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Sasanian PersiaBetween Rome and the Steppes of Eurasia$
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Eberhard Sauer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401012

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

Sasanian Cities: Archaeological Perspectives on the Urban Economy and Built Environment of an Empire

Sasanian Cities: Archaeological Perspectives on the Urban Economy and Built Environment of an Empire

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Sasanian Cities: Archaeological Perspectives on the Urban Economy and Built Environment of an Empire
Source:
Sasanian Persia
Author(s):

St John Simpson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401012.003.0002

The Sasanian Empire had many large, multicultural and typically heavily defended cities. Literary sources are filled with direct or indirect references to the deportation or internal transfer of populations from one region to another, and boosting the urban population was clearly an important part of imperial economic planning, but there has been relatively little study of Sasanian urbanism. This chapter provides a timely overview by re-examining the archaeological evidence for the physical appearance and distribution of some of these urban centres, discusses their forms, and uses Google imagery to locate two previously archaeologically unrecorded cities which feature in the Arab conquest and Heraclius’ campaign shortly before. It goes on to use the excavated evidence from three city sites in Iraq, Iran and Turkmenistan to illustrate the physical appearance of residential and/or commercial quarters, and concludes with some observations on the importance of the Sasanian urban economy.

Keywords:   Mesopotamia, Round cities, Sasanian cities, Urban archaeology, Urban foundations, Urbanism

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