Reza Paziresh

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Kathryn E. Holliday


Open-air museums provide an opportunity for landscape architects to engage with historical and cultural landscapes and collaborate with museums, archaeologists, and historians to create educational resources for the general public. While many open-air museums are comprised of archaeological sites made available for public and educational visits, not all AOAMs are designed to provide a meaningful and well-managed way of accessing the site as a cultural landscape. Landscape architecture is a link between people and place, a nexus between art and nature, and, even more, between art, nature, and technology (Rogers, 2001). The design of open-air museums focuses on interpreting historical uses of the landscape that explore the long-lasting connections between people and places. Archaeological open-air museums (AOAMs) create a new and direct approach to museums, allowing the public to experience the physical environments and contextual components of the past. At AOAMs, there are no glass cases but direct contact; visitors can live, breathe, and feel the atmosphere of history through realistic reconstructions of daily events in settings of ancient civilizations (Magelssen, 2004). This thesis will focus on one design case study to demonstrate the ways that landscape architects can contribute to the development of AOAMs. The archaeological site of Gohar Tepe in northern Iran is a valuable cultural landscape that documents life in the middle of the Bronze Age (Andy, 2011). Archaeologists believed that Gohar Tepe was once a complicated urban civilization, dating back about 5,000 years (Andy, 2011). This active archaeological site is inaccessible and suffers from a lack of management. In its present condition, the dig site is open to the air, only covered by a tarp. It is threatened by the encroaching agricultural activities that take place directly adjacent to and around the excavated portion of the site. The goal of this design study is to use landscape architecture to propose an integrated framework based on four main concepts: 1) landscape integrity, 2) (re)construction strategy, 3) reference landscape and landscape identity, and 4) the AOAM itself.


Open-air museums, Landscape architecture, Integrated framework


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington