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Staff Profile

Ms Armineh Marghussian

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Research Topic

Ceramic techniques, typologies and stylistic phylogenesis: reassessing the prehistoric ceramics of the Central Plateau of Iran


Since the beginning of archaeological studies in Iran, ceramics from the Central Plateau of Iran have been studied in a traditional manner using descriptive and classification methodologies. This new project aims to provide valuable new insight into ceramics studies in this region utilising scientific analyses. The significance of this research is that, by combining stylistic phylogenesis (Washburn 1990 apply cladistic methods of phylogenetic reconstruction to analyse decorative characters on ceramics), scientific techniques and typological classification methodologies, it aims to bridge the gap in our knowledge by comparing the stylistic and manufacturing development of ceramics produced on the Central Iranian plateau. This project will utilise newly excavated ceramics from the key C14-dated (6th to 5th millennium B.C.) sequences of Tepe Pardis in the Tehran plain (2003, 2005 & 2006), Ebrahimabad in the Qazvin plain (2006) and also Sialk in the Kashan plain (2008 & 2009).

  Equally important, this project will also combine elemental analysis and techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), with conventional archaeological methodologies to the production and distribution of ceramics within the Central Plateau in prehistory. Specifically, I will address the issue of provenance using various types of x-ray analysis [X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffractometry (XRD), (SEM) and (EDS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) techniques.

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology

  • Prehistory of Eurasia Research Group


Chapter in book

  • Fazeli, H., Coningham, R.A.E., Marghussian, A., Manuel, M.J., Azizi, H. & Pollard, A.M. (2013). Mapping the Neolithic occupation of the Kashan, Tehran and Qazvin Plains. In The Neolithisation of Iran: the formation of new societies. Matthews, R. & Fazeli, H. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 114-135.

Journal Article

  • Marghussian, A.K., Fazeli, H. & Sarpoolaki, H. (2009). Chemical - mineralogical analyses and microstructural studies of prehistoric pottery from Rahmatabad, south-west Iran. Archaeometry 51: 733-747.
  • Nashli, Fazeli, Beshkani, H., Marghussian, A., Ilkhani, H., Abbasnegad Seresty, R. & Young, R. (2009). The Neolithic to Chalcolithic transition in the Qazvin Plain, Iran: chronology and subsistence strategies. Archäologische Mitteilungen Aus Iran and Turan 41: 1-21.