عنوان مقاله [English]
However, in Middle Eastern Archeology, pottery is usually used to examine the socio-cultural relations of societies, typologies, the stylistic analysis, and to formulate chronological frameworks, and then attempt to the dates, sites or archaeological remains dated relatively, but it should be remembered that pottery designs beyond these primary concerns can reflect the behaviors, rituals, and social structures or beliefs of the constructing or ordering community. Also, their study can introduce us to the hidden parts of prehistoric societies. Anthropological Interpretations on the grammar of prehistoric potteries, such as Frank Hole’s research on the ceramics of Necropolis in Susa and Susan Pollack’s studies on the potteries of the Susiana Plain, are important and interesting examples of pottery interpretation. These can be supplemented by Abbas Alizadeh’s research on pottery designs by Tall-i Bakun A and recent studies by Mirghaderi and his colleagues on pottery by Godin III culture. all of whom have attempted with an anthropological approach to extracted information from motifs or combinations of the roles and forms of vessels, and ultimately provides different information about the social and economic structures of prehistoric society that were not previously understood by traditional approach of pottery assemblages. In this paper, we attempt to provide a descriptive and analytical approach to study the themes and grammars of some vessels and painted sherds motifs from Nahavand region?, Tapeh Ghabristan, Arisman, Sialk, Yan Tapeh and Lama’s graveyard which let us to show that the prehistoric potters used similar motifs to express a common narrative theme.
Keywords: Ceramic Vessel, Gilgamesh, Inanna/Ishtar, Silk III6-7, Narrative Motifs, Myth.
Although these motifs are not created by an artist and have differences in detail and style, the overall theme of the motifs has fixed elements that carry the same common sense of the subject as they relate. From an anthropological point of view, these motifs reflect the thoughts, beliefs, and social structure of a prehistoric society that we now have fragments of, but according to the grammar of motifs and one of the Vessel with a complete scene, we can reconstruction the concepts of potsherd motifs from other prehistoric sites of the Iranian Central Plateau, giving a clue to a particular and fascinating narrative.
This research seeks to answer the question of what the motifs of the human-animal struggle over the prehistoric pottery of the Central Plateau indicate? The narrative motifs of the vessel seem to be more than a decoration, and because of the importance and the amount of information they give us, we should try to make the story as narrative as possible, as well as the beliefs and worldviews of the people of the past have developed. We therefore attempt to examine whether the pottery surface designs represent everyday and common themes, or whether there are clues that can be imagined beyond this?
What is behind the motifs? A historical narrative, Legend or a myth and a ritual message? Is there a relationship between the role, context of discovery and use of these containers? Madjidzadeh and Amiet believe that the motifs of the Tapeh Ghabristan and Abgineh Museum’s vessels show the Lord of animals.
This interpretation appears to be consistent with the role of the strong person at the center of the motifs and usually we see a number of other animals around him. But Ali Haghighat and his colleagues believe that the motifs in Tapeh Ghabristan show a shepherd falling in love with Ishtar, but eventually Ishtar turning him into a leopard being attacked by dogs. This interpretation was challenged by the vessel in Abgineh museum, a more elaborate and detailed version of the motifs, shows the man fights with two leopards, so it’s not acceptable that this is the person who has become a leopard in the belief of the Haghighat and his colleagues. The question is, if this person is a shepherd and an ordinary person, why should be shown naked, Giant, with strange footwear? If a man transformed into a leopard by Ishtar, why in the scenes of Abgineh museum the same man/ shepherd! Be shown when fight with two leopards?
We know that the motifs of these vessels tell a special story, but according to date and lack of written evidence, interpretation is not easily possible. By the comparison of the motifs from Nahavand and the Ghabristan vessel, and also the samples of Arisman, Yanetpe, and Lama, we see similarities of boots, dogs and leopards. The boots were discussed earlier probably represent a religious or mythological theme, the complete scene which is reflected on the vessel in Abgineh museum. Nahavand’s vessel shows the Lord of animals with two leopards as a reflection of his power that is exaggerated. The scene seems to express a powerful person who has been a hero or perhaps a sacred for prehistoric societies. Haghighat truly discussed that the head of the leopard has been obliterated because of its holiness. The leopard has been drawn three times on the Abgineh vessel. In one case, the animal’s face is painted black (shadow) and it is interesting that in two other places, especially when the man is shown with an object hitting the leopard, the head is not drawn at all. This clearly be an indication of the sanctity and importance of this animal in the motifs. Throughout history, it has been repeatedly observed that images of saints were painted with halo or in some cases not illustrated at all. All of these show that the designs have mythical and symbolic expression and can be considered as religious-ritual vessels. The Lama’s vessel is also a special example and it’s not included as a burial vessels, because there are no examples in other graves. By examining and comparing this Tomb with other in the Lama graveyard, and according to burial objects, the amount of objects in each grave, various shapes of vessels, types of objects, and other features of the Tomb, we can find a different social status or rank.
Mesopotamian documents and mythological evidence show that the leopard is a symbol of a goddess and probably due to this sacredness their head and face are not illustrated as saints in the motifs. If these interpretations are correct, the illustrated images must refer to the story of the Lord of animals (Gilgamesh?) and the god that showed with the zoomorphic symbol of leopard, later and in Sumerian period and in ancient near eastern art known as Innana/ Ishtar. As a result, these motifs appear to contain scenes from the story of Ishtar’s conflict in the zoomorphic symbol of leopard with the lord of animals (Gilgamesh).
But at the moment we have no evidence to discuss about the details of this story. These findings show traces of an almost unknown story in prehistoric period that extends not only west of the Central Plateau, but has been known over a wide range of north (Yan Tapeh) to south (Arisman) of central plateau and southwestern Iran (Yasuj and maybe Susa!). If the findings actually show such myths, they should, according to the date of these motifs in Iran (the Yan Tapeh example), we should Reconsidered about the origin of Gilgamesh and Innana/ Ishtar myth in Mesopotamia. But if not, the presence of the Uruk gray pottery in the Central Plateau before the Silk III6 period is the most important evidence of the connection between the Central Plateau of Iran and Mesopotamia that could have provided the basis for the transmission of such myths.