Conflict Landscapes: Materiality and Meaning in Contested Places
Shepperson, M., 2021. A Parthian city in the Iran-Iraq war: Incorporating the ancient site of Charax Spasinou into a modern conflict landscape. In N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds.), Conflict Landscapes: Materiality and Meaning in Contested Places. Abingdon: Routledge (in press).
About the Book
The Iran-Iraq war had a profound impact on the landscape of southern Iraq. On the flat alluvial plain, Iraqi engineers moved huge quantities of earth over hundreds of kilometres to form complex defensive positions. Ancient archaeological sites were incorporated into the defences, often providing valuable rising ground and occasionally other defensively useful features.
The great Parthian city of Charax Spasinou lies 40km north of Basra. During the 1980s, the site became part of key Iraqi defensive lines protecting Basra, and its ancient ramparts were remodelled for 20th century warfare. New archaeological work at Charax Spasinou is providing an opportunity to record this fast-disappearing conflict landscape and to consider the relationship between modern conflict features, ancient sites and archaeological investigation.