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Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
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Journal of Iran's Pre Islamic Archaeological Essays
A Study and Analysis of Visual Features and Pictorial Style of the Designs on Ceramics of Kura-Araxes Culture; Based on Yanik Tepe Site

 submission: - | acception: - | publication: 14/01/2019


Leyla Zanganeh1




In the late fourth millennium BC (approximately 3250-3000), a culture spreads throughout Caucasus and Urmia Lake basin which is referred to as old Transcaucasia or Kura-Araxes culture. Its remains have been found in the three Transcaucasia republics, North West of the Iranian plateau, Eastern Anatolia, Kangavar Valley and Central Zagros. Its bio-geography is very diverse; forested areas with different plant species in the mountains of the Caucasus, the Armenian highlands and plains of Urmia as well as diversity in the settlements is indicative of their adaptation to various environmental conditions. In addition to animal husbandry and agriculture, these people were advanced in the field of art and technology. The works remained from this period indicate creativity, innovation, science and art of the people in those days, because great care has been taken in their structure and design. Pottery is one of these arts. Pottery is one of the handicrafts of this period and the pottery works remained from this period have great artistic value. One of the main characteristics of this period is the blackish dark grey or shiny black color. Their pottery are handmade and include a combination of minerals. Their middle parts have been carefully polished and decorated with carving and geometric motifs. These pottery pieces are baked and are mostly conical or in the form of glasses with two handles or large pitchers with two handles on the sides. Their forms are very similar, which indicates a kind of cultural unity and relationship between various regions during this period. During this period, artists preferred symbolic art to descriptive art and animal motifs to human or plant motifs. They used these motifs to narrate a specific subject matter from their everyday life and depicted all ethical and artistic issues by using motifs on their pottery. Obviously, by inspecting few works remained from this period, distinctive characteristics of the social and life conditions of these people can be discovered. Since in the beginning pottery pieces had a simple form and later potters used complicated forms and because only few samples are left and no comprehensive study has been conducted yet on the pottery industry during this period and especially the motifs and patterns used for the pottery pieces, the necessity of conducting further research in this area is felt. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate and analyze the visual and decorative motifs of the pottery pieces of this period found in the studied site (Yanik Tepe). In this regard, ten distinctive samples of pottery pieces belonging to this culture were selected from Yanik Tepe site and their decorative characteristics as well as their motifs and designs were studied. In the motifs on the pottery pieces, the potters have mostly used geometrical patterns and have avoided using other motifs. 28% of the motifs used on the pottery pieces are geometrical. There are approximately six visual elements on each pottery piece. The middle part which is painted comprises approximately 39% of the sample pottery pieces. Since human and animal motifs consist of specific patterns, the potter has taken sufficient care in using them and has only used them to refer to a specific subject or motif. In other words, here, motifs are a means for describing the surrounding environment. Although no accurate interpretation of these motifs can be provided, based on the findings of the present research, the potter has used a specific variety of motifs and patterns. Here, fewer dishes are decorated and their motifs are inspired by the surrounding nature, which reflects a kind of realism and relationship with life and the environment.


Animal Figures Kura Araxes Cultures Pottery Yanik Tepe Geometric Figures  

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