International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 513–528 | Cite as

The Last Episode of an Iranian Teacher’s Bag: Children’s Lives as the Smaller Copies of their Parents’ in Contemporary Iran

  • Leila Papoli Yazdi
  • Maryam Dezhamkhooy


How can the desired culture of a dictatorial system be transmitted from one generation to another? The focus of dictators on children could be an answer. Factually in such a system, children are located in a value system which teaches them what to do or what not to do in purpose of being good for the political system since the very beginning of their lives. In Iran, the traditional educational system teaches children to act as adults; people who are able to discern which action is bad and which is good. The exceptions are usually the ones who deconstruct the cultural/political structure and begin to resist based on their agencies. In the present paper, we argue the process of education (formal and informal) in Iran based on two sets of material cultural remains. The first is the Qajar (nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photos of children) and the second is the school compositions of 19 students found in the bag of a teacher who died in the devastating earthquake of Bam in 2003, in South Eastern Iran. The bag was found during a contemporary archaeological project.


Dictatorial systems Traditional society Childhood Educational systems Iran 



We should first disclose that English is not our native language, and that we received considerable editorial assistance from La’ya Alinia and Mohammad Amerian. We convey our gratitude to Omran Garazhian, Mariam Naeimi and Arman Masoudi.

Any errors in this paper remain our own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Near Eastern Archaeolgy Freie UniversityBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyBirjand UniversityBirjandIran

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