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The Zayandehrud River Speaks: Reading the Riverine Landscapes of Seventeenth-Century Isfahan

Sahar Hosseini, Rutgers University–Newark, Mellon Fellow 2018–2019, Fall

My doctoral dissertation explored the 17th-century urban development in Isfahan through the lens of its legendary Zayandehrud River. While at Dumbarton Oak, I worked on adapting the project for a book, adding new dimensions to it and working on the proposal. Part of this work included analyzing the data I collected during my summer fieldwork and archival work. The picture that emerged from examining these materials indicates the advent of a new place for the river in the urban life and imagination of Isfahani elites. I also expanded my discussion of Allahverdikhan Bridge by bringing hitherto-unexamined information to bear upon the sequence of its construction, adding new dimensions to the function and patronage of the bridge. In addition to these developments, I expanded the work by connecting the development of riverine landscapes of Isfahan to translocal flows of people, materials, and ideas. Beyond working on my book project, I also revised a journal article on the Safavid and Mughal urban bridges, presented at the Mellon Midday Dialogues, and attended two workshops about using mapping and digital tools in historical research.