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Maps and Resources


The period covered by Ancient Iran (ca. 550 BC-651 CE) witnessed the rise and fall of four major empires.

One recurring piece of feedback we got from hosting Ancient Iran Day was a request for more background information. When did the different Iranian empires exist? What areas did they cover? What set them apart from one another?

In the pages below, you can orient yourself to Iran's history, geography, and past, along with online resources to explore more.

  • Timeline and Maps - A quick guide to the major phases of Iran's history before Islam. An array of maps tracks the country's fluctuating borders and explains what we mean by "Iran" in each period.
  • Online Resources - A select list of some of our favorite websites about Ancient Iran. 

Right: Sasanian silver plate depicting a lion hunt by an unknown Iranian king. Late Sasanian period, ca. 6th-7th century CE

To read about the activities, lectures, and events that the University of Washington organized to educate the public about Ancient Iran, navigate to Ancient Iran Day or explore our virtual displays under Exhibits, or see pictures of artifacts and important sites by going to the Daniel Waugh Archive.