British academy

Ancient Persia Fund

The Ancient Persia Fund was established in 1988 in memory of the distinguished Russian scholar Vladimir G Lukonin. The aim of the fund is to encourage and support the study of Ancient Persia and related areas including Central Asia, in the period before the coming of Islam. Activities supported by the Fund include research grants for the study of Ancient Iran and neighbouring areas, covering the travel costs of students and scholars. The Fund also supports activities at the British Museum, including an annual public lecture.

The Fund is overseen by a Committee in conjunction with the British Museum, with the Academy represented through Professor John Curtis FBA, Keeper of the Middle East collections, British Museum, and the Chief Executive and Secretary.

The Fund was established and supported for many years by the Honourable Mrs Mary Anna Marten OBE who died in January 2010.

In September 2010 the Ancient Persia Fund was renamed the Ancient Persia Fund in memory of Vladimir Lukonin and Mrs M A Marten in recognition of the support given to the Fund by Mrs Marten.

For more details please see the Ancient Persia fund leaflet


The fund remains open for further contributions, which can be sent to the Chief Executive and Secretary, The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH (inquiries:, 020 7969 5255). Cheques should be made payable to the Ancient Persia Fund.

Applications for support

Applicants seeking support from the Fund should complete an application to the Academy’s Small Research Grants scheme, marking the application as relevant to the Ancient Persia Fund.