عنوان مقاله [English]
Most studies on numerous potteries found in archaeological excavations are aimed at understanding people s mentality and beliefs in that era, in case that these images are externally and naturally roots of our visual art. The recent analytical-historical study will review visual structure of the illustrations in Iran plateau B.C with a formalist approach. The study is based on painted potteries and it is aimed at achieving visual characteristics. Studying vessel forms, elements and visual principle used in images clarifies the dominant visual features and provides context for categorizing samples based on the region’s visual priorities which include density of motifs, compositional structure of illustration and its elements, and type and repetition of motifs. Fars’s Tall-e Bakun is chosen as this study’s case geography because of its geographical extent, plurality of findings and its rich images. Visual samples are gathered by studying excavation reports and observing museum objects. In Tall-e Bakun b’s findings, vessel forms are limited. There’s a density of motifs in image frames, margins, in Tall-e Bakun a’s findings. Variety of motifs outnumbers variety of composition and structure. Visual elements were complementary in most images. However, a few vessels were illustrated only by using them. Visual equality between positive shapes and negative space is the unique feature of many images in this era. Movement and rotation are mostly observed in not band-based structures or animal expressive motifs. After visual analysis and visual criteria determination of motifs, vessels were classified as two major categories of either Fully-Painted or Scattered-Painted. Each category ‘s images were also classified into subgroups based on visual structure, elements of structure, quantity, type and method of motifs’ repetition. More than 90 percent of available vessels specially the scattered ones have band-based structures. Most images are fully painted with a single row or two rows of motifs.
Keywords: Visual Structure, Painted Pottery, Tall-e Bakun, Classification.
Ira nian visual art, in the past, has insisted on the longevity and conservatism of forms and images. However, the truth is that the concepts represented in earlier art historical analyses are obsolete in our opinion. I suggested that formalism presents a way to reconsider these artistic efforts (Kuhnel 1997: 180) Formalist analysis emphasizes their form rather than their meaning. It emphasizes style and form which are defined independent of content. It emphasizes the relationship between visual elements, composition, color levels and essence of artwork (Gharebaghi 2004:155).
The small sample size of highland pottery in the third millennium BC was the reason that researchers did not study them in terms of historiography and visual art analysis (Pakbaz 2000: 13). But nowadays, by archaeology having been developed, the sample size is considered enough for qualitative analysis. Such visual pieces of evidence have been frequently case studied through semantic analyses in order to gain a better understanding of social, economic and cultural formation in that era. As mentioned above, such images not only indicate ideas, culture and beliefs of people at that time, but also they are assumed to be the origin of visual arts and do not need any indirect interpretation or analysis of concepts which belong to a far past history and share ideas different from the current age.
This paper is a qualitative study adopting a formalist approach seeking formal analysis of potteries and their possible relation with images, visual structure of images and finally categorization of historical findings with regard to painted potteries within the framework of the design of the study. Tal-e Bakun, the selected geographical location for the study, in Fars province is one of the areas which are rich with painted potteries in pre-historic Iran plateau. Alizadeh (2006) introduces Tal-e Bakun of Fars as the pinnacle of the art of painted potteries in pre-historic Iran. Classic potteries of Bakun‘a’ which have stylistic links to potteries related to Susa and South and West Zagros regions paved their way to the top. These potteries have the most extended geographical distribution among B.C. cultures in final phases in west, south and southwest of Iran (Alizadeh, 2006), hence they were selected as raw data. Compared to those of Bakun‘a’, findings in Bakun‘b’ are perceived to be rarer and they are small pieces of pottery and not quantitatively adequate to be studied therefore, they will be analyzed as much as possible.
Findings of Bakun ‘a’ have dense motifs within image frames and margins. Diversity of motifs is more than the diversity of structures and combinations. But different types of motifs are the main criterion for creation of diversity in images of Bakun ‘a’. Primary visual elements such as dots, lines and simple geometric shapes are complementary elements in most cases but a few vessels are merely illustrated by such elements. Different visual textures were seen in different applications. Visual equivalence between positive and negative spaces is the unique characteristic of many images in this era. Movement and rotation usually exist in non-striped structures or examples with expressive animal motifs. Conical forms are special forms of this area. Sophisticated geometric floral, animal and human motifs were seen in different real and abstract types. The process of simplifying them was performed skillfully in south and south west of Iran’s Plateau. A motif is simplified through many steps and used as a different motif in each step. Vessels are mainly divided into less painted and fully painted types based on visual analysis and determination of image priority. Images in each category are classified into sub-categories based on visual structure, structural parts and their quantity, type and how motifs are repeated. Illustration structure is striped in more than 90 percent of the available less painted vessels. Most vessels are fully painted with a striped single row combination and two motifs. In findings of Bakun ‘b’, line is the visual element, and repetition is the dominant visual quality. Many images are formed by repetition of visual elements like lines and primary geometric shapes without any specific motif. Visual texture which resulted from the repetition of various lines is seen in most examples. Image frame is consisted of upper and lower margins with repetition of parallel horizontal lines.
Potteries of Bakun ‘a’, which are contemporary to late Fars in Fars or late Susiana in Iran’s south west chronology, are quantitatively remarkable and many vessels are formally restorable. These vessels are studied within a formalist approach and analyzed as visual works. In findings of Bakun ‘b’, vessel forms are limited. There is huge difference between images of Bakun ‘a’ and ‘b’ in terms of combination skills, creation of motifs and diversity of images. No evolutionary relationship can be suggested between these two periods even if we assume a time period as long as the middle Fars era between them.
Classification of the results of visual analysis of the findings about Bakun is the first step for identification of these visual examples. This classification proposes many questions and forms many assumptions and it is a basis for further research. The analysis method uses the findings of other areas and matches results from different areas. It helps researchers obtain important achievements in relation to visual structure of painted potteries in prehistoric Iran Plateau. Therefore, understanding the history of visual arts in a part of Iran and awareness of motifs can pave the way for creating artworks by artists in our country.