Iran's Use of Ancient Art and Architecture to Construct a National Identity
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In the sixth century BCE, the Achaemenid Persian Empire stretched from the Nile River to the Indus Valley, incorporating the art of conquered civilizations into a collective Persian culture. In twentieth century Iran, the Pahlavi Shahs utilized this Achaemenid past in an attempt to fabricate a national narrative. However, it is unclear how the role of antiquity in Iran has changed since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that overthrew the Shah. My research takes an interdisciplinary approach, employing a modern perspective of nationalist theory in order to better understand the art of antiquity and its use in Iran since the beginning of Reza Shah Pahlavi’s reign in 1925. Through looking at textbooks, the architecture of government buildings, museum exhibitions and lectures, archaeological research and conservation projects, and festivals, this project seeks to add to the understanding of the government’s role in utilizing antiquity to invent a national identity.
Matlock, Rebecca C (2018). Iran's Use of Ancient Art and Architecture to Construct a National Identity. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from