Mitra Panahipour

Visiting Assistant Professor 2019-21

Mitra Panahipour earned her BA in Archaeology from University of Tehran, her MA in Landscape Archaeology from University of Birmingham, and her PhD in Anthropological Archaeology from University of Arkansas (2019), where she obtained skills in remote sensing and geospatial techniques at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies.

Her research and teaching interests include human-environmental relationships in the ancient Near East, in particular in the wider Iranian world. She is also interested in documentation and preservation of cultural heritage.

In her dissertation, she explored dynamics of land use, environment, and social organization during the Sasanian period along the Sirwan and Alwand River valleys and foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Her forthcoming article, “Land Use and Environment in a Zone of Uncertainty: a Case of the Sasanian Expansion in Eastern Iraq—Western Iran”, presents the nature of an environmentally transitional landscape and how mobile and sedentary communities were spatially and socio-politically integrated. Results of her study show how populations employed different strategies in their interactions with microenvironmental diversity. Particularly, by applying models that illustrate both natural and anthropogenic features, she analyzes adaptation practiced through mobility and transformation practiced through intensification.

During her time at ISAW, Mitra will continue her interdisciplinary studies by combining archaeological survey, remote sensing techniques, textual and ethnoarchaeological records, and environmental data to reconstruct the past settlement and land use systems in the Zagros region of Iran and Iraq. She will expand inventory of archaeological features in varied microenvironments, including the highlands and steppe zones, and emphasize mobility, sedentism, and population transfer in peripheral landscapes.