Landlord Villages of Iran as Landscapes of Hierarchy and Control

  • Hassan Fazeli NashliEmail author
  • Ruth YoungEmail author


This paper analyses the walled landlord villages of the Tehran Plain in terms of hierarchy and control, and how these structures are created and expressed through the spatial landscape of the villages. Drawing on original fieldwork, the ways in which landlords used the physicality of the villages to maintain and reinforce control over farmers is explored. We suggest that the “success” or at least longevity of the land tenure system in Iran prior to the later twentieth century can be attributed at least in part to the buildings and spaces of the villages themselves.


Landlord villages Tehran plain Hierarchy Spatial relations Control 



This project has been funded by the British Institute of Persian Studies. The authors would like to thank the following institutions and individuals: Iran Centre for Archaeological Research; University of Tehran; University of Leicester; Azad University, Varamin-Pishva; Iran National Museum; National Centre for Handicrafts and Heritage, Iran; American University of Beirut. Mr. Pooria Saeedi (draughtsman), Ms. Hengameh Ilkani (ethnographer and translator), Ms. Minoo Salimi (ethnographer and archaeologist), Ms. Maryam Naimi (ethnographer, translator and archaeologist), Ms. Nastaran Moradi, Mr. Amir Arab, Mr. Abolfazl Moheban, Mr. Hassan Asghari, Mr. Sajjad Arabsharab, Mr. Mohammad Sadeghi, (all archaeologists); Mr. Suleymanye (driver), Mr. Ali Abargarhoui, Mr. Haj Ahmed Akbari, Mr. Haj Abolgasm Ghodsi, Mr. Hassan Hosseini, Mr. Khale Khoui, Mr. Haj Akbar Mahabadi, Mrs. Kouchak, Ms. Jamileh Emem Ghouli and the Kazempour family, Mr. Mohummad Hossein Mohseni, Mr. Hassan Rahimi, Mr. Mohsen Arab Salmani, Mr. Abas Ramazon Zadeh, Mr. Haj Mahmoudh Zaraei, Mr. Faraj Uriyat, Mr. Aziz Uriyat, Mr. Mahmod Sahriai, Mrs. Zahra Jamali, and Mr. Jafari; Graeme Barker, University of Cambridge; Robin Coningham, Durham University; Audrey Horning, Queen’s University Belfast; Timothy Insoll, University of Manchester; Paul Newson, American University of Beirut; Ian Reeds, University of Leicester. We are also very grateful to the Centre for Historical Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester and the inspiration and help provided by members.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.School of Archaeology and Ancient HistoryUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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