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Hilary Gopnik is a Near Eastern archaeologist who specializes in the study of Iron Age Iran and the South Caucasus, with a focus on the Medes of the Zagros Mountains. She is currently the Director of the Centre for Ancient Cultures at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Gopnik received her BA in Anthropology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and her MA/PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research centred on Godin Tepe, one of the only archaeological sites that can be firmly identified with the Medes of Iran (8th to 6th c. BCE). She co-authored the final publication of that site: On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran.  Since 2008, Gopnik has shifted her archaeological focus from Iran northwards to Naxçivan Azerbaijan, where she is the co-director of excavations at the Iron Age (8th to 1st centuries BCE) citadel site of Oğlanqala (http://oglanqala.net/) funded by the National Science Foundation (USA). In the summer of 2013, this project began work at the nearby site of Qizqala which has settlement occupation lasting for some 2,000 years from the Bronze Age through the Iron Age. In 2016, Gopnik returned to Iran, to serve as the ceramicist for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) landscape archaeology project at the capital of Cyrus the great at Pasargadae. She will continue to be a senior member of that team through 2019. The summer of 2019 should also see the completion of the final field season of the Naxçivan Archaeological Project, with the prospect of renewing the Bronze Age component of that project into the future. 



  • Near Eastern Archaeology
  • Iranian Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Transcaucasia
  • Medes
  • Achaemenid Persia

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Research Output 1992 2017

The Median Confederacy

Gopnik, H., 4 Apr 2017, King of the Seven Climes: A History of the Ancient Iranian World (3000 BCE-651 CE ). Daryaee, T. (ed.). Irvine CA USA: Jordan center for Persian Studies, p. 39-62 24 p. (Ancient Iran Series; vol. IV).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

A view from the east: The Godin VI Oval and the Uruk Sphere

Gopnik, H., Reichel, C., Minc, L. & Elendari, R., Jun 2016, In : Journal of Archaeological Science : Reports. 7, p. 835-848 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Tempus Interruptus: Archaeological Explanation and the Unraised Columns of Oğlanqala Period III

Gopnik, H., 2016, Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics: : Rethinking Temporality and Community in Eurasian Archaeology. Weber, K. O., Hite, E., Khatchadourian, L. & Smith, A. T. (eds.). Leiden Netherlands: Brill, p. 32-55 24 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

On the Edge of Empire: 2008 and 2009 Excavations at Oğlanqala, Azerbaijan

Ristvet, L., Gopnik, H., Bakhshaliyev, V., Lau, H., Ashurov, S. G. & Bryant, R., 2012, In : american journal of archaeology. 116, 2, p. 321-362 42 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review