Mitra Panahipour

Visiting Assistant Professor 2019-21

Mitra Panahipour is an anthropological archaeologist, specializing in landscape archaeology, remote sensing techniques, geospatial analysis, and historical periods in the ancient Near/Middle East, in particular Iran and the wider Iranian region. Since joining ISAW in 2019, Mitra has initiated a research project to revisit Deh Luran archaeological landscape, located between the highlands of the Zagros Mountains and lowlands of Khuzestan. As home to some of the earliest prehistoric investigations and ethnoarchaeological observations in the region, first surveys and excavations in Deh Luran resulted in significant discoveries of the development of social complexity, early agricultural settlements, water management and irrigation techniques, and the relations between highlands and lowlands. In this project, she is applying an interdisciplinary method by using results of the past records, in conjunction with recent landscape surveys, various remote sensing and geospatial analyses, environmental data, and ethnoarchaeological records to examine long term patterns of settlement, land use practices, and relations between sedentary and mobile communities throughout Deh Luran's history. In addition, she is aiming to elucidate chronologies, patterns of occupation, and land use during its later historical periods.

Her recent 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. She received her BA in Archaeology from the University of Tehran, her MA in Landscape Archaeology from the University of Birmingham, and her PhD in Anthropological Archaeology from the University of Arkansas, where she obtained skills at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies.