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Michael Roaf

Term from Old Persian used to describe a distinctive type of building, found in the royal Achaemenid Persian palaces at Susa and Persepolis. It has a square columned hall with six rows of six columns and three columned porticos, each with two rows of six columns. Apadanas are thought to have been audience halls for the king and his court and for the reception of foreign vassals and ambassadors. The word is found in inscriptions of Darius II (reg 423–405 bc) and of Artaxerxes II (reg 404–359 bc) from Susa and from Hamadan, the old Median capital city, which was used as a royal residence by the Achaemenid kings. One of the texts from Susa was carved on the column bases of a building of this type constructed by Darius I (reg 521–486 bc) and restored by Artaxerxes II. A building of a similar size and with the same arrangement of stone columns, many of which stand ...


Astrology in medieval art  

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....



Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....


Godard, André  

S. J. Vernoit

(b Chaumont, Haute-Marne, Jan 21, 1881; d Paris, July 31, 1965).

French archaeologist and art historian, active in Iran. Godard qualified as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and in 1910 became involved with the urban planning of Baghdad. At this time, he began to develop an interest in the archaeology and art of the Middle East. He visited Egypt and Syria and, in 1923, went to Afghanistan to research Buddhist remains. In 1928 he settled in Iran, where he lived until 1960, except for the years 1953–6. During his years in Iran he directed the College of Fine Arts, Tehran, and the Department of Antiquities, founded the Archaeological (Iran Bastan) Museum and drew up plans for the museums of Mashhad and Abadan. He also initiated the documentation and restoration of many ancient monuments and archaeological remains and gained access to sites previously forbidden to non-Muslims. He published many of the principal monuments of Iran in such learned journals as ...



Lionel Bier

[aiwan, eyvan, ivan, liwan; Pers. ayvān, Arab. īwān]

Vaulted hall with walls on three sides and completely open on the fourth. In classical Persian and Arabic texts the term usually refers to a palace building or some formal part of a palace, such as a platform, balcony or portico; only among modern archaeologists and art historians is the word applied solely to this type of vaulted hall. The basic form of the iwan can be traced back to Mesopotamia and Iran during the time of the Parthians (see Parthian) and Sasanians (c. 250 bcad 651), but its full architectural potential was realized by Islamic builders from Egypt to India, who made it a distinctive feature of their secular and religious monuments.

The origin and early development of the iwan are the subject of debate, and no convincing solution to these problems will be possible until more archaeological data is available from Iran and Central Asia, where the iwan became such an important architectural feature. Some large halls at ...



C. A. Burney

Site of an Urartian temple of the 9th and 8th centuries bc in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is situated on a hilltop more than 300 m above the main road from Erciş, on the north-east shore of Lake Van, to Karaköse (Ağrı). The temple is the earliest known example of the Urartian square tower form, built of ashlar masonry with a mud-brick superstructure (see Urartian, §2). It was excavated by a Turkish expedition in the 1960s and finds are in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Set into the fine basalt ashlar are the only two known copies of the Annals of Menua (c. 810–c. 788 bc), suggesting that he accorded this district a special status, perhaps as providing a base for his northern campaigns. Fragmentary wall paintings were discovered but left in situ.

A fortified enclosure below the temple, known as Aznavurtepe, may well have served as a compound for the cavalry and for captured livestock; there are traces of a reservoir for the storage of melted snow from the slopes. The perimeter wall is of a design not found elsewhere in Urartu and incorporates a series of towers (8×9 m) that straddle the wall, projecting from both the outer and inner faces; the towers were constructed first....



T. Dothan


Name given to the inhabitants of the south coast of Palestine in the late 2nd millennium bc and the early 1st. Philistine art and architecture offer a syncretistic blend of Aegean, Canaanite and Egyptian elements. The dominant element is Aegean, as demonstrated by cult practices, burial customs, funerary rites, architectural styles and decorative motifs on pottery. The Philistine people were among the invaders known from Egyptian records as the Sea Peoples. These were probably of Aegean origin and first appeared in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 13th century bc. At that time the Egyptians and the Hittites controlled the Levant, but both were politically and militarily weak. The Sea Peoples exploited this opportunity by invading areas previously subject to Egyptian and Hittite control and launched land and sea assaults on Syria and Palestine. The Philistine people or Peleset are first mentioned as invaders during the reign of ...


Umm Dabaghiya  

Robert C. Henrickson

[Umm Dabaghiyah]

Prehistoric site in the Jazira in northern Iraq, c. 100 km south-west of Mosul. Umm Dabaghiya was a specialized settlement and trading post that flourished c. 6200–c. 5750 bc and is an early ceramic site with distinctive architectural features. Many of the finest objects from the site are now to be found in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad. Diana Kirkbride conducted four seasons of excavation (1971–4), clearing a large area (c. 3000 sq. m). Periods of abandonment separated the four levels of occupation (IV–I). In the better-preserved earlier levels (IV–III) three blocks of double or triple rows of small, well-built, rectilinear compartments (each c. 1.5×2.0 m) defined three sides of a large open area. Their size and lack of household features indicate they were used for storage; the overall layout suggests a planned construction. Beyond these were small, irregular one- to three-roomed houses. Exterior ovens opened into the interior for hearths that had chimneys. Plastered steps and toeholds in the upper walls and the absence of doorways suggest that entry was from the roof. Some of the white-plastered interiors, especially in levels IV–III, had painted bands around the floor and naturalistic frescoes on the walls, one of which seems to depict an onager hunt (Baghdad, Iraq Mus.; ...



Joan Oates

[Bibl. Erech; Class. Orchoë; now Warka]

Site in southern Iraq of an important Sumerian city, once situated on a branch of the Euphrates, continuously occupied from the 5th millennium bc to Sasanian times (7th century ad); it is noted especially for remarkable architecture of the 4th millennium bc (Uruk period) and for the world’s earliest written documents. The site was excavated in 1850 and 1854 by William Kennet Loftus; since 1912 German teams have worked there under J. Jordan (1912–13, 1928–31), A. Nöldeke (1931–3, 1934–9), E. Heinrich (1933–4) and, since 1954, under H. Lenzen and later J. Schmidt. Most of the finds are in Baghdad (Iraq Mus.), although some of Loftus’s are in London (BM) and some from the earlier German excavations are in Berlin (Pergamonmus.).

The city of the legendary Gilgamesh, Uruk is believed to have consisted originally of two settlements, Kullaba and Eanna, of which Kullaba, the site of the later Anu precinct, is believed to be the earlier. Here two temples of the 5th millennium ...



R. G. Killick

[Assyrian: ziqquratu ]

A square or rectangular stepped tower with three or more stages, one of the most distinctive and enduring forms of Mesopotamian religious architecture. The first ziggurats were built in the mid-3rd millennium bc; the latest examples were still being renovated in the 6th century bc.

Ziggurats first appeared in southern Iraq, in the major religious centres of the Sumerians, at sites such as Ur ( see Mesopotamia, fig. ), Eridu, Uruk, Kish and Nippur. The earliest known ziggurats are at Kish and date to the Early Dynastic III period (c. 2600–c. 2400 bc). All other Sumerian ziggurats date to the Ur III period (c. 2100–c. 2000 bc); these ziggurats were rebuilt many times, however, which may well have obscured or obliterated their earlier forms. In the 2nd millennium bc the ziggurat, together with many other aspects of Sumerian religious life, was taken over by the ...