عنوان مقاله [English]
Surkh Dum-i-luri is located in 10 kilometers of southeast of Koohdasht city in Luristan province. In 1938, this area was explored and excavated through the Holmes investigation commission supervised by Schmidt. According to the archaeological discoveries, Surkh Dum has three stratigraphic layers. The main period of settlement in this site (layer 2) consists of a great architectural collection named temple. During the excavation of the surface floor of the architectural places, they discovered 1804 objects under the floor and in the walls. Regarding to the number of discovered objects and their different variety, generally, there is an appropriate opportunity to study the relation between the discovered building and the mentioned objects. Despite of their large number, these objects have not been classified and introduced yet. This study has been done by descriptive attitudes and relying on library data and archaeological survey. According to the topological results, Surkh Dum-i- luri objects consist of ornaments, seals, pins, tools, vessels, figures, weapons and miscellaneous objects. Ornaments and bronze are the most abundant elements, in terms of number and used material to make, respectively. Furthermore, study on the statistical population and pattern of these distribution show that these objects are votive and this place has an important role as a temple. Excavation of Surkh Dum-i-luri in Luristan by Schmidt shows the developments.
Keywords: Surkh Dum-i-Luri’s, Luristan Bronzes, Luristan Iron Age, Luristan Millenniums B.C.
Introduction & Method
One of the most important historical and cultural periods of Iran is the Iron Age, that during this period, significant historical, social and technological developments have occurred. The Luristan region, along with other parts of the western parts of Iran, has also been affected by these developments. Excavation of Surkh Dumi-i- Luri in Luristan by Schmidt represent the mentioned evolution. Surkh Dum has three layers; the main building level uncovered at Surkh Dum-i-Luri has been labelled as level 2. Over most of the area excavated, a many-roomed building was exposed, and named temple by the excavator. As his conclusion would seem to be confirmed by the various inscribed objects found here, dedicated to the goddess Ninlil, up to considerable height above the floors, the walls were built of stone. This study was not applied for many reasons. Despite archaeological data and also historical data, after 80 years still there are serious ambiguities about the historical identity of this collection and its creators. The most important questions of the present research include: 1) Is the building of Surkh Dum-i-luri a temple? 2) Do the obtained objects have a nature of ritual? 3) In terms of typology and material, do the objects represent a special meaning?
The method of research
The current research is based on the descriptive and analytical attitudes, relying on the library sources and field investigation had tried to answer the important questions of this article.
The Background of research
Surkh Dum-i-luri is an extensive site, covered with traces of boulder walls, on the slope of a towering mountain. One month before Schmidt arrived in the site, the commercial diggers had started to digging a particular area, in which a number of bronzes, pins, fragments of bronze vessels and other aircrafts had turned up. The unauthorized excavations were stopped by the authorities, who called Schmidt’s attention to the spot. As a result, he decided to excavate this site. The excavation, which lasted from June 7 to June 25, 1938, was carried out with thirty workers, including a few brought from Tepe Hissar and Perspolis. After Schmidt, in 2009, this area was explored and excavated by Kamyar Abdi.
Room 1 was the largest as the central room of the temple. It had a partly stone-paved floor at a level varying from 6.55 m to 6.68 m, and a stone door socket was still in place in the recess that framed the exit to corridor 9. Along the southwestern wall were appointments which suggest that cooking was carried on here. Most of this wall was recessed and the bottom of recess was filled with a bench 30 cm high that may have served as a kitchen range. At the extreme right of this bench there was a long narrow depression plastered with two coats of mud, each 1 cm thick. This may have been the oven that belonged to the kitchen range. In the center of room 1 was a feature built of mud brick and mud mortar, which the excavator labeled altar. In its center was a roughly cylindrical hole, about 50 cm in diameter and filled with black ash and animal bones. The mud brick feature rested on the stone pavement of the room, in which a large flat stone had been set partly, though not completely, corresponding to the hole in the feature. The exterior faces of the feature had a first coating of grayish mud 4 to 5 cm thick, over which a finishing coat, which and burned and turned dark gray, accounted for one half of the accumulation of mud plaster. An altar of such unusual shape and construction would be without any previous record. Considering the stratigraphy, the best assumption seems to be that the level 3b building was settled about 1350 B.C. on account of the latest objects under the main floor, however, the temple excavated at Surkh Dum-i- Luri cannot be dated before 800 B.C. and therefore belongs to the end of Iron Age II.
Surkh Dum-i- luri objects consist of ornaments, seals, pins, tools, vessels, figures, weapons and miscellaneous objects. Ornaments and bronze are the most abundant elements, in terms of number and used material to make, respectively. A significant number of these objects has unique motifs. Among them there are several objects with the source of Mesopotamia and Elamite and various artistic methods of Luristan which include few inscribed objects that translated by Van Loon.According to the number and distribution of objects found from the inside of building, among the walls, and due to the architectural features of the building, Holmes team declared that, this building supposed to be an important temple considered by people and the rulers of this region at least during the seventh and ninth century. During this period, people donated gifts to the temple according to their economic condition and social position. These gifts were placed anywhere on the floor or between the wall gaps without any order. They were contrary to some previous or next period’s temples that they had storerooms for keeping of objects.
This irregularity of objects was buried them on the floor or between the wall gaps to the creation of a new floor. Objects were preserved because of the respect and sanctity of the temple and their vows. Variety of typology, stylistics, material and value of the objects show that the pilgrims include both ordinary people and the rulers who gave gifts to the temple based on their wealth and nature of their votive objects. Some of these objects, especially disc pins, seem to have ritual nature and others don’t have the ritual’s nature but given to the temple as a vow. In this geographical and historical period, there was a ceremony held in the outdoor or inside the temple and people put given objects on the floor or in the wall gaps without any regularity. Since these vows belonged to Gods, hence, they were not captured by temple servants and, over time, these objects were buried due to the creation of a new floor inside the temple or sediment accumulation in the outdoor of the temple.