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:: year 6, Issue 22 (2-2023) ::
Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2023, 6(22): 283-302 Back to browse issues page
An Introduction to the Wooden Crafts of the 8th to 11th Centuries A.H. of Bavanat
Reza Naseri * 1, Seyed Mehdi Miri2
1- Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Art and Architecture, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran , rezanaseri@uoz.ac.ir
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Art and Architecture, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran
Abstract:   (259 Views)

Abstract: Wood has been a suitable raw material for the expression of taste, talent, art and creativity of craftsmen and artists in different periods. Iranian artists in the Islamic period, like other industries, have created the most exquisite artworks made of wood. During the Islamic period, in the construction of the architectural elements of religious buildings, such as wood turning, fret work, Gereh Chini, and Khatam’s artworks were made of wood, which studying on them in terms of the evolution and transformation of wood-related industries as material and cultural remains of the Islamic period, as well as analyzing the themes of their religious motifs and inscriptions, has been of special importance. Considering the importance of this subject, not many studies have been conducted in this field of research. During the archaeological survey that was carried out in 2014 in order to identify the cultural historical monuments of Bavanat city, many wooden artworks were identified and observed, and the upcoming research is in line with the introduction and analysis of these findings. In this regard, the questions of this research are: What wooden artworks have been left from the Islamic period of Bavanat, and what are the decorative elements and themes of their inscriptions? From Jame Mosque of Bavanat and holy shrine of Hamzeh of Bazm, various hand-made wooden structures have remained, including doors, windows, pulpits, and wooden latticework, the delicacy and proficiency in their construction are remarkable. Since the two studied buildings, the mosque and holy shrine, have religious uses the general inscriptions also included Quranic verses, Shahadatein, Shahadat-e Salaseh, Salavat and the names of the Imams, which shows the influence of Shia religion on the industry and art of this period.
Keywords: Islamic Period, Bavanat, Fret Work, Gereh Chini, Pulpit.

Wooden objects due to their nature, in most cases, after losing their functions, are used as fuel for the fire, which is one of the main factors that makes the findings of this industry very rare. Unfortunately, not many studies have been done on Iran’s wood industries, and the studies that have been done are case-based studies. The wooden artworks in the Jame Mosque of Shiraz, which belongs to the period of Amr-i Laith Saffari (first half of the third century A.H.), can be considered one of the oldest artworks of wood crafts left in Iran (Mehrpooya, 1997: 197). From the 6th century A.H., wooden artworks such as the pulpit of Mashkol village in Ardabil province with the construction dating back to 541 AH (Maleki Galandouz & Mohammadi, 2012), The wooden door of Bayazid Bastam Mosque dated 707 to 709 A.H., the pulpit in Jame Mosque of Nain with the date of 711 A.H., the wooden Qur’an stand in the Metropolitan Museum dated to 761 A.H., the coffin (box) of Hazrat-e Abdol Azim shrine (Mehrpooya, 1997: 200; Blair & Bloom, 2002, 54; Dimand, 2004: 123). With the beginning of the Safavid period, many produced works of art were mostly included wooden doors with geometric and limited animal decorations, Sash Windows (Orosi), wooden frames of the ceiling, wooden columns, wooden latticework, coffins, wood inlayand fret work. (Attarzadeh,1995: 18; Dimand, 2004: 125, Sedighiyan & Sadeghi, 2013: 59). During the archaeological survey in Bavanat in 2014, various wooden crafts were observed, which shows the taste and art of this region in the production of wooden artworks. Although the background of this art in this region is not very clear, through historical sources, we can understand the centrality of this region in the Qajar period. In the book “Cities and Trade of Iran in the Qajar Period” by Keith Edward Abbott, he has mentioned the products of the Bavanat wood industry. Considering the importance of wooden crafts among the visual arts and the role of themes of inscriptions in understanding the thoughts of religious beliefs of the Islamic era, in this paper, an attempt is made to investigate and introduce the wooden artworks of this region.

Archaeological Survey of Bavanat
Bavanat city is located in the northeast of Fars province with Bavanat city as its center. Following the surveys in different regions of Iran in the 1930s, Stein made brief surveys and sounding in Bavanat (Stein, 1936). Following the survey of the Marvast Dam basin, Helwing and Askari Chavardi visited several sites of Monj in 2006 (Helwing, 2007). The first season of the archaeological survey of this area took place in April and May 2014. During the survey, 200 findings were documented, which can be dated from the Neolithic period to the late Islamic period which includes Tappeh and ancient sites, historical castles, ritual places of the historical period, mosques, bridges, cemeteries, mills, rock carvings, ancient mines and sites of slags (Khanipour et al., 2018).

Bavanat Wood Industries
Bavanat wooden crafts include wooden containers or vessels discovered from Kan Gohar Cave, pulpit and wooden door of the Grand Mosque, latticework, doors and windows of holy shrine of Hamzeh, which will be discussed further.
Jame Mosque of Bavanat: This building is located in the center of Bavanat city, which is built in two floors. The mosque has a circular dome, which is located above Mihrab, and under the dome is an inscription of Quranic verses in Thuluth, with decorations, the script of which is the work of Mohammad Isfahani and dated 772 A.H., The delicate decorations used in the construction of the wooden pulpit of this mosque, and according to the inscription on it, have turned this historical work into one of the unique examples of Iran’s wooden arrays in the 8th century A.D. There is an inscription on the pulpit with the name of the founder and the date of its construction. this pulpit was built in 771 A.H. (Sarikhani, 2007: 63; Khanipour et al., 2021: 16-17). The wooden entrance door of the mosque is in the eastern wall, which according to the inscription dates its construction to the Safavid period.

Holy Shrine of Seyyed Shah Mirhamzeh
Holy Shrine of Seyyed Shah Mirhamzeh has located 18 km from Bavanat city, in Bazm village. This building was first included in the list of national monuments in 1936. latticework of holy shrine of Bazm is very artistically carved in wood. This latticework is decorated with relief carvings on three sides, and two inscriptions are engraved on it, indicating the name of the builder and the date of construction. On the door of latticework, there are poems indicating that it was written during the reign of Shah Abbas. The entrance door of holy shrine of is double-leaf, on top of both there is an inscription and in the middle of each one, there is a metal knocker. The outer surface is decorated with rhombus diagonal lines on each leaf of the door. The wooden door inside the holy shrine of is double-leaf that are decorated with Moaragh-kari. The door frame is carved with geometric motifs, which according to the construction, color, and type of wood, the construction of the double-leaf door is probably newer than the door frame and facade.

Kan-Gohar Cave
Kan-Gohar cave mine is located at the heights of the southern border of Bavanat Plain. In 2010, a large number of human bones and skulls, which were regularly placed there, were discovered by the residents of the region. To clarify the issue, first of all, historical sources were studied. In the historical sources, it is mentioned, after the collapse of the Ilkhanid patriarchal government and the lack of centralized power, a village in Bavanat was attacked and the villagers took refuge in a cave to save their lives. Their hiding place was revealed, so a fire was lit at the entrance of the cave, and in the resulting smoke, all the people inside the cave were killed. Some sources mention Malik Ashraf Choupani (Yazdi, 1947: 153-154; Katbi, 1985: 48-49, Samarqandi, 1996: 212) and some Ray Malik (Hafiz Ebru, 1938: 172; 1993: 206-208) as the cause of this murdering. A tray, a bowl and a wooden spoon were found in this cave, along with the existing burials, which were probably part of the dishes of these people that they took with them to the cave.

In the Bavanat area, there are wooden works from the 8th, 10th and 11th centuries A.H. The wooden artworks of the Kan-Gohar cave have been preserved due to their location inside the cave, and the wooden works of the Grand Mosque and holy shrine of have been preserved due to their holiness. Among the various methods of production and decoration of the wood industry, in the Bavanat region, we can observe fret work, woodturning, Gereh-Chini and Moaragh-Kari, which more than fret work is used. In terms of the function of the wooden handicrafts studied in this article, they can be divided into two categories: architecture-related necessities and everyday utensils or objects. In the construction of wooden crafts, geometric patterns and Eslimi, and in most cases, inscriptions are written on them. The read inscriptions, which are generally located on wooden artworks, were in line with the function of the buildings. In the meantime, during the Safavid period, emphasis is placed on the names of Shia imams, especially Imam Ali.

Article number: 11
Keywords: Islamic Period, Bavanat, Fret Work, Gereh Chini, Pulpit.
Full-Text [PDF 1340 kb]   (79 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2021/10/20 | Accepted: 2022/04/30 | Published: 2023/02/20
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Naseri R, Miri S M. (2023). An Introduction to the Wooden Crafts of the 8th to 11th Centuries A.H. of Bavanat. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 6(22), 283-302. doi:10.30699/PJAS.6.22.283
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