عنوان مقاله [English]
The Azak region in southern Russia, now known as Azo, played an active role during the Islamic Middle Ages in the Islamic lands. This city has been a port for the exchange of products of the Islamic territory to Europe. Accordingly, among the pottery pieces found, all pottery is one of the flagship pottery products of Islamic civilization. Archaeological excavations in this area have found artifacts that show its high importance in the Islamic realm during the 7th to 9th centuries AH. Iranian pottery include various types of pottery with the style of painting under glaze, painting on glaze, carved under glaze, among which, pottery known as “Kashin”, is predominant. Despite the fact that thousands of pottery pieces of Iran belonging to the 7th to 9th centuries AH have been found in this area, but no information about the pottery works of this area can be found in Iranian and Islamic sources. However, the study of these pottery can introduce new types of pottery of the Islamic period to researchers and play a key role in the typology of Iranian pottery in the middle Ages. Now, this research intends to study the pottery found in this city, based on field and library studies, during the archeological excavations of the Azo Museum, which are also kept in this museum. In this research, the following questions will be answered: What types of pottery are found in this city? What historical period do these pottery belong to? Based on this study, it was found that most of the pottery in Azak region belongs to the pottery known as “Kashin” style pottery that was produced in Kashan. After that, enamel and Luster Painted Pottery are in the next categories, which were also more than the products of Kashan. These pottery covers the period from the 7th to the 9th centuries AH, which is based on the studies of archaeologists of the Azo Museum in Russia.
Keywords: Islamic Pottery, Iranian Style, Azak City, Kashin Style, Azov Museum.
The Azo Museum of Russia is one of the most important museums in Russia, which has a rich source of pottery belonging to the 7th to 9th centuries AH. The museum houses a rich collection of pottery from the museum during archeological excavations in the city of Azak. In this museum, thousands of cultural objects, especially pottery pieces belonging to Islamic civilization with products of: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Egypt are kept, which were imported and exchanged in this port during the trade exchanges of the 7th and 8th centuries AH. The pottery entered Azak via the Silk Road through Iran and Islamic countries and then entered European areas by sea. The existence of a large volume of Iranian pottery in this region is related to the geographical and commercial position of this region, which as a port and commercial city has connected the countries of the Islamic territory to the west (Europe) through northwestern Iran. Accordingly, in addition to pottery belonging to the Islamic realm (East), a significant number of Byzantine pottery, belonging to Europe and its east, can also be found in this region. Archaeological excavations have revealed that these pottery were not products of this region and were imported and exchanged exclusively as commercial items in this city. Iranian pottery in this museum is in different hub styles, but azure, enamel, gold-colored, blue and white pottery and pottery known in this area as Kashin (Kashan) style are in the majority. The purpose of this research is to introduce and typology of Iranian pottery in this museum. One of the valuable points of these pottery was that all of them were found during scientific archeological activities. Another point of these pottery is the scientific and laboratory studies of the researchers of this museum on these pottery, which has made an accurate and absolute chronology about them available.
Azak is a large city in the northeast of the Black Sea, which has been located in the Islamic territory since the second half of the thirteenth century (Map No. 1). It was part of the Mongol-ruled province that formed after the collapse of the conquering empire of Genghis Khan. The city of Azak was founded in 1269 by the first Mongol ruler, Mango-Timur (whose rule lasted from 1266 to 1282). The choice of location was due to the need for a port city where large Mediterranean ships could enter, as well as caravans with luxury goods coming from the east without hindrance. Throughout the Mongol Empire, Azak remained its only major seaport and one of the world’s largest trading centers at the crossroads of several important intercontinental trade routes. Also, from the late thirteenth century, Eastern and European merchants traded extensively here. Azak was one of the points along the Great Silk Road (Map 2). Pottery was also one of the products that were bought and sold in Azak markets. Pottery produced in Islamic countries such as Iran, Syria and Egypt and delivered to the city has always had a special place. It was so-called ceremonial pottery, intended for special occasions and almost exclusively for wealthy citizens - representatives of the ruling elite, aristocrats, wealthy citizens, businessmen and diplomats. Only members of these classes could decorate their homes and tables with dishes of different shapes and sizes, each of which was a work of real art. One of the most numerous categories of Islamic pottery found in Azak excavations is Iranian pottery. Various examples of dishes decorated with different styles and decorative technologies are associated with the production of the famous medieval Iranian center of Islam, called “Kashan”.
The south of Russia, due to its proximity to the geographical area of northwestern Iran, shows a cultural connection with Iran. It became part of the Islamic lands at the same time as the Mongol period, and served as a crossroads between Eastern and Western cultures. The city has played a key role in cultural interactions due to its proximity to sea lanes that were traded by European ships, as well as the Silk Road, which provided access to Islamic lands. Archaeological excavations carried out in this city by the archaeologists of the Azo Museum have revealed a large amount of cultural materials, among which pottery is the predominant type. These pottery were commercial pottery that was not produced in this area but were imported from other places as opaque items. The pottery was imported in workshops in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Egypt and entered the city via the Silk Road. After trading in the markets of this city, ships were imported as luxury goods and entered Europe. The inhabitants of this city, who were merchants and wealthy people of the lands of the East and the West, were also considered to be large customers of these items, because during the archeological excavations obtained from the houses of merchants, a large number of these types of pottery were found on the site. Their lives have been found. The pottery that has been imported to this region from Iran is mostly azure, enamel, golden shade, blue and white pottery and Shirvan style pottery that is produced in Lez centers such as: Rey, Sultanabad, Kashan, Tabriz, etc. have become. Most and the best examples of pottery in this area are known as Kashin pottery, which was referred to by Russian archaeologists as pottery with the technique of painting under glaze, which had a turquoise blue glaze with a black or turquoise painting.