Political archaeology and the Growth of nationalism in historiography of Iran in early twenty century: the Case of Pirniya’s Ancient History

Document Type : Research Paper


The Academic member of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


It is argued that whenever the political situation provides a favourable environment, the archaeological activities have been encouraged to provoke nationalism, and historians in various capacities have used archaeological data and historical records to advocate nationalist agendas.  Owing to its rich archaeological and historical past and its contemporary socio-cultural diversity, Iran is, particularly interesting for exploring the connection between archaeological activities and manipulations of historical records, especially by taking into account the re-establishment of Achaemenid history by late nineteen century and then the rise of Reza Khan to power in the early twentieth century.
Those developments, however, left a deeper impact on Iranian Historiography which the case of Pirniya’s Ancient History will be discussed in this paper. In this paper the process of establishment of Achaemenid history is reviewed and then, it has been argued that how the archaeological activities and re- establishment of Achaemenid history raised the historical nationalism and led to new trend in historiography of Iran in twenty century. It has been concluded that Pirniya’s approach to ancient history of Iran can be called as beginning of scholarly and modern historiography in Iran.