عنوان مقاله [English]
Excavations at Gūriyeh and Jahāngir, have led to the discovery of architectural and exquisite stucco remains belonging to the Sasanian Period. The strategic location of the area at the Central Zagros, its position on one of the important ancient routes to Mesopotamia, and the presence of Kangir River could be among the reasons behind the formation of the mentioned architectural remains. Shortage of information on the historical constructions and residential areas in west of Iran was one of the incentives to run the present research. Among the objectives were answering important questions surrounding chronology of the architectural remains and associated decorations, specifying the main characteristics of the remains and assessing the construction materials used, and finally, investigating on art styles and the influence of various factors in their creation. This research is undertaken using descriptive-analytical methodologies in company with comparative approach. The architectural remains have been built with no foundation using rubbles and half-baked and beaten gypsum mortar, and finally, have been decorated with delicate stucco reliefs. Based on the planning and various findings, the architectural remains could be specified as fortified noble residence at both sites. Thus, as seems obvious from nomenclature, the main function of the remains was most probably residential. The architect(s) and decoration artist(s) of the buildings have binded themselves to consider elements and variables such as natural topography, local climate and environmental characteristics, and even religious beliefs in construction and decoration. The use of anthropomorphic, faunal and floral motifs in frames with symmetric and repetitive geometric fringes is attested in both buildings, which indicates the impact of Sasanian art style in its own local expression. All stucco decorations at Gūriyeh and Jahāngir highlight the symbolic presence of supernatural forces related to the common mythologies, albeit they are sometimes used only as simple ornaments.
Keywords: Sasanian Period, Stucco, Gūriyeh, Jahāngir, Kangir River, Ilam.
The results of chronological investigation on the finds from the buildings of Gūriyeh and Jahāngir have indicated that they have been used during the late Sasanian to the fourth century AH., and then, the local nomadic tribes utilized them. Based on the historical texts and the sesimotechtonic-morphotechtonic studies, earthquakes were among one of the culprits leading to the decline of the mentioned settlements in addition to sociopolitical factors. The widespread use of plaster and brick and the associated arching methods in Gūriyeh and Jahāngir is a legacy of Sasanian Period. Given the importance of these buildings, similar to other palaces and noble buildings of the time, they are adorned with delicate stucco decorations. In addition to the importance of accurate scientific documentation of the structures due to the Kangar Dam construction, other objectives were also pursued during excavatios at the area. One of them was gaining more information about the construction of residential areas in western Iran during Sasanian Period and about the transitional phase between Sasanian and Islamic periods in the region. In order to reach the mentioned goal, questiones were developed in minds, such as the followings: Are these architectural structures and the associated stucco decorations belonging to pre-Islamic periods remained in use during the early Islamic centuries? What are the main characteristics, architectural decorations and construction materials used in them? What factors influenced their art styles? and finally, what are the most important features of the stucco decorations recovered during the excavations?
The corresponding assumptions were also as the followings. In some historical texts, the establishment of such structures is attributed to the early Islamic centuries, but it is more logical to assume their construction was originally of pre-Islamic era, reusing in early Islamic period with some modifications. The buildings were constructed mostly using the locally-found rubbles and half-baked and beaten gypsum mortar. The architect(s) and decoration artist(s) of the buildings have binded themselves to consider elements and variables such as natural topography, local climate and environmental characteristics, and even religious beliefs. In addition to what mentioned, it seems that plus following the common artistic styles of the period, the builders were also influenced by local traditions. Considering the architectural style of the buildings and the associated finds, the buildings most likely held residential/formal function.
Gūriyeh and Jahāngir are archaeological sites located at about 800m South of Sartang-e Soflā village in Zarneh, Eyvan county in some 50km northwest of the city of Ilam at the height of about 1029m asl (Gūriyeh UTM: 605380m E, 3752210m N; Jahāngir UTM: 606595m E, 3752695 N). The two sites are situated along the Kangir river and almost facing each other in opposite directions. From the viewpoint of historical geography, Gūriyeh and Jahāngir were located in a part of the state of Māsbazān which was called Aryuhān. Due to having enjoyable cool and mountainside climate, the region was using as hunting and recreational area during Sasanian and early Abbasid Periods. In the second half of the 4th century AH, Badr ibn Hassanūyah became dominated over Māsbazān, and Hasanūyids family ruled there until 406 AH. From the 3-4th centuries AH onwards, the region was largely vacant. It seems the reason behind the vacancy was largely due to an earthquake that was occurred in the region.
During the excavations, many stucco remains were recovered inside the deposits removed from the buildings. These remains were sometimes healthy and in other times as fragments. The motifs were floral, faunal, and anthropomorphic embedded in a variety of geometric frames. Most stucco fragments have been the coverings of walls, doorways, and niches, which naturally should include motifs that are combined to form recurring scenes. The decorations were originally executed in a delicate manner; but unfortunately were destroyed by various natural and human agents. As a result, none of the pieces was recorded in situ. The newly-found gypsum remains of Gūriyeh and Jahāngir are divided in two groups of stucco decorations and gypsum vessels.
- According to the chronological results and comparative studies, the main construction phase in Gūriyeh and Jahāngir was of Sasanian Period. Then, the buildings were reused during early Islamic Period. Based on the architectural style and findings, the author proposes residential/formal function for the two complexes.
- The use of human, animal and plant motifs in framed geometric friezes in both buildings is influenced by common Sasanian tradition, but with the local identity.
- The stucco reliefs are made using moulding technique with symmetric repetitive motifs.
- The elegance and precision in the execution of the reliefs have been observed to some extent; the use of reflective and translational symmetry is also recorded.
- Floral arrays have been used as fillers of the empty spaces, sometimes between human and animal motifs and on the margins of the designs. It is worth mentioning that the floral motifs were employed in Gūriyeh more than Jahāngir.
- Human motifs were very scarce, as there is only one case recovered from Jahāngir. Thus, the removal of figurative representations during the early Islamic period could be felt at Jahāngir. Even the faunal motifs were covered using a layer of plaster during that period.