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PhD projects

Archaeology of Iran, Transcaucasus and Mesopotamia; Ceramics; Cultural Heritage Management

1992 …2023

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Personal profile


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 ( 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 has most recently received a 4-year (2021-2024) ARC Discovery Project Grant to continue her study of the Iron Age Median polities of Northwestern Iran.  


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research area keywords

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

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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