in Northern Iran in the Second Millennium B.C. Payravi Conference on Ancient Iranian History I: Iranian Plateau and its Histories from the beginning to 1st millennium BCE, University of California, Irvine, March 23, 2018.
- Excavations at Pasargadae summer 2016, the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, Tehran, August 5, 2016.
- Persepolis: the life and afterlife of a World Wonder, the Asia House, London, September 10, 2014.
- Persepolis after Alexander, the University of Tehran, December 19, 2011.
- Remembering the last excavations at Persepolis (1968-1973), Persepolis: 40 Years On. An International Conference on the Archaeology, History, and Reception of Persepolis. The School of History, Classics and Archaeology, The University of Edinburgh, 14th-16th October 2011.
- Pasargadae and the Zendan-e Suleiman monument: new research project in Iran, 2010 Iranian Studies Biennial Conference, 27-30 May, 2010, Los Angeles.
- Susa: the great challenge of Iranian archaeology, Susa and Elam, Gent, December 14-17, 2009.
- What did the Greeks know about capital cities of the Persian empire? Tragedy, Translation, Ethnicity, and Imperialism, A two-day interdisciplinary symposium, the University of Ohio, Columbus, November 19-20, 2009.
- Pasargadae: New Research and Restoration Project, American School of Oriental Research Annual Meeting, San Diego, November 14-17, 2007.
- Archaeology of the Achaemenid period: an assessment, The World of Ancient Persia, One-Day Seminar at California State University, Fullerton, March 18, 2006.
- Persepolis, Susa, and Iranian Archaeology: Pre-Islamic sites in today’s Iran, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 2, 2006.
- Persepolis and Susa: Rivalries, Nationalism, Politics and the Dawn of Scientific Archaeology in Iran, Study of Persian Culture in the West, Hermitage State Museum and Iran Heritage Foundation, St. Petersburg, June 23-29, 2004.
- The Region of Tehran and the Iranian Iron Age Problem in the Light of Recent Discoveries, The Iron Age in the Iranian World, the University Ghent – The Royal Museums of Art andHistory, Brussels, Ghent, November 17-2, 2003.
- The Early Iron Age problems in central and western Iran in view of archaeological investigations in the plain of Savajbulaq, near Tehran, Conference held in the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran, organized by the Archaeological Research Centre, Tehran, March 3, 2003.
- Ernst Herzfeld, Politics and Antiquities Legislation in Iran 1900-1950, Ernst Herzfeld and the Development of Near Eastern Studies 1900-1950, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 3-6, 2001.
- Comments on the Early Iron Age in Iran, Fourth European Congress of Iranology, Paris, September 1999.
- 2022: Archaeology of Iran (UCLA)
- 2022: Ancient Cities of Iran (UCLA)
- 2021: Archaeology of Iran (UCLA)
- 2020: Archaeology of Iran (UCLA)
- 2020: Ancient Iranian Civilizations (UCLA).
- 2020: Art 110: Worlds of Art. The Western Tradition (CSUN)
- 2019: Art and archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age (LMU)
- 2019: Archaeology of Iran (UCLA)
- 2018: Survey of Western Art History, Art History I; Art Appreciation: Art 11 (SMC)
- 2017: Survey of Western Art History, Art History I; Ancient Cities of Iran (UCLA); Iranian archaeology (UCLA)
- 2016: Survey of Western Art History: Art History 1 (SMC); Ancient Cities of Iran (UCLA)
- 2015: Ancient Cities of Iran (UCLA); Ancient Iran (UCI); Survey of Western Art History (SMC).
- 2014: Ancient Iranian Civilizations (UCLA); Survey of Western Art History (SMC)
- 2013: Archaeology of Ancient Iran (UCLA); Ancient Iranian Civilizations (UCLA); Ancient Armenia (UCI); Survey of Western Art History (SMC).
- 2012: Ancient Cities of Iran: An Archaeological survey of historical cities and sites of Iran from 4000 B.C. to 1900 (University of California, Los Angeles).
- 2011: Ancient Armenia and Iran from the Irano-Urartian koine to the early Islamic period (University of California, Irvine).
- 2010: Ancient Cities of Iran: An Archaeological survey of historical cities and sites of Iran from 4000 B.C. to 1900 (University of California, Los Angeles).
- 2004: Visiting lecturer of the Archaeology of western Iran and adjacent regions, at the Maison de l’Orient, the University of Lyon, France.
- 2003: Teaching assistant / lecturer in Art History and Archaeology of ancient Iran in the Free University of Tehran (September-December 2003).
- Cities and Sites of Ancient Iran, 4000 B.C. to 1900 (Iranian 187)
- Archaeology of Iran (Iranian C163 and C259)
- Iranian Civilizations (Iranian M110A, M110B, M110C)
- Survey of Western Art History, Art History I
Grants and Awards
- 2008: Leon Levy – Shelby White Award for the publication of Ali Hakemi’s excavation results at Kaluraz.
- 2005: Guest Researcher and Lecturer at the Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée (CNRS / University of Lyon) and the Maison de l’Archéologie et d’Ethnologie (Paris-Nanterre).
- 2003: UNESCO award for preparing the World Heritage Nomination File for the sites of Pasargadae (Fars, Iran) and Takht-e Solyeman (Azerabaijan, Iran).
- 2002: Iran Heritage Foundation award for fieldwork in the plain of Savajbulaq, Iran.
- 2001: Stahl Endowment award for field work in Iran.
- 2001: Fellow of the Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- 2000-2003: The Guitty Azarpay Fellowship, the University of California at Berkeley.
- 1998: Fellow of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institut français de Recherche en Iran for studying unpublished materials of French excavations at Tureng Tepe (northeastern Iran), in Paris.
- 1991-1997: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fellowship.