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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2021, 4(14): 65-83 Back to browse issues page
Investigating the Similarities and Discrepancies in Composition of Seleucid/ Early Parthian Period Painted Wares in Western Iran Through XRF and XRD Methods
Roya Tajbakhsh 1, Esmail Hemati-Azandaryani2, Mousa Sabzi3
1- Assistant Professor, Department of Archeology, Hamadan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamadan, Iran , tajbakhsh.r@iauh.ac.ir
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran.
3- Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, Lurestan University, Lurestan, Iran.
Abstract:   (1639 Views)
Abstract
Using laboratory of XRD & XRF, this research project was performed to identify the component of the pottery related to Seleucid/ early Parthian period. In excavations performed in western Iran, a number of Seleucid & Parthian site were identified, regarding shape and technical formatting roughly homogenous pottery pieces were found. It could not exactly be determined how many of the discovered pottery pieces of the Seleucid/ Parthian period’s -whether found from surface or stratigraphy excavations- had a regional origin. Determining their homogeneity which was solely based on external similarities and typology has given rise to possibilities of widespread trading of pottery or major centers of production. The main problems in research include How was the selection of consumables for the production of stained glassware in western Iran in two periods of Seleucid and Parthian? How can one know about the similarity and difference between the soil elements and the percentage of pottery and logic soil, whether they are indigenous or imported? Despite the apparent similarities, is the conditions and technique of pottery baking types in the western region in two periods, or has it changed with the evolution of governance in the fabric of pottery? This research is qualitative and has a descriptive-analytical nature. The research method in this paper is a combination of archaeological field activities, laboratory studies, and librarian compilation. Awareness of the explorations carried out in the Seleucid-Parthian sites of the western part of Iran, as well as mineralogical studies based on library information. However, as no archaeological evidence has been found to indicate the existence of such centers, such hypotheses could not be considered. The XRD & XRF methods were used to study the building elements in the excavated pottery samples. Using these methods, the similarities and differences between the clay used in making Seleucid & Parthian period’s pottery and the clay found in the region were studied. Ten sample pieces collected from Delfan, Alashtar, and Nahavand regions, were studies. The samples were selected from archaeological site of Chogha Taghi, Pat-Koole, Zarin Deh Sefid tepe, Hassanabad Sanjabi, Cheshme-Kaboud tepe, Aliabad, Molaghala Adlabad, Shaelie (Shahian), and Laodicea. The 10-pottery sherd often have a bright red peppermint, a dense bubbled glaze, a soft mineral mixture, and geometric paintings and images of birds and animals that are painted in brown and black. The shape of the dishes often shows small bowls and small cups that are well polished and polished and cooked at a proper temperature. However, as these methods usually because a great damage and in most cases destroy the samples, smaller and less important pieces which had these componential characteristics were used. The results of this study indicates that, matching the raw materials of the pottery with the geological structure of the region, it can be noted that the pottery was produced in the studied area. Also, the type, technique, and their baking technique from pottery are similar to each other and confirm that its local production and it dismisses the change in the production process or the non-localization of the production of clay crowns during the Seleucid period.. 
Keywords: Seleucid Period’s, Parthian Period’s, Pottery, XRD, XRF, Western Iran.

Introduction
Our recognition of the western Iran Seleucid/ early Parthian painted pottery is so little in limited due to so many various reasons. The potteries as such are painted and fragile and belong to Seleucid era and early Parthian period party in the period in question is an outstanding type which sounds unobtainable or minimally scarce in considerations. The pieces as such mostly attain light red and beige natural disposition, light rose-colored mantle painted like similar to the metal, fine mineral allegation, geometrical paintings, and animals in birds’ pictures being drawn ocher brown and black. The Potteries shape almost always indicates soft, ting bowls and cups the surface of which is well polished well-furnished and baked in a convenient temperature. The external similitude between late Seleucid and early Parthian potteries nourishes the persisting thought of such a tradition from Seleucid to Parthian. This research is to examining the recognition of the absence/presence of the production and business tradition of the Western Iran area in Seleucid/ early Parthian era. Therefore, using XRF and XRD methods, attempts have been made to deal with the identification of the compounds and elements used in grain utilized conforming western Iran painted pottery.
The propounded hypothesis in this regard is that they did discovered pottery type/species in the west area is possibly none native and imported. The native inference or pottery’s being imported deeply depends upon its natural disposition minerals compound similitude percentage with the minerals present in the area’s soil. In line whit this debate, three questions are replied:
1- How much similar to and different from one another are the soil elements used in Seleucid/ early Parthian painted potteries, compounds, being discovered excavated from some of the Iran Zones? 2- How homogeneous are the elements, present in texture and composition of Seleucid/ early Parthian painted potteries -being discovered in the west of Iran-, whit the structure elements and area geology zone? 3- Are these potteries similar to/different from one another in terms of composition, elements type, and baking conditions?
The selected samples of this research are prominent pieces which are picked up from three areas of Delfan, Alashtar, and Nahavand on ten of which laboratory experiments have been implemented. Among these prominent samples the option of each environment has been done. The XRF experiment on powdered samples has been done in Tarbiat Modarres university and XRD experiment has been implemented in Hamedan Bu-Ali Sina University physics lab, Tehran. These potteries are named as follows: Samples number 1(L.CH.T) from Chogha Taghi in Noor Abad City; sample number 2 (L.P.K) from Pat-koole; sample number 3 (L.Z.D) from Zarrin Deh Sefid tepe; sample number 4 (L.H.A.S) from Hassanabad Sanjabi; sample number 5 (L.CH.K) from Cheshme-Kaboud tepe; sample number 6 (L.A.A) from northern district of Noor Abad city; sample 7 (L.M.GH) from Adl-Abad village; sample number 8 (L.SH) from village Shaeile in Qalaei City; sample numbers 9 & 10 (H.N.L.1) & (H.N.L.2) from Loudich of Nahavand. 

Discussion
The results show that the silicon (oxide) rate is high in the samples obtaining low calcite (like sample number 9, and in the samples with high calcite, the silica (oxide) rate is low. Regarding the composition’s present in potteries body, making use of XRD and XRF methods, it can be inferred that the samples productions are associated with the area itself. Moreover, it can be stated that there are compounds such as Quartz in all soils, which is one of components of soil. There is calcite in all samples because of the presence of the calcareous sediments’ presence. The presence of the calcium carbonate and diopside in the potteries body indicates that the temperature of these potteries is less than 750 degrees centigrade. Three compounds of Aluminum oxide, Silica in Calcium carbonate (SiO2, Al2O3, Cao). Additionally, the percentage of the scarce elements in sample number 3 is different from the other ones. Except for these two, it seems that all of the samples are more or less similar to one another. The pottery’s body color is due to this element (Iron) and its oxidation, and red patterns upon potteries contain Iron as well. Pondering upon most of the painted potteries samples of early Parthian / Seleucid era from  Western Iran, it seems that their color is not that beige in comparison with the Clinker pottery type from Parthian era, which are mostly related to the middle and late of this era, and less homogeneity is observed in their color in comparison white Clinker pottery. These results assert that the production of Seleucid/ early Parthian period painted pottery in comparison with Parthian period Clinker pottery should be considered from a different or perspective. There is Manganese in some of the samples number (7 & 9 and little rate in sample 3) the black color of which possibly contain such an element. The presence of Calcium can be because of the calcareous sediments (probably) or some gypsum in the sample. The presence of sediment on all of the samples stems from burial area, moisture, and its omission then, and formation of calcareous sediments as well. The other elements such as Sodium, Potassium Phosphorus, and Titanium are among the ones present in the soil, the rate of which is from some percentage to a few hundred percent.

Conclusion 
The results of XRF & XRD analysis show that the major part of the examined potteries samples including three compounds of Aluminum oxide, Silica in Calcium carbonate (CaO, Al2O3, SiO2). This compound indicates that there is a share of the soils of the transformations stones (SiO2) in the soil used in building mentioned potteries in addition to calcareous soils (Al2O3, CaO). There is Manganese in some of samples (number7, 9, and a little rate in number 3 simple) which possibly has been because of the pigments usage for decorating the potteries patterns. Moreover, the existence of calcium can be possibly due to calcareous sediments or some plaster in the sample which implies the presence of sediment on all of the samples because of the burial area moisture, and then it’s elimination and calcareous sediments formation. The results demonstrate that the Seleucid/ early Parthian period painted potteries obtain more silica (oxide) rate in comparison with Parthian period Clinker pottery (the late and middle of this period), bring analyzed in western Iran, and also it attains a lower Calcite rate in comparison with Clinker potteries type. According to the potteries external features in terms of color and patterns, the similarity between- the ingredients of raw material (soil) is obvious in making pottery, indicating the production of the Portway in research area of although these painted  potteries of Seleucid often there is less homogeneity in their color in western Iran; and also, their baking technique and mode from pottery are similar with one another, and improve their native and domestic production (it is worth mentioning that there has no analysis regarding  Seleucid/ Parthian period painted pottery in the other areas been done) and it eliminates the issue of importing production of  Seleucid/  early Parthian period painted potteries. 
Keywords: Seleucid Period’s, Parthian Period’s, Pottery, XRD, XRF, Western Iran.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Interdisciplinary
Received: 2020/09/27 | Accepted: 2020/12/3 | Published: 2021/02/27
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Tajbakhsh R, Hemati-Azandaryani E, Sabzi M. Investigating the Similarities and Discrepancies in Composition of Seleucid/ Early Parthian Period Painted Wares in Western Iran Through XRF and XRD Methods. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2021; 4 (14) :65-83
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