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Showing 3 results for Ataie

Hamid Khanali, Akbar Pourfaraj, Reza Ataie, Hamide Dadashvand,
year 2, Issue 6 (3-2019)

Using the column element provided the necessary context to extend the architecture spaces. According the archeology findings the north-west area of Iran, due to the existence of abundant wood and stone resources has been leading using this element. In view of the remaining of the ancient columned buildings, the importance of column in the past is understood. Also during the Islamic era the element play a key role in the buildings of this region. In the Ilkhanid and Safavid era due to the climatic and cultural reasons, stony and wooden columns were used with abundant decorations with capital and base plinth in some mosques of Azerbaijan. It seems that Asnagh and Jamalabad Mehrban mosques are the start point of columned architecture with laborious decoration that in the following they reach to peak beauty in the Safavid columned palaces. The present article, on one hand, studies the process of column evolution in this region and, on the other hand, looks for the origin of the architecture tradition of decorative columns used in the mosques and palaces of Safavid era such as Ali Ghapoo in Isfahan, Bonab and Maragheh. The data gathering method include field visits, recording and documenting the data that finally was analyzed using descriptive-analytical method and using library studies. 
Keywords: Architecture, Azerbaijan, Column, Asnagh Mosque, Jamalabad Mosque.

Architecture of every nation is a reflection of its thought and economic situations. The climate circumstances, beside these factors, also play a role an essential role in the formation of architecture. Materials and decorations also have a close relationship with these factors. Using column in the great building has a long history. Column is designed mainly to support the heavy load of roof and generally plays the role of strength and beauty of a building. In the ancient hills such as Yaniq Tapeh probably to cover the ceiling of the circular rooms the central columns have been used. The columned halls of Hasanlloo (Dyson: 1989), Nooshijan (Stronach:1978), Goodin Tapeh (Young: 1969), Babajan (Goff: 1969), the Mad’s catacombs and Achaemendis palaces (Sarfaraz and Firoozmandi, 2006), Parthian and Sassanid temples (Herman, 2008) and palaces represent the use of column in the past architecture that shows the importance of column in the pre-Islamic architecture. In the Azerbaijan area due to the mountainous climatic conditions, the architecture features of Iranian mosques such as porch and central courtyard are less observed. And the central courtyard in this climate is converted in harem (shabestan) through covering the ceiling and using column (Omrani, 2007: 18).  
In the Ilkhanid and Timurid era the element of column was applied in stony form with moqarnas capitals in the mosques of Azerbaijan. By the beginning of Safavid era, we observe changing the material of column and capital from stone to wood in the mosques. In this period, the procedure of using column was maximized and in the following affected on the columns and capitals of Safavid palaces as well as the buildings of Qajar era, particularly in the bathrooms and mosques. This article studies the background and evolution of applying column and its function in the architecture of Azerbaijan and the role that played in the architecture of the columned palaces of Safavid era. 

Review and Analysis 
The main element in the columned buildings to construct column and ceiling coverage is wood. Probably one of the reasons that in the early centuries of Islam the normal form of dome and porch becomes the most common architecture method is lack of wooden resources in some regions (Ukan, 2002: 203). But in Azerbaijan due to the suitable environmental conditions for growth of trees and availability of them, the columned architecture continues its life more or less during the medieval Islamic centuries. Entering the Ilkhani era and transferring centrality to Azerbaijan, the old procedure of columned architecture appeared again and was represented in the local mosques of Asnagh and Jamalabad and then became the architecture pattern of mosques of Safavid era in Azerbaijan and columned palaces of this era. 
The most important feature of Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques is stony walls and columns and using timber to cover ceiling and also the decorations of capitals and columns that continues to exist in Safavid era in the columned mosques of Maragheh, Bonab and columned palaces of this era. The height of the stony columns of these mosques is consistent completely with the height tendency of Azeri style of Ilkhanid era. The stony columns of Mollarostam and Sheykhbaba mosques that are related to the Timurid era are the climax of the art of column carving. They are implemented by the same procedure of Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques with the difference that inscriptions have been made on the columns body. Given the remaining of these columns it seems that in the Timurid era, construction of columned buildings was in Ilkhanid method with the same materials. 
In Safavid era due to developing many buildings and acceleration in architecture, the stony columns were substituted by wooden columns with the same dimension and decorations in order to speed up the construction of buildings. In this era the high wooden columns were put on the stony plinths. The capitals were made from timber and moqarnases were decorated by inscription and painting. 
Among the most famous wooden-columned mosques of the early Safavid era affected by Ilkhanid and Timurid stony-columned mosques are: Mollarostam, sheykhbaba, Rihan, sheykhtaj, Zarir, Mehrabad, Zargaran, Ajabshir etc. among the most important decorative features of these mosques can refer to the moqarnas decorations and paintings on the plinths, high wooden narrow columns, stony plinths as well as the painted wooden ceilings that in the continuation of their evolution process effect on Safavid palaces of Isfahan including Chehel Sotoon and Ali Ghapoo palaces and other columned buildings of this era. 

Column in architecture is used mostly in the regions in which the resources of wood and stone are available sufficiently. Azerbaijan is among these regions. Existence of sufficient wood and stone resources has resulted in construction of columned mosques in this region of which most prominent examples are Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques. The columns of these mosques represent the peak of column carving in the Islamic era. How these mosques are constructed and ceiled affected on the architecture of the next periods throughout Iran, such that a close similarity is observed in the columns of these mosques with the Safavid and Qajar era. Further, it can be concluded that construction of Safavid columned palaces somehow complement Ilkhani columned architecture that was represented in Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques and after its evolution period in Safavid wooden mosques of era was utilized in the construction of palaces. 

Hanie Hossein-Nia Amirkolaei, Seyed Rasool Mousavi Haji, Morteza Ataie, Doctor Abdolreza Mohajeri-Nejhd,
year 4, Issue 14 (2-2021)

The ancient site of Natel is located in the village of Natel Kenar-e Olia, a district of the city of Nour, which is 6 kilometers southwest of this city in the west of Mazandaran province. According to historical written sources, this city was considered as one of the important cities in Tabaristan during the Abbasid period and had a military garrison. Due to the importance of this historical site, in addition to archaeological surveys, three excavations have been carried out in this site so far in 2008, 2010, and 2016 under the supervision of Abdolreza Mohajerinejad. The present study focuses on some pottery findings of the first and second seasons of these excavations, during which 2166 pieces of glazed and non-glazed pottery were obtained among other findings. Chronology of the aforementioned samples and consequently more detailed and precise knowledge of the settlement periods, better and greater recognition of the pottery of this site, in particular, and pottery of the Islamic period in the southern margin of the Mazandaran Sea, in general, awareness of the similarity and differences of the pottery obtained from this site with the major pottery centers of the Islamic era required a thorough and in-depth study of these samples in the form of classification, typology, and a typological comparison that was carried out in this research. The results of this study show that most of the studied samples belong to the early (3 and 4 AH) and mid-Islamic (5 and 9 AH) centuries, while the samples of the Ilkhanid and Timurid period in this collection are much lower in number than those of the previous centuries. Also, the results of statistical studies on pottery of the historical town of Natel indicate that these pottery wares have relatively good production quality and strength, but they have a lower level in terms of manufacturing technique and diversity of motifs. 
Keywords: Natel, Islamic Pottery, Classification, Typology, Typological Comparison.

The ancient site of Natel is located in the village of Natel Kenar-e Olia, a district of the city of Nour, which is 6 kilometers southwest of this city in the west of Mazandaran province. Given the importance of this site in the Islamic period of Iran, especially the southern margin of the Mazandaran Sea, the first scientific studies to identify and determine the location of this town were carried out by Abdolreza Mohajerinejad in 2006 during a season of a survey (Mohajerinejad et al., 2017: 247) and then these studies were continued under his supervision during three seasons of excavation in 2008, 2010, 2016 (Mohajerinejad, 2008; ibid, 2010; ibid, 2016). During the first and second seasons of the excavation, along with other findings, 2166 pieces of pottery were discovered which were provided to the authors for further investigations. Therefore, during the classification and typology stages, 235 indicative pottery types were selected and excluded from the collection. To advance the research, the authors selected and studied 50 pieces from among the indicative samples selected from among the collection based on the non-repetitive variable. Due to the diversity and multiplicity of the pottery types and for better identification of the pottery of this site in particular and the pottery of the southern coastal areas of the Mazandaran Sea in general, the similarity and differences of pottery obtained from this site with those of the major pottery centers of the Islamic era, and also to gain more accurate knowledge of the settlement periods of the site, it was necessary to study the pottery samples very carefully. Accordingly, the present study seeks to answer the research questions through recording, registering, classifying, typology, and typological comparison of these pottery collections (2149 fragments belonged to the first season and 67 fragments belonged to the second season). The most important questions this research seeks to answer through scientific and systematic studies are: 1: to which period or periods do the pottery samples discovered in the historic town of Natel belong? 2: how is the status of the pottery samples discovered from the historic town of Natel, in terms of production quality and decorations compared to the major pottery centers of Iran during the Islamic era? In answer to the first question, it should be noted that the pottery discovered from the first and second seasons of excavation in the Natel historical site belongs to a time period extending from the early Islamic centuries to the Timurid era. And the answer to the second question is as follows: the production quality of the Natel pottery as well as the decorative quality of Sgraffito pottery are similar to those of the major Iranian pottery centers, but other pottery samples obtained from Natel are in a lower level in terms of their decorative quality, especially in color painting. 

A Summary of the Paper
Initially, the samples were classified according to two variables, i.e. their coating type and being simple or painted, which are divided into four groups: non-glazed simple pottery, non-glazed painted pottery, glazed simple pottery, and glazed painted pottery. Then, at the typology stage within the classification framework, each group of pottery was classified into several types and sub-types according to one or more variables. The investigations were carried out with great sensitivity and accuracy and finally, this resulted in the typology of the pottery in the form of 45 types and sub-types. Statistical studies on the ceramics of this collection indicated that the glazed simple pottery was the most frequent type among all the groups with a frequency of 46.53%. Overall, these ceramics have relatively good production quality and strength, but the glazed painted ceramics are at a lower level in terms of production technique and variety of motifs. The non-glazed painted pottery pieces in this collection have geometric motifs and the dominant motif type in this group is ripple motif in terms of motif design variable. At the typological comparison stage of classification which has been carried out according to the classification and typology of pottery collection, it was attempted to compare a large number of fragments with pottery found in Islamic sites. Therefore, in addition to reviewing various reports of excavations carried out in Islamic sites (generally, the northern sites of the country are considered), we have carefully studied the authentic sources of Islamic pottery prepared and organized by the efforts of foreign and domestic scholars and accordingly the pottery types, which were compared with similar example or examples, were dated and the comparisons are presented in the form of tables in the main text of the paper. From among the regions or sites whose ceramics are comparable to those of the Islamic period of Natel, Bamiyan, Nishabur, Jorjan, Poinak castle of Varamin, Imam Zadeh Ali Lafourak in Savadkouh, Sarqala of Lavasan, Sheikh Safieddin Ardebil’s tomb, Sistan, Golkhandan fortress, Kaseh al-Mout, Gaskar site of Gilan, Haft Daghnan of Gilan, northwest of Iran, Osbou Kola Lofer, and Jahan Nama site can be mentioned. 

According to the contents of the present study as well as the classification, typology, and typological comparison of the pottery discovered from the historic town of Natel, it can be stated that there are a total of 45 different ceramic types and subtypes in this collection. The results of typological comparisons of the pottery of the Islamic period of Natel showed this collection had the highest rate of similarity and relationship with the pottery obtained from the sites of the Islamic period in the north of the country; this cultural and artistic similarity supports the existence of a wide cultural and connection network between Natel and its neighboring regions and indicates the production and expansion of formal and standard pottery types during different Islamic times that were produced in specific centers and exported to other regions. Their production techniques were imitated in local workshops with a lower quality. In general, the results of this study suggest that most of the studied samples belong to the early (3 and 4 AH) and mid-Islamic (5 and 9 AH) centuries. The results of the statistical studies on the pottery of Natel also indicate that these pottery findings have a relatively good production quality, but they are at a lower level in terms of production technique and diversity of motifs.  

Rahele Koulabadi, Morteza Ataie,
year 5, Issue 18 (3-2022)

With the foundation of Sasanian dynasty, the first fully anthropomorphic representations of Ohrmazd appeared in ancient Iranian art. He was depicted in eight rock reliefs at Firuzabad, Naqsh-i Rajab (2 scenes), Naqsh-i Rustam, Tang-i Chugan (2 scenes) and Taq-i Bustan (2 scenes) while investing a beribboned diadem to the Sasanian king. The iconography of Ohrmazd was not a new one and before Sasanian period in Commagene and Bactria, the image of Ohrmazd had mainly created by imitating Greek-Roman prototypes. But the iconography of Ohrmazd in Sasanian rock reliefs was different. He was completely depicted in Iranian artistic fashion, and in some scenes, he carried bundles of barsam. Barsam is an implement carry by priests in ceremonial rituals. However, Avesta reveals that barsam was not only use by priests, but also hold by some deities including Ohrmazd. In Aban Yasht, Ahura Mazda (Middle Persian Ohrmazd) praises Aredvi Sura Anahita with the barsam. There are still questions about the figure of Ohrmazd and the sources of his iconography in Sasanian rock reliefs. So it is significant to review Zoroastrian texts again and study whether they affect the iconography of Ohrmazd or not. By analyzing and comparing the characteristics and details of iconographical elements of Sasanian rock reliefs and also regarding Zoroastrian written sources, the authors try to find the origin of these artistic models and the reason why Ohrmazd carries a bundle of Barsam at Firuzabad, Naqsh-i Rajab, Naqsh-i Rustam and Taq-i Bustan investiture scenes. The results show that the iconography of Ohrmazd was especially modeled after the royal art and the king himself. Furthermore, Some Zoroastrian texts reveal that Ohrmazd incarnate in Gētīg (material world) as an Ahlaw man or a priest and probably Sasanian artists consciously depicting him while carrying barsam in his hand(s).    
Keywords: Ohrmazd, Sasanian Rock Reliefs, Royal Appearance, Zoroastrian Priest, Zoroastrian Texts.

By defeating the last Parthian king, Ardavan V, Artaxerxes I (224-240/1 CE) established an empire which was concentrated on centralization of Iranian state and unification of religion. To unify religion (Zoroastrianism), the iconoclastic movement was formed by Artaxerxes I. According to ancient sources, Artaxerxes I ordered to destroy idols, and instead many fires established throughout the empire; even some pre-Sasanian sacred fires were replaced by new ones. However, it seems such strictness does not prevent creating images of divine beings. There are evidences of iconography of Zoroastrian deities in Sasanian art. An important point is that in the Avesta and the Middle Persian texts, some deities were incarnated in human or animal forms and so the religious texts may be good sources for representations of deities. Interestingly archaeological evidence and written sources revealed different version of Zoroastrian in Armenia and Central Asian and idol-worship customs were prevalent there. In Commagene and Bactria, the image of Ohrmazd was mostly depicted according to Greek-Roman prototypes. On the contrary, the image of Ohrmazd as the superior Zoroastrian deity in Sasanian art was different and imitated from Iranian models. At Naqsh-i Rustam, the definite image of Ohrmazd contribute identification of him in other Sasanian rock reliefs. Due to the inscription, it was the only certain known evidence of Ohrmazd in Iranian art. At the same time, it is regarded as a significant document of the iconography of Zoroastrian divinities from the early Sasanian period. Despite extensive and diverse studies on Sasanian art and representations of Zoroastrian deities, including Ohrmazd, there are still ambiguities about the iconography of Ohrmazd and the sources of his visual images, the contribution of religious texts, and the influence of other iconographies of Ohrmazd on his representations in Sasanian art.

Archaeological evidence and written sources shows that Ohrmazd occupied the highest status in ancient Iranian beliefs. The oldest and most definite references to him traced back on Achaemenian inscriptions (Lecoq, 1997: 176-276) and fortress tablets at Persepolis (Henkelman, 2008: 527-529). Furthermore, some scholars regarded the images of the winged disk with or without a bearded bust on Achaemenian monuments as the very ancient image of Ohrmazd (Lecoq, 1984; Skjærvø, 2014: 179-180). Contemporary with Parthian at about 30 BC, the Commagene king, Antiochus I erected statues of gods at Nemrud Daq (Herzfeld, 1941: 275). According to the inscriptions, one of the statues belongs to Oromasdes who was synchronized with Zeus (Widengren, 1986). Although he dressed in Persian fashion (Duchesne-Guillemin, 1978: 189) and holding barsam, but he was depicted like Zeus. On Kushanian coins, Ohrmazd was depicted again more likely after Greek models (Shenkar, 2014: 61-62), but under the name of Ōoromozdo or the abbreviated name Ōrom (Humbach, 1975: 139-140). For the first time during Sasanian period, Ohrmazd was represented in a fully anthropomorphic figure while investing a diadem to the Sasanian kings. At Naqsh-i Rustam, Ohrmazd synchronized with Zeus (Lukonin, 2005: 307), but he was depicted completely different and he appeared resemble to Sasanian kings probably for legitimization goals. Furthermore, Ohrmazd holding barsam in several reliefs. According to Bundahišn, Shāyist Nāshāyist, Ohrmazd incarnated as an Ahlaw man or a priest (Zot or Atravan) in Gētīg. He also praised Aredvi-sura-Anahita with barsam (Yš. 5. 17). So it seems that Sasanian artists deliberately depicted barsam in the hand of Ohrmazd to show him in the figure of Zoroastrian priest. As the image of Ohrmazd was not remained similar during Sasanian period, barsam appeared on Artaxerxes I’s rock reliefs and reemerge on Khosrow Parviz’s investiture at Taq-i Bustan.

Before Sasanian period, no definite representation of Ohrmazd is detected in Iran. The only images of the winged disk on Achaemenian and post-Achaemenian monuments in Pars attributed to Ohrmazd by some scholars. Contrary to Parthians, the iconography of deities in Sasanian period is much fewer. Although ancient sources attribute iconoclast movement to Artaxerxes I, but archaeological evidence manifest production of divine images. However it is important to distinguish cultic statues and portrayal of deities in the art. During Sasanian period fire-temples were established all over the kingdom and the cult of fire become the state religion. Erecting cultic statues was prohibited, however the images of deities including Ohrmazd produced in Sasanian art. Investiture ceremonies on rock reliefs show Ohrmazd in the shape of a royal figure while in some cases carrying a barsam like Zoroastrian priests. As Sasanian kings emphasize their legitimate claim during their sovereign, Ohrmazd depicted similar to the king. The representation of Ohrmazd in these monuments was completely in Persian mode and was against the image of him in Commagene or Kushan where he was depicted after Zeus. In the Middle Persian texts, Ohrmazd is invisible even amongst the sacred beings, except for the prophet Zardosht. He can be comprehend through wisdom and the power of comparison. However in the Pahlavi Rivāyat and Shāyist Nāshāyist, Ohrmazd described with a human appearance. In a passage from Shāyist Nāshāyist, Ohrmazd is an intangible spirits who appears in Gētīg in the body of the Mard-i Ahlaw (Just man). According to Bundahišn, Ohrmazd appears in the form of Zoroastrian priest in Gētīg. Also, he comes to the world as Zot. He is Atravan. So it is not strange that Ohrmazd depicted as a priest in some reliefs, while carrying a barsam. 

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فصلنامه مطالعات باستان شناسی پارسه Parseh Journal of Archaeological Studies
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