Skip to main content
Cover for Imperial Matter

Imperial Matter

Ancient Persia and the Archaeology of Empires

Lori Khatchadourian


List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s new open access publishing program. Visit to learn more.

What is the role of the material world in shaping the tensions and paradoxes of imperial sovereignty? Scholars have long shed light on the complex processes of conquest, extraction, and colonialism under imperial rule. But imperialism has usually been cast as an exclusively human drama, one in which the world of matter does not play an active role. Lori Khatchadourian argues instead that things—from everyday objects to monumental buildings—profoundly shape social and political life under empire. Out of the archaeology of ancient Persia and the South Caucasus, Imperial Matter advances powerful new analytical approaches to the study of imperialism writ large and should be read by scholars working on empire across the humanities and social sciences.

Praise For Imperial Matter: Ancient Persia and the Archaeology of Empires

"The whole book is deeply informed, showing mastery of all kinds of archaeological evidence, with richly informative endnotes. . . . Those of us interested in the archaeology of the region and Achaemenid studies more generally owe Khatchadourian . . . a deep debt of gratitude for so advancing our field."
— Ancient West and East

University of California Press, 9780520290525, 330pp.

Publication Date: March 18, 2016

About the Author

Lori Khatchadourian is Associate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University.