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Archaeological Institute of America Lecture: Power and Authority at the Edge of Empire in Ancient Persia
Dr. Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre, assistant professor of Greek and Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, joins us to talk about Power and Authority at the Edge of Empire in Ancient Persia.
From c. 550-330 BCE, the Achaemenid Persian empire stretched from the Aegean to the Indus, from Egypt to the Central Asian Republics -- the largest sociopolitical entity the world had ever seen, only brought to its knees by the conquest of Alexander the Great. What was the impact of the empire on the peoples of Anatolia (modern Turkey) at the western edge of its reaches? This talk examines imperially significant behaviors such as government strategies, controlling and protecting the western reaches of the empire, drinking and dining, dealing with the dead, and worshiping the gods. Intensive investigation of archaeological and literary sources shows that the Achaemenid administration, with its seats in Iran, exerted tremendous authority over particular aspects of living in Anatolia while allowing great autonomy in other aspects. The talk illuminates Persian might and imperial strategy as well as local culture and resistance.