Finding and ‘heritaging’ women in the landlord villages of Iran

Author(s): Ruth Young

Year: 2016


The landlord villages of Iran were owned by a powerful, usually absentee landlord, who had near-total control over the political, economic and social lives of all those living within them. A range of sources describe the male occupants of the villages, and when reading historical and anthropological studies of landlord villages, it would be easy to think they were occupied by an amorphous mass of (male) peasants living in extreme poverty, who were subject entirely to the will of the (male) landlord. Women within the village were either those in farming families who were briefly mentioned in terms of their economic and family roles in connection with the male farmers; or the wives and daughters of landlords, who are scarcely mentioned.

Within our historical archaeology project we wanted to restore women to these villages, through analysis of village material culture informed by new ethnographic work, and to explore relations between different classes of women and how these class identities were articulated through material culture. We now face challenges around how to present these remains of recent, unpalatable history as heritage, and also how to tell the stories of the women who lived here, or were part of landlord families.

Cite this Record

Finding and ‘heritaging’ women in the landlord villages of Iran. Ruth Young. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403630)