You are here : Version anglaise > Fellows > Previous promotions > Fellows 2019-2020

Short stay


Archeology - Iran

Contact details

Research topics


A Comparative Study of Weapons from Iran and Caucasus from the Late Bronze Age into the Iron Age, 1500-550 B.C

Cultural interactions/affinities between Iran and the Caucasus region during the late Bronze to the Iron Age has been attested by various archaeological data. The period (from ca. 1500 B.C. to early first millennium B.C.) is characterized by great changes in the whole ancient world which is correspond to social and cultural transformations in vast dimension in the world history following to a long period of unrest in which extreme political, cultural, economic fragmentation occurred, and followed by a unified system of power at the Late Iron Ages (Cline, 2014).

The reasons for such a drastic change in the Eastern half of the Middle East is lacking systematic archaeological studies, but the period is marked out by arrival of Indo-European peoples into the Middle East who introduced a new concept of war at the beginning of the second Millennium BC, by use of new weaponry (Oakeshott, 1960: 21- 25). It is not logical to interpret all the changes only in terms of warfare and weaponry, however, the feedback between the level of military affairs and social development from the technical, economic, and political viewpoint is generally acknowledged.
A look at the weaponry repertoire from Iran belonging to the Late Bronze-Early Iron Ages is representative of impressive development and changes in quantity and typology of this material culture. The results of recent studies on arms and armors from this period in Iran, especially from northwestern and southern Caspian Sea regions, demonstrated close affinities with those of the Caucasus, a trend which continued throughout Iron Ages to the Achaemenid period.
In this regard the present project is to do a detailed and comparative restudy and analysis of the both oled and newly recovered weaponry from Caucasian sites in terms of typo-chronology, morphology and technology in a wider/larger tempo-spatial perspective in order to reponse questions concerning the development and distribution of this newly developing weaponry tradition of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in Caucasus and Iran as well as an understanding of the cultural interactions between the ancient Iran and Caucasus during the Late Bronze-Early Iron Age transition as the key-period for such cultural exchanges.

This study program aims to examine

  • Whether the re-examination of this vast amount of cultural material from Caucasus region can provide us some clues about the origins, emergence, and development of such weapon technology in the region and Iran as well?
  • The relation between this weaponry tradition and the arrival and distribution of Indo-European people in Caucasus and Iran?
  • The role of these weapons in changes in military practices in the Middle East?
  • Regarding the fact that a large number of weapons were reported laid in graves of men and women, whether these objects are related to specific funerary practices?

For these we have four several types of source material available:

  • Material culture, including a wide range of weaponry both the material from excavations led by Morgan in Azerbaijan as well as the recent discoveries and the material in collections of museums.
  • Texts, in a wide range of genres including royal inscriptions, year names, autobiographies, letters, and administrative texts.
  • Martial artwork: artistic representations the weapons and soldiers in military operations.

These material cultures, from an archaeological perspective, are the most reliable ones, as they are bearing to a large variety of information.

Activities / Resume


Zahra Kouzehgari is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the University of Art and Architecture of Pars, Tehran, Iran, since 2016, where she has been teaching topics covering the art and archaeology of Iranian Bronze and Iron Age cultures as well as Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Egypt. She also has been teaching as a guest lecturer at the Art University of Tehran since 2011.
The main focus of her research is in the area of war studies in the ancient times, as well as the ancient weapon and weaponry and the role of war and warfare in changing the ancient societies in Iran prior to the Achaemenid period. She is also conducting some studies on chaos theory, trying to make a synthesis between archaeology and developing science of chaos theory (with specific focus on social structures). In contrast to the general linear cause and effect methods in archaeology, application of chaos theory in interpreting the ancient social structures in a non-linear approach may lead to a deeper understanding and insight into the ancient social structures which were previously incomprehensible.
She also has taken part in various archeological excavations conducted at Achaemenid precinct area at Pasargadae, Iran, (2019, 2018, 2017), Cham-e Shir, Ghachsaran, Iran (2019), Tol-e Kamin, Fars, Iran (2017), Urartian citadel at Van (ancient Tušpa) Turkey, Van (2015), Late Sassanid and Early Islamic site at Vigol, Kashan, Iran (2010), and proto-literate site at Pishva, Varamin, Iran (2008). She has completed her doctorate studies in Archaeology at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran in 2016. She had passed a research period at Research Center for History and Archaeology of Van Region, in 2015, Istanbul University, Turkey. She earned her master’s degree in archaeology from Art University of Isfahan, Iran in 2011 and her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Tabriz University in 2008.


  • Kouzehgari, Z., Nobari, A., R., Mousavi, S., H., Niknami, K, A, 2018 (in press), “Studying Evolutions in the Iron Age societies in Western Half of Iran with Regard to Iron Age Chronology and Related Theories”, Journal of historical sociology, Tarbiat Modares University.
  • Kouzehgari, Z., Nobari, A., R., Mousavi, S., H., Niknami, K, A, 2015, “A New Look at Spike Butted Axes/Adzes in Iran”, Socrate Journals, p.40- 61. San Francisco California.
  • Nobari, A., R., Kouzehgari, Z., Mousavi, S., H., Niknami, K, 2015, “A Chronological Overview on some Ziwiye belts”, Sociology and Anthropology, Vol. 3, no.3, p. 186-192, Oakland California.
  • Kouzehgari, Z. (2014). “Achaemenid Jewellery, Iranian Jewels”, Pajouhesh Honar (in Farsi), Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. Pp. 75- 95.
  • Kouzehgari, Z. (2013). “Weapons Depicted on Hasanlu Gold Bowl”, Marzban Name (in Farsi), Tehran, Iran, p. 150-162.
  • Kouzehgari, Z. (2014). Whether Chaos theory can reconstruct ancient societies, ICA: International Conference on Archaeology, held on 22-23 Dec 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Kouzehgari, Z. (2014). Conflict stop by peace-tourism development in the Middle - East, 18th ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, held on 10-14 Nov 2014, Florence, Italy.
  • Kouzehgari, Z., Salehi, A., (2014). Political Thinking and the Military Architecture in the Ancient Middle East; A Comparative Study on Assyria, Urartu and Western Iran Military Architecture, ARCHITHEO 14 conference, held on 6-8 Nov 2014, Istanbul Turkey.
  • Kouzehgari, Z. (2012). Peace Metaphors in Achaemenid Architecture, 4th international South Asian Archaeological Symposium, Zabol University, Sistan, Iran.