Saint Louis University, USA
Ani Honarchian is an assistant professor of early Christianity at Saint Louis University. She is an historian of religion and works on Armenian and Syriac sources about and during the Sasanian and Early Islamic periods. She was a postdoc at the University of Utah and a postdoc fellow at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and the Committe for Studies of Late Antiquity at Princeton University. She earned her PhD in Near Eastern languages and cultures from the UCLA Armenian Studies Program. She has published articles and reviews in the Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies and the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies. She is currently working on a monograph that studies political theology concerns with fiscal, military, and learning matters. These issues are reflected in accounts written by ecclesiastical and lay figures connected to the Armenian Church and the Church of the East under the Sasanians.
Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
The British Museum, UK
Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis is curator of Middle Eastern coins at the British Museum, with responsibility of ancient Iranian coins and coins of the Islamic world. She is a member of the Academic Committee of the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF), senior advisor of the SOAS Shapporji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies at the University of London, and vice president of the British Institute of Persian Studies. She has published extensively on ancient Persian coins, art, culture, and mythology. She completed a joint collaborative project with the National Museum of Iran on Sasanian coins of 224–651 AD, which resulted in the publication of two volumes in 2010 and 2012. She is a director and co-editor with Dr. Michael Alram and Dr. Fabrizio Sinisi in Vienna of the International Parthian Coin Project and the Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum (SNP) and is coauthor of SNP 2: Mithradates II (122/1–91 BC). She contributed to a series of major exhibitions on Iran both in the British Museum (The Forgotten Empire in 2005–2006), as well the Cyrus Cylinder Exhibition in Tehran (2011–2012), the United States (2013), and Mumbai (2013–2014). She is particularly interested in the royal and religious iconography of the pre-Islamic period of Iran and Mesopotamia from the sixth century BC to the seventh century AD.
Kianoosh Motaghedi is an independent researcher in Islamic art based in Tehran, Iran. Since 2009, he has written extensively on Persian art and architecture from the eighteenth to the nineteenth centuries, publishing ten books and contributing regularly to exhibition catalogues and art magazines. From 2017 to 2018, he completed two fellowships with the Louvre Museum and Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. His current research mainly focuses on Qajar mural paintings and rock reliefs.
Judith A. Lerner
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Dr. Lerner is a research associate at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, and is coeditor of the series Inner and Central Asian Art and Archaeology. Judith A. Lerner is an art historian focusing on the visual culture of Greater Iran (i.e., Sasanian Persia and Sogdian Central Asia). As a specialist in glyptic art, she studies the seals and sealings of Achaemenid and Sasanian Iran, Bactria, and Sogdiana; she also publishes on the funerary furnishings of Sogdians and other Central Asians who lived in China and on the revival of Achaemenid and Sasanian imagery in Qajar relief sculpture of the nineteenth century. She has cocurated several exhibitions, including the National Museum of Asian Art online exhibition The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads.
University of Oregon
Mariachiara Gasparini is assistant professor of Chinese art and architectural history at the University of Oregon. Her interests include theoretical and visual investigation of Eurasian art and cultural history. In particular, her research focuses on Central Asian textiles, material culture, wall painting, artists’ praxis, and Sino-Iranian and Turko-Mongol interactions. She is the author ofTranscending Patterns: Silk Road Cultural and Artistic Interactions through Central Asian Textile Images(University of Hawai’i Press, 2020) and is currently coediting volume 6,Trade and Industry: Global Circulation of Local Manufacture, and the Migration and Consumption of Textile Products, Both Historically and Contemporaneously, of Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles. She is a recipient of the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS/NEH Program in China Studies Early Career Fellowship 2021–2022. Her new research project is titled Across the Tuyuhun-Tubo Kingdom: Visualizing Material Culture from Dunhuang to Sichuan between the 6th and 9th centuries.
University of Chicago, the Oriental Institute
Mehrnoush Soroush is a landscape archaeologist specializing in water management in the ancient Near East. She holds a PhD in the study of the ancient world from New York University (ISAW), an MA in architecture from the University of Tehran, Iran, and is currently an assistant professor in landscape archaeology in the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. She applies remote sensing and Geographic Information System to study the archaeological remains of ancient cities and their hydraulic infrastructures. She has (re)examined the history of canal irrigation in the Sasanian and early Islamic periods. As the assistant director of the Harvard-led Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey (EPAS), she is now investigating human-water interactions on the highlands of Northern Mesopotamia—in particular, the timing and cause(s) of the shift of this historically dry-farmed plain to one irrigated by subterranean qanat systems that dominated the landscape in the later medieval periods.
National Center for Scientific Research, France
Anca Dan is assistant research professor of ancient history and archaeology at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the École Normale Supérieure (Paris, France). Her primary research interests center on premodern geography and ethnography, with a particular emphasis on the mutual transfers that shaped Hellenism and the cultures around the Greco-Roman world. After her studies in Paris and Reims, Dan received several postdoctoral fellowships in Athens, Berlin, and Washington, DC. Her books include Cœlé-Syrie: Palestine, Judée, Pérée (with É. Nodet, Peeters, 2017); The Library of Alexandria: A Cultural Crossroads of the Ancient World (ed. with C. Rico, Polis Institute Press, 2017); Orbis disciplinae: Hommages en l’honneur de Patrick Gautier Dalché (ed. with N. Bouloux, G. Tolias, Brepols, 2017); and Études des fleuves d’Asie Mineure dans l’Antiquité (ed. with S. Lebreton, Artois, 2018). Currently, she is collaborating with Frantz Grenet on the study of the Iranian and Greek cultural interactions in pre-Islamic Bactriana and Sogdiana.
Collège de France, France
Frantz Grenet is professor at the Collège de France (Paris) and chair of History and Cultures of Pre-Islamic Central Asia. He was professor of history and archaeology of Central Asia at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris (1972–1977), deputy director of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan (1977–1981), director of the French-Uzbek Archaeological Mission in Sogdiana (1989–2014), professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris) (1999–2014), and chair ofReligions of the Ancient Iranian World.
Dr. Grenet has conducted field missions in Afghanistan (2004, 2012). He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, corresponding member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Paris), president of the Association pour l’Avancement des Etudes Iraniennes (Paris), board member of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum (London), and honorary citizen of Samarkand (2018). Dr. Grenet has edited or coedited seven collective volumes and about 220 articles in referenced journals. His publications include: Les pratiques funéraires dans l’Asie centrale sédentaire: de la conquête grecque à l’islamisation (CNRS, 1984); A History of Zoroastrianism: Zoroastrianism under Macedonian and Roman Rule (with Mary Boyce, Brill, 1991); La geste d’Ardashir fils de Pâbak (A Die, 2003); and The Golden Journey to Samarkand (2017). He is presently preparing the publication of Early Sogdian Inscriptions and Documents (with Nicholas Sims-Williams).
Giusto Traina is full professor of Roman history at Sorbonne Université and is a former senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He was visiting professor in several European universities and was Dumanian Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at the University of Chicago (spring term, 2017). A specialist of the relations between Rome and the East, especially with the Persianate world, he has authored several books, articles, and translations (from ancient Greek and Classical Armenian). His most famous book in the Anglophone world is 428 AD: An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empire (Princeton University Press, 2009), translated from the 2007 original Italian edition (see now the updated French edition, Paris, 2020). He recently published a brief introduction to Armenian history (Storia degli armeni, Bologna, 2020, with Aldo Ferrari) and co-organized the international conference “Ancient Armenia in Context: The Kingdom of Greater Armenia and Its Neighbours” (Münster 2019), published in the 2021 issue of Electrum. He is currently preparing a monograph on The Kingdom of Greater Armenia, 188 BCE-428 BCE (Princeton University Press).
University of California, Irvine
Touraj Daryaee is the Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies & Culture and the director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture at the University of California, Irvine. His work revolves around the history of the Sasanian Empire and the Iranian world. He is the author of Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (I.B. Tauris, 2009) and is the editor in chief of the E.J. Brill Ancient Iran Series. He is also the editor of Sasanian Studies (Harrassowitz, 2022) as well as Dabir, an online journal at UC Irvine.
Dr. Derek Kennet is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. He researches the archaeology of the Gulf and Indian Ocean from prehistoric times to the modern period, but particularly during the Sasanian and Islamic periods. He has conducted fieldwork in many countries in the region, including the Sultanate of Oman, the UAE, Kuwait, Iran, China, and India. His current research looks particularly at the development of Indian Ocean trade between China and the Islamic Middle East in the medieval period. In 2013, he was awarded a prestigious five-year research grant by the Anglo-Omani Society to research the archaeology of Rustaq and the surrounding areas of the Batinah coastal plain. The fieldwork for this project has just come to an end and the results are now being prepared for publication.
Seth Priestman is an archaeologist and ceramic specialist with a track record of research and publication across Arabia, Iran, the Caucasus, East Africa, and Japan. His main research, including his doctoral study, focuses on long-term changes in the maritime economy of the Indian Ocean region and the Gulf using ceramic finds as a proxy for wider historic reconstruction. This work culminated last year in his major two-volume publication, Ceramic Exchange and the Indian Ocean Economy, published by the British Museum. Dr. Priestman has previously held research positions with the British Museum and the Universities of Durham, Edinburgh, and Southampton. He has also worked widely in private consultancy for museum development and heritage protection projects across the GCC. He currently holds the post of honorary research fellow in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University.
University of Leeds
Rebecca Darley is associate professor of global history at the University of Leeds (UK). Her work focuses on the history of the Western Indian Ocean in the first millennium CE and on the East Roman/Byzantine Empire, as well as on all things numismatic.
Matthew P. Canepa
University of California, Irvine
Matthew P. Canepa is professor and Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran at the University of California, Irvine. He is director of UCI’s PhD program in visual studies and is the founder and director of UCI’s interdisciplinary graduate specialization in ancient Iran and the premodern Persianate world. Professor Canepa’s most recent book is The Iranian Expanse: Transforming Royal Identity through Architecture, Landscape, and the Built Environment, 550 BCE–642 CE (University of California Press, 2020), which won the 2020 James R. Wiseman Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America. Among current projects, he is editing a volume titled Persian Cultures of Power and the Entanglement of the Afro-Eurasian World, which is in production with Getty Research Institute Publications.
Prudence Oliver Harper
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Prudence Oliver Harper has been Curator Emerita in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1999. She was curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1973–1999 and has excavated in Jordan, Iraq, and Iran. Dr. Harper is the president of the American Institute of Iranian Studies and a trustee of the American Society of Overseas Research, the Vladimir G. Lukonin Fund, the British Museum, and the American School of Iranian Studies. She was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute. She has written on a wide variety of subjects relating to the art and archaeology of the pre-Islamic Near East, with special focus on the art of the Sasanian period, and is the author of Sasanian Remains from Qasr-i Abu Nasr: Seals, Sealings, and Coins (ed. R.N. Frye, Harvard University Press, 1973); The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire (Asia Society, 1978); Silver Vessels of the Sasanian Period, Vol. 1: Royal Imagery (with technical notes by P. Meyers, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981); and In Search of a Cultural Identity: Monuments and Artifacts of the Sasanian Near East, 3rd to 7th Century A.D. (Mazda Publishers, 2006).
University of Hamburg, Germany
Shervin Farridnejad is professor of Iranian studies at the University of Hamburg. He is also a member of the Cluster of Excellence Understanding Written Artefacts as well as the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on the Zoroastrian art, literature, and rituals from antiquity to the modern period. He also works on manuscript cultures and intellectual history of Jewish and Zoroastrian Islamicate communities in Iran and India, ranging from the Zoroastrian to the Judeo-Persian classical and early modern literature. Among his recent publications: Die Sprache der Bilder: Eine Studie zur ikonographischen Exegese der anthropomorphen Götterbilder im Zoroastrismus (Harrassowitz, 2018); The Banquet for the Gods: Sacrificial Meat and Bread as the Main Ritual Foods in Zoroastrian Liturgies (2022); and “Under the Banner of the Mane.” Pahlavi Letters and the Sasanian Art of Epistolography. An Unpublished Pahlavi Papyrus Letter from Sasanian Egypt, P.Pehl. 569 (Sasanian Studies Vol. I, 2022).
Shahid Beheshti University, Iran
Negin Miri has been assistant professor in the Department of Archeology at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, since 2013. She received her BA in archaeology from the University of Tehran in 2001 and her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2008. Her dissertation examines the administrative and historical geography of the Fars province during the Sasanian and Early Islamic periods, part of which was edited and published in Sasanian Pars: Historical Geography and Administrative Organization in 2012. She has participated in several surveys and excavations in Iran, mainly in Khuzestan province. Her main interests are Sasanian archaeology and culture—in particular, its administrative and historical geography, Sasanian monumental rock reliefs, and sealing practices as well as the history of Iranian archaeology development.