Fellow Program 2021

The Iranian-German DFG Priority Program (SPP 2176) 'The Iranian Highlands: Resilience and Integration of Premodern Societies' invites applications for a new Fellow Program in 2021. This fellowship supports short-term research visits for young researchers (early career researchers) at universities or institutions that are associated with the SPP 2176.
The SPP 2176 is an interdisciplinary research program focusing on expressions of resilience in premodern Iranian Highland communities, their environment and long-term developments in the Iranian Highlands. It is represented by 12 individual projects employing archaeology, inorganic and organic archaeometry, geo-sciences, ancient history, Near Eastern studies and linguistic research. Key research areas are: i) Landscapes and raw material regimes; ii) Daily life and institution; iii) Mobility and networks.
We invite researchers and particularly Iranian young researchers to submit proposals for the Fellow Program 2021 to carry out their own research in cooperation with a university or institution that is associated with the SPP 2176. Young researchers can apply for the funds by submitting separate applications for travel cost and research expenses. For both forms of applications (travel and research) the agreement of the respective institution is required. In addition to the fellowship, a family allowance for parents with young children can be granted. Due to the current situation the program will additionally support successful applicants in mandatory measures related to Covid-19 when necessary. The following average rates can be considered as a guideline for the Fellow Program:


Travel costs / fellows from Iran: up to € 800,-
Travel costs / fellows from Europe: up to € 500,-
Travel costs / fellows from Overseas other than Iran: up to € 1000,-
Research grants for Iranian scientists: up to € 2500,-
Family Allowance: up to € 800,-


Applications should consist of a brief project description (max. 700 words) including project goals, applied methods, a research schedule, a feasible and detailed budget plan and a commitment from the host university or institution for research and/or travel costs.
The Fellow Program supports any kind of research activity (e.g. archaeological, laboratory or archival research, museum studies, or workshop or conference contributions) but proposals have to relate to at least one of the listed key research areas; proposals must be submitted in English.
The deadline for submission is 15. November 2020. Proposals submitted after the deadline and proposals that do not meet the above listed requirements will not be considered.
Successful applicants will be notified in January 2021.


Please send your application to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


For details of the program, please check https://iranhighlands.com/index.php/en/ or https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/402379177?language=en 
For questions, the committee of the grants program is at your disposal: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*** Please note that 'The Iranian Highlands' Fellow Program also includes opportunities for Senior and Junior Fellows starting in late 2021. ***

Applicant: Professor Dr. Thomas Stöllner
Deutsches Bergbau-Museum (DBM)
Forschungsstelle Archäologie und Materialwissenschaft
Forschungsbereich Montanarchäologie
Subject Area: Prehistory
Term: since 2019
Project identifier: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Projekt number 424635418

Project Description

The arid highlands of Iran are characterized by an enormous richness in mineral resources. Although the region is dominated by the poverty of water, by pastoral systems and horticultural systems in oases, sustainable strategies were achieved by highland societies to manage to manage the exploitation of these resources and to establish their exploitation and to establish very specific raw material regimes that were able to distribute this wealth. The societal and economic influence can be envisaged especially during the beginnings of metallurgy during the 5th and 4th mill. BCE, in the initial phases of the Iron Age and especially during the Achaemenid and Sasanian empires when mineral resources became important factors of political strategies. This was possible on the basis of rural systems that were capable of developing resilient living and subsistence strategies that allowed exploitation of local and regional resources successfully and continuously. Important adaptations to landscape and climate conditions can be observed in rural life worlds from the North-West to the South-East of Iran alongside the mountainous backbone of the Iranian deposits, the Urumieh-Dokhtar copper belt. This project aims to investigate different technical, economic and social concepts that went alongside metal ore and salt mining and exploitation in that vast region. This will provide insight into specific strategies of highland communities and their change from prehistoric to historical periods. Besides the salt-mining landscape around the salt-mine of Chehrabad, the project plans to investigate mining and metallurgical production-centres and their settlement and subsistence systems near Takestan and Shakin (Qazvin province), the area of the copper and lead-zinc deposits of Anarak (Nakhlak and Baqoroq), and the early copper mining society of Tall-i Iblis at the Bardsir-valley in Kerman. Examples of four different time-periods will be investigated by help of surveys, small-scale excavations in mines and single settlement and production-sites and compared to each other in a structural sense (layout of installations and infrastructure, subsistence strategy, economic strategy).