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The Mountain Goat; Symbol of Rain in Iranian Pottery (Part 2)

the mountain goat- iranian pottery

The Mooshlan Hill Civilization

The Mooshlan Hill Civilization, in Isma’eelabad, dates back to the fourth millennium BC, and is contemporary with the civilizations of Cheshmeh Ali in Ray, and Ghareh Tappeh in Shahryar. The ceramic vessels of this civilization are red with brown colored drawings. These drawings are diverse, and usually geometrical, depicting animals such as mountain goats and deer. In this period, in addition to the geometrical designs, the artists and potters also drew animals beside each other, and in between the geometrical designs. In this way, they managed to fill the empty spaces on the pots and dishes.

Isma’eelabad is located between Karaj and Hashtgcrd, and opposite to the Nigi Emam village. It is located near the southern part of the Tehran-Qazvin Freeway. An ancient hill, Tappeh Mooshlan, whose civilization dates back to the fourth millennium BC, is located near Isma’eelabad.

Cheshmeh Ali Civilization

Cheshmeh Ali is located near the city of Rey, in Tehran’s periphery, and its historical remains belong to the 5th and 4th millennia BC.

Archeologists have found two different civilizations in this hill’s layers. The first layer contains black pottery, with geometrical designs, which are comparable to the pottery of the Tappeh Hessar civilization. The second layer has brick-red, and sometimes black, pottery decorated with brown geometrical designs. Occasionally, drawings of mountain goats and deer fill in the spaces between these designs. This civilization is also comparable to that of Tappeh Hessar.

Altogether, these designs have an artistic character, composed of drawings of small date palm trees, intersecting flowers and trees, curved lines and angles, as well as animals. These drawings are not realistic, and rather resemble geometric shapes.

The animals are usually depicted in motion. A few ceramic pieces, and two pottery bowls, with mountain goat motif on them, have been found as remains of this civilization.

One of the remains of this period is a red ceramic bowl with black geometric designs and two encircling festooned lines. Hachures fill the space between these two lines. Underneath these designs we can only see drawings of mountain goats. The diameter of the bowl is 13 and its height is 11 centimeters.

Another one of the remains of this era is a red pottery bowl with brown geometric designs, parallel festoons, and encircling lines, with hachures in between. There are mountain goats and other horned animals drawn in between these designs. In between the two dividing lines, two animals are seen gamboling. A total of 10 horned animals have been drawn on this bowl. The diameter of the bowl is 22.5 and its height is 16 centimeters.

A red colored earthenware bowl with geometrical designs and two zigzag strips in black is also one of the artifacts of that time. The potter who made the bowl drew crossed lines between the two strips thus making squares. Under the checkered patterns, there is the picture of a mountain goat. The bowl is 11 centimeters high and 13 centimeters in diameter.

the mountain goat- iranian pottery

Tal-e-Bakun Civilization of Takht-e-Jam-shid

Tal-e-Bakun lies in Marvdasht plateau in the southern province of Pars. The pottery of that era is buff in color and bears various geometrical designs, some of which were copied from nature. Among the designs, the Sun and its revolving motion have been given more attention than others. The potter demonstrated the Sun’s motion in various shapes like a Swastika (the symbol of the Sun). Among the most interesting works of art belonging to the Tal-e-Bakun era are two earthenware bowls which are now kept at National Museum of Iran. The outer surface of the bowls is covered with the pictures of two mountain goats. In drawing the horns of the goats, the artist has exaggerated to such an extent that all blank areas on the surface of the bowls have been covered by the horns.

The funnel shaped earthenware bowl in buff color bears the design of a mountain goat drawn around it skillfully.

The horn of the goat, like two large circles, covers the entire surface of the bowl and above the horn; there is a Swastika, the symbol of the Sun. This demonstrates the relationship between the horn of the goat and the Sun.

Another sample of an earthenware item belonging to the 4th millennium BC, discovered in Tal-e-Bakun in Takht-e-Jamshid, is a large buff-colored pitcher with a short neck. The pitcher is decorated with three horizontal lines under the neck and two horizontal strips at the lower part of it. Between the lines, there is the picture of a mountain goat with an exaggerated large horn which has covered the entire surface of the pitcher. The height of the pitcher is 27.5 centimeters and its brim is 13 centimeters in diameter.

Source: Mahjubah Magezine

Other links:

History of Tile in Iran

Different Stages in Development of Iranian Tile’s Works

Different Types of Tile’s Decoration in Different Period

History of Persian Calligraphy

Iranian Miniature History

Poetry in Persian

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