Near East Section Research at the Penn Museum

Hasanlu: often called the Pompeii of the Iron Age Near East, the destruction level at the site offers a unique picture of the life of a large settlement in this period.


The Hasanlu Project was centred around the Ushnu-Solduz valley, south of Lake Urmia, in the province of Western Azerbaijan, Iran.


Occupation levels on the sites excavated by the Hasanlu Project cover a time-span ranging from the Neolithic Period to Medieval times.


Project director: Robert H. Dyson, Jr., University of Pennsylvania


Project Overview

Between 1957 and 1977, the Hasanlu Project conducted a series of excavations and surveys on a number of sites in the Ushnu-Solduz valley in north-western Iran. The goal of the research was to reconstruct the cultural history of the region from the first Neolithic settlements to the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE. The project took its name from the most important of the sites it excavated: Tepe Hasanlu. Excavations at Tepe Hasanlu uncovered an extensive burned level, the result of a destruction event sometime in the Iron Age, offering a unique picture of the life of a large settlement in this period.

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