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The Art and Architecture of Early Civilizations in Iran

Among the discoveries found in the plateau of Persia are objects such as: weapons, utensils, axes, hammers, and knives. These objects were discovered at Tagh-pideh cave, which goes back to 1500 B.C. Animal and human painting colored in red, yellow and black painted on standing rocks of Hemyan, Miramalas Dosheh of suburbs of Lurstan are other examples of prehistoric Islamic art. The inhabitants who created these traces of work lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering plants and roots.

The new period of Stone Age started from mid 7000 B.C. objects left from that time are mainly made of smooth stones. At those times, vast field covered the region and different tribes settled in green fields; they made a living through stockbreeding and farming. Since our knowledge about these people is deficient, various theories have arised about the history of this nation. The fifth to third millennium is known as "copper and Stone" era. Although stone objects were still common and was used in making utensils, painted ceramics and stamps with geometrical shapes also became popular.7 At the end of fourth millennium, a very well-known and civilized tribe called Elamids established a new nation in south west of Persia, including Khuzestan and some parts of Fars and the south part of the dully between Tigris and Euphrates. They called this district Elam, and Shoosh (Susa) became its capital and its borders are unknown till now. Cream colored ceramics found in Shoosh (Susa), are famous for their beauty and elegance, moreover, they show the advanced ceramic develop­ment of Elam.

From mid fifth millennium, other civilizations existed in center and north east of Persia. This is proved by a series discoveries in a hill near Kashan that has signs of existence and methods of agriculture, other crafty painted ceramics found in southeast of Tehran called Cheshmeh Ali found in Tabeh Hesar, near the city of Damghan, and also discoveries of Astar Abad, in Gargan and different regions of Qazvin, indicate the existence of other primitive nations. Bronze Age started at the beginning of second millennium when the usage of copper and tin was popular. In mid second millennium Europeans emerged from west and east of the Caspian Sea, (Amu daria and Siberia). A faction of these people settled in Send valley in 15OO B.C. and the rest entered Persia and settled in Astar Abad. Zoroaster and his religion emerged in 800 B.C. From those who entered Persia through Zakavkazye, two major tribes w ere formed: Medes and Pars. The Medes settled in the center and northwest of Persia, in Nowadays cities, such as: Isfahan, Hamadan, Kurdistan, Azarbayjan; and Pars settled in south and

Southwest of Persia in cities such as: Kerman, Fars, and Khuzestan. Medes monarchy established in 708 B.C. and ruled for nearly 1500 years. They took over Ashour's strong kingdom in 605 B.C. and expanded their borders to across Asia Minor. They chose Hegmataneh as their capital. Pars, later on, started the Achaemanids kingdom, in south of Persia. They took over the Medes and expended Achaemanids kingdom from Send valley and Palmir plateau to Syria, Egypt and Greece.

Around twelfth century B.C. the usage of metal was applied; therefore it is known as the metal or iron age. In Lurestan which is close to Shoosh (Susa) and was influenced by Elam's art and culture, a new civilization established which pioneered bronze casting and metalwork. Metal and iron items, which were mostly found in tombs, consisted of bronze working, weapons and decorative items. Many other fascinating objects were found in this area, such as: mysterious forms containing: animals, mythical creature.

Masks, statuettes of human beings, various horse riding tools such as muzzles, and bronze pins which were decorated with heads of animals and objects such as mirrors, were also discovered.

All these discoveries, were found in Sialk hills and Sorkh Dam, where a massive treasure of metal work as discovered that was probably made by the first coming Medes between 800 B.C. to 1200. Around 800 B.C. the west Orumiyeh (ارومیه) lake which was also known as Manaii in the ancient times, and Hasanlu ancient times, and Hasanlu, were historical sites and many objects were discovered from these two sites. Their art was a combination of local aspects and Ashurids features, also Aurarto, an ancient city located in eastern Asia Minor, Vaan lake, and Armeni a, had influenced their art. In the explorations done in 1947 in the city of Zivaiah in Azarbayjan, a treasure of gold, bronze, and ivory object s were found which are all related to 700 B.C. Considering the fact that in the explorations in Hasanlu (85 km from Orumiyeh), ruins of a castle which goes back to the 1400-800 B.C. and also a golden goblet which has mythical scenes en graved on it, was already discovered.

Refrence(s):

Shayestehfar. Mahnaz. (2007). an Introduction to Persian Islamic Art. Iran. Institute of Islamic Art Studies. P. 7

 

 

 

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