عنوان مقاله [English]
“Symbol” is a collection of signs, indications, and words that denote a higher meaning and concept than its appearance. In other words, symbols are used to express concepts that roots of many of them can be found in the history of predecessors and myths. Artwork is one of the most suitable platforms for the emergence of the symbol. In the meantime, “pottery” is one of the most important art works in early Islamic centuries, which it contains many symbols among the “cows”, and can be traced its implications in the myths of historical and Islamic periods. The aim of this study, semiotics of cow with regard to social conditions, religious and the idea and beliefs of the people of the early Islamic centuries through analysis of historical documents. Hence, following the semiotics of cow, the following question is raised: What is the origin of the cow symbol on the Neyshabur pottery? The research method is historical-analytical and based on library studies. In the process of research, we first began to collect statistical samples from museums, designing motifs with CorelDraw software; and in the following, library studies have been conducted to identify the subject matter of the cow in historical documents. The achievement of studying the cow symbol and its conception in the pottery of Neyshabur suggests that, considering the importance of cow in livelihoods of people in different historical periods and using of: meat, skin, milk, fats (for domestic heating and cooking) along with its efficiency in portage and plowing, can be imagen such icons as: power and strength, fertility and fecundity, which these symbols can be traced from prehistoric times to the aforementioned period in different artistic works and have common concepts. In addition to the above mentioned concept, other symbols, such as the combination of cattle with humans, the composition of cows with birds, are found in Neyshabur’s pottery with astronomical and religious concepts and their origin is specific to Islamic beliefs.
Keywords: Symbol, Samanids, Pottery, Neyshabur, Cow, Astronomy.
A symbol is a set of hints and words that indicate a higher meaning than it appears. In other words, symbols are used to express concepts, the roots of many which can be traced back to the history of ancestors and myths. (Hall, 2001,14). It can be acknowledged that one of the most complex tasks in studying the works of art of the past is to study the meanings and concepts of symbols that originate from the beliefs of the people of that perid. Artwork is one of the most suitable substrates for the emergence of symbols. Pottery can be considered as one of the most important works of art of the first centuries of Islam, which is the manifestation of the beliefs of the people of that period. One of the pottery of the first Islamic centuries is the pottery of Neishabour related to the Samanid rule. Many scholars attribute the origin of the motifs of this period to the absolute influences of Sassanid art. Applying all pottery pattern of this period to the Sassanids is a superficial work and far from a correct understanding of thr social and religious situation of this period. However, the effects of previous periods should not be ignored. One of the motifs used on Neishabour pottery is the symbolic motifs of cow, which are very diverse and mysterious.
Necessity of Research: The necessity of the leading research arises from the fact the sofar no detailed and comprehensive study has been done for the origin and interpretation of the cow symbol in a separate study. Therefore, the author’s goal in the leading research of cow symbolism from prehistoric times to the Sassanid period is to consider the belifes of the people by analyzing historical documents. The important issue rasied in this research is that the concept and meaning of the symbol of the cow in the pottery of Neishabour should only be considered a reflection of pre-Islamic symbols and bekiefs or its meaning should be sought in the beliefs and opinions of its creators and commissioners according to their social status and religion.
Research Question: With the problem raised, this research seeks to answer the following question, what is the origin of the concepts of cow motive on Neishabour pottery? And assuming: the origin of some of the symbols of the cow in the first centuries of Islam can be traced to Per-Islamic myths and ideas, and some of the symbols are specific to the beliefs of the people of this period; In the following, the symbol of the cow on the pottery of Neishabour will be studied and analyzed.
Research Method: The research method is historical-analytical and based on library studies, in the process of conducting research, first, statistical samples were collected from museums, were designed with (Corel draw) software, in the following, library studies for the origin and analysis of cow themes among historical written documents will be discussed.
Analysis and symbolism of cow motifs in Neishabour pottery: The variety of cow motifs used in Neishabour pottery indicates its importance among the people of the first centuries of Islam. In this study, to examine and describe the vessels and origins of the patterns of 6 samples of pottery that have the patterns of cow in terms of content; there are decorated with leading themes: the symbol of the cow with the theme of creation and life, the symbom of the combination of the cow with man, the symbol of the cow with the bird the symbom of the cow as a means of cultivation.
The interpret and derive the symbolic motifs of Neishabour pottery with the question raised, what is the origin of the concepts of the motive of the cow on Neishabour pottery? And with the hypothesis of the origin of some cow motifs of the first Islamic centuries can be searched in pre-Islamic myths and ideas and some symbols are specific to the beliefs of the people of this period. The result of research confirmed the hyothesis with the following reseans. Human have benefited from the functions of cow since they domesticated cow due to their livelihoods in agriculture and animal husbandry. The use of cow in matters such as plowing and threshing made it important in these communities 6 such functions of cows in works of art of different historical periods have bern obtained from archaeological excavations. Such symbols are often interpreted as power and blessing. There are also special celebrations and rituals for growing and harvesting crops in ancient calendars that can be traced from prehistoric times to the present day, which do not belong to the religion of a particular community and can be one of the common symboms continued in different periods, some symbols are simply rooted in religion and superstition. Therefore, it can be concluded that the combined creatures of cow and human of Neishabour pottery are completely different in terms of visual and conceptual form with the combined samples of cow and human and they cannot be applied to Pre-Islamic influences, but derived from belifes of the people of this era. Also, animal a combination of cow and bird, is a symbol that has not been seen in worjs of art and is specific to the ideas of the first centuries of Islam and belongs to Neishabour society.