At Sīrāf a palatial complex commanding a high ridge was found to date around 493/1100.
Measuring at least 37 by 38 m, it contained some thirty rooms haphazardly arranged at different levels. 135-242), have yielded the plans of tomb towers apparently larger than any surviving examples.
These surveys indicate that few standing monuments of major importance remain to be discovered.
The history of Iranian architecture from about 440/1050 onward is now known in its broad outlines; the trickle of newly discovered buildings serves mainly to fill in a few details.
An associated complex on a lower terrace had two irregular courtyards and chaotically disposed rooms. ʿAbbasid-type congregational mosques have been excavated at Susa (R.
Architectural features include polylobed arches and slender arched niches (A. The sites of most early mosques excavated so far show no evidence of previous occupation.
Except at Rebāṭ-e Šaraf and Nīšāpūr, very little medieval metalwork of quality has been excavated. Schnyder, “Mediæval Incised and Carved Wares from North West Iran,” in , pp. Excavation of medieval kilns at Sīrāf suggests that the medieval potters used a type of updraft kiln in which the heat is drawn through the floor of the kiln to a hole at the top (J. Kilns at Nīšāpūr, Sīrāf, and Gorgān alike used tripods and stoppers (see M. As a result it can now be proved that at Sīrāf imports from China—especially celadon and porcelain—were on a massive scale (D. Sīrǰān yielded glassmaking and iron smelting installations (A. Those found at Laškar-e Bāzār (5th/11th century) depict the royal bodyguard (D.
Nothing of importance from Sīrāf; a bronze tripod and a quantity of household objects from Eṣṭaḵr, and only one Il-khanid bowl from Ḡobayrā, a site that yielded the oldest lacquered object yet found in Iran—an Il-khanid wooden casket (A. Schlumberger “Le palais Ghaznévide de Lashkari Bazar,” 37, 1942).
Islamic Iran From the outset Islamic archeology in Iran was overshadowed by the numerous and splendid sites of earlier periods, and archeological investigation of Islamic sites began appreciably later in the Iranian world than in western Islam and in the Indian subcontinent. Archeology is frequently defined as a study of the human past through the things people have made and used; in this liberal sense of the term, the earliest archeologists working on Islamic material in Iran were perhaps the European visitors to the Safavid court.
It was not until the 1930s that the first group of major Islamic sites was dug (C. Wilkinson, 13/3-4, 1971); even then, the excavators were not primarily interested in the Islamic material that they uncovered, since the medieval period was well known from literary sources. 10, 24, 25-28, 30-36, 43-45, 47, 59-64, 74, 76, 79-82, 87-89, 91, 99, 102-03, 111). Men like Herbert, Chardin, Olearius, Tavernier, Kaempfer, de Bruin, and della Valle left engravings of cities and of individual Islamic monuments (see Sir Roger Stevens, “European Visitors to the Safavid Court,” , Paris, 1867), and the Dieulafoys together produced the first serious survey of the country’s monuments, richly illustrated by ambitious measured drawings.
Similarly, some monumental inscriptions, such as those on some of the Sīrāf grave covers, provide actual dates. In recent years an increasingly wide range of scientific techniques has been deployed in order to determine the date and provenance of the major types of Iranian pottery. Modern techniques have also allowed scholars to plumb some of the technical secrets of the medieval potter, including opaque glazes, firing techniques, and distinctions among various methods of underglaze painting (notably simple slip colors versus genuine underglaze colors fixed by a clay paste). These scientifically based findings have also shown the need to revise accepted terminology: Saljuq glazes are not “alkali glazes,” and even the common term “lead glaze” is an oversimplification that ignores the other vital components of the glaze. Similar work is needed to clarify the relationship between a given town and its dependent villages. Upton, “The Iranian Expedition,” s in public buildings, a room at the center of each ground floor side opened into thc courtyard. At Sīrāf building space was unusually limited, and people preferred to repair houses rather than building afresh. The arrangements at Gorgān were more elaborate: one street, up to seven meters wide, had brick paving and a central canal that fed side channels running to the houses on either side M. Virtually no standing royal palaces survive, although one was found at Sāva, yielding rich figural stucco (possibly including the panel illustrated in the , pl.