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Pierfrancesco Callieri

Full Professor

Department of Cultural Heritage

Academic discipline: L-OR/16 Indian and Central Asian Archaeology and Art History


Keywords: sasanians north-west india archaeology achaemenids glyptics persepolis pottery iran Persian Gulf

1-Archaeological study and research on Fars (Southern Iran) between the beginning of the Achaemenid empire (6th century BC) and the end of the Sasanian empire (7th century AD). Since 2005 research has extended to field activity thanks to a MOU with the Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research. 2-Zoroastrian religious architecture (3rd-7th century AD). 3-Study of seals and sealings of Middle asia: iconography, technique and style, function.  4-Study for the publication of the excavations at the site of Barikot (Swat, Pakistan), directed by Callieri until 2000. 5-Informatic processing of the database on the pottery from Barikot.

1- Archaeology of Fars (Southern Iran) between the 6th century BC and the 7th century AD. The research directs to a period of the history of Iran which is extremely important, between the beginning of the Achaemenid empire and the end of the Sasanian empire. The research started in 2002 with the title: “At the roots of the Sasanians: Fars in the post-Achaemenid period”, and included the critical review of all the archaeological, epigraphical and literary sources to date available on the little known post-Achamenid period. Since 2005 the research extended to field work thanks to the invitation by the Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research (ICAR) to taking part in the programme of rescue excavations of the area to be submerged by the Sivand Dam lake, in the area of Pasargadae. The Irano-Italian joint Archaeological Mission of the University of Bologna and ICAR, having as the Italian co-director prof. Callieri, has carried out in 2005 and 2006 three excavation campaigns in two seleceted sites, bringing to light two rural settlements of the Achaemenid and post-Achaemenid periods, the first sites of rural nature to be excavated in Fars for the age in question.
Thanks to a new agreement with the ICAR, in October 2006 a new project started, with excavations on the central tell of Pasargadae, a site of great importance for Iranians due to the presence there of the tomb of Cyrus the Great, where the passage between the two ages could be studied thanks to the excavation of a trial trench in 2006 and 2007. The ceramic sequence obtained from the stratigraphic excavations is a reference for the whole region during the period 5th-1st century BC, also thanks to the several C14 datings on charcoal samples. The scientific importance of the project as well as the noteworthy international prestige resulted in a great effort of human resources and funding, with the participation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as of the Italian Institute for Africa and the East. In 2008 the multidisciplinary project "From Palace to Town", centered on Persepolis, started, aiming at locating the possible town settlement recorded by the written sources near the Achaemenid Terrace and at bringing a methodological update in conservation on the stone monuments. Ten excavation campaigns were conducted in 2008, 2009, 2011-2018 (Tol-e Ajori Monumental Gate in the Bagh-e Firuzi area) and four conservation campaigns, between 2008 and 2011. In 2019 a new project dedicated to southern Fars, between Firuzabad and the Persian Gulf, in the Early-Sasanid period was launched.
2-Religious architecture of Iran in the Sasanian period –
3-Pre-Islamic glyptics of Iran and Central Asia – 
4-Urban archaeology in NW India during the Hellenistic period  –
5-Pottery of NW India (4th century BC - 11th century AD)–

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