CORONA satellite photography taken in the 1960s continues to reveal buried ancient landscapes and sequences of landscapes – some of them no longer visible. In this new survey of the Mughan Steppe in north-western Iran, the authors map a ‘signature landscape’ belonging to Sasanian irrigators, and discover that the traces of the nomadic peoples that succeeded them also show up on CORONA – in the form of scoops for animal shelters. The remains of these highly significant pastoralists have been virtually obliterated since the CORONA surveys by a new wave of irrigation farming. Such archaeological evaluation of a landscape has grave implications for the heritage of grassland nomads and the appreciation of their impact on history.
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