SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Archaeological Remains in the Land of the Bakhtiari

World famous archaeological sites in South West Iran include Susa – the capital of ancient Elam, and site of the Palace of Darius – and Luristan – with its ancient bronzes. The adjacent lands of the Bakhtiari are less archaeologically renowned, even though the “Macedonian soldiers of Alexander's army and Roman detachments of Valerian must have trodden many of the mountain roads, and occasionally garrisoned some strategic points.”

Despite this, several famous archaeologists visited, including Stein, Godard and Siroux. Other early European travellers – including Rawlinson, Layard and Sawyer – recorded an abundance of archaeological sites, even if they didn’t always know that much about what they were seeing.

Remnants of the forts and castles that the travellers saw, and that are mentioned in the poetry Lorimer translated, can still be seen:

However, this section here concentrates on the images available from:

Thanks are due to The Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago for permission to reproduce the aerial survey images, also to the BP archive. I have unfortunately been unable to trace the copyright holder of the other images, but would be glad to get more details of them.