New publications

I am happy to report the (fairly) recent publication of two essays of mine. First, last month my essay “The Canon of Ancient Iranian Art: From Grand Narratives to Local Perspectives” was published in Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, edited by Amy Gansell and Ann Shafer (Oxford University Press). Hard copies of the book are only just now available. In this essay I argue that the ‘canon’ of ancient Iranian art arose from a combination of excavated sites and unprovenanced objects, which were organized into a historical sequence. This results in a canon that favors similarity over local variation, and obscures the richness of Iran’s archaeological record.

The second paper, co-authored with Dr. A. M. Belis, is a publication of an Urartian belt in the J. Paul Getty Museum, with a discussion of the origin of the ‘Parthian shot,’ as both an artistic motif and a military tactic. We suggest that it was first used by the Urartians, and the Assyrians were consequently the first to depict it, in a relief at the Northwest Palace at Nimrud. It is published in volume 12 of the Getty Research Journal.