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ResourceScapes in the Iranian Highlands

12. September 2022 - 13. September 2022

ResourceScapes in the Iranian Highlands – Water, Wind and Minerals as Factors of Appropriation and Integration, Bochum / September 12th and 13th, 2022

The Iranian central plateau, just as the entire Iranian highlands, has been shaped by very specific resource conditions in some cases. This affects different weather phenomena (e.g. the so-called wind of 120 days: bad-e sad-e-bist ruz) as well as the degree of aridisation or the varying degrees of available mineral raw materials. These conditions have favoured the development of different but also specific practices with and knowledge-complexes about individual resources within past societies. Everyday practices of resource acquisition and use can thus be understood as culturally integrating latent factors, which in turn have to be examined diachronically in regards to their particular appearance, their temporal representation as well as their effect on subsistence and exchange systems.

Therefore, the workshop will start with lectures on environmental conditions during the Holocene, discussing diachronic change in living conditions and resource availabilities in the arid zones of the Central Plateau. They possibly have favoured the development of specific technologies, but conversely, they also highlight tipping points that led to the emergence of approving or crisis-ridden perceptions in societies. In particular, the interdependence on water supply, specific forms of herd use and nomadism, wind use, and the appropriation of raw materials are to be discussed in individual sections of the conference each with three to five lectures.


  • Fundamentals of a specific environment: climate, vegetation, soils and land-use potentials
  • Water use and hydraulic engineering systems
  • Practices in wind use
  • Appropriation of landscape by (traditional) subsistence systems
  • Appropriation of raw materials and mining in premodern Iran

 Here you can find the programme of the workshop.

Here you can find the abstract reader of the workshop.



DFG-Priority-Programme (SPP) 2176: The Iranian Highland: Resiliences and Integration in Premodern Societies


In particular:

Professor Dr. Thomas Stöllner (Ruhr-Universität Bochum and German Mining Museum),

Dr Kristina A. Franke (Ruhr-Universität Bochum and German Mining Museum)

PD Dr. Martin Kehl (Universität zu Köln)

Dr. Nima Nezafati (German Mining Museum)

Dr. Moslem Mishmastnehi (Universität Bamberg)


For further information on the Iranian Highlands DFG-Priority-Programme 2176:




or visit our current online exhibition ‘Death by Salt’ with the DFG-SPP2176 presented on the (virtual) 2nd floor:





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