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The World Of Iranian Pottery

Jan 31, 2008
Iranian pottery, often known as Gombroon, has a protracted history beginning from early Iranian civilization. When agriculture first began there, the natives made utensils of clay for their daily requirements. The first potteries of Iran were very simple and were either black or red in color. Gradually they started decorating these earthen wares with skillfully crafted, lively geometric designs.

Designing pottery started in Iran about 4000 years BC and during the same era the pottery rotating machine was invented there. The potters, by using this new machine, prepared piped pots, bowls and jars. There was an increase in the quantity of pottery produced as well as the quality. The designs to be engraved were carefully selected and artistically designed. Around the second millennium B.C.E, simple plates, pitchers, jugs and jars were made devoid of any exterior decorations. Some had grey, dark grey, red and buff colors with polished surfaces. Zoomorphic vessels were the most wonderful creations of that period. These potteries were made for daily usage. For religious purposes also the zoomorphic potteries were employed. Until the middle of the 1st millennium B.C.E, production of these zoomorphic vessels was prominent. Later, this has decreased.

Iranian pottery in the Medyian dynasty flourished and a wide variety of them were manufactured in Malayer, Bisotun, Gelan and Cordestan. One significant innovation of the median era was the coming of glazed ware.

With the establishment of the Achaemenid Dynasty (6th century BCE), the simple glazed wares of the Median era were festooned with incised and molded sketches. New shapes like rhyton were introduced which became popular.

During the Parthian Dynastic period (248 BCE-224), alkaline glazed potteries were introduced. Alkaline glaze was applied on the white body of the wares. Pilgrim flasks and large bowls were made during this era. Apart from glazing, the potteries were also decorated with plain incised lines.

Pottery in the Sasanian period (224 to 651 BCE) can be classed as glazed and unglazed wares. In the glazed pottery turquoise green and blue were used in huge storage jars, pilgrim flasks and bowls. The unglazed wares had thick, everted rims with stamped decorations on their surface. They were even adorned with Pahlavi inscriptions.

In the Post Sasanian period (7th century CE), there was the coming of Islam during which pottery manufacturing changed over the entire Islamic world.

Archeological surveys show that there were four major areas of the Iranian plateau where pottery was most widely manufactured:-

1. Lurestan which is at the western side of the country i.e. towards the west of Zagros Mountains.

2. Gilan and Mazandaran provinces which are located at the south of the Caspian Sea.

3. Azarbaijan which is the north west part of Iran.

4. Kerman and Baluchistan which are in the south east part of Iran.

The Iranian potters have always experimented with new ideas and types, which has left them most commonly ahead of other Islamic countries in pottery making.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for pottery, antiques, and figurines. When shopping for pottery, antiques and figurines, we recommend only the best online stores for Iranian pottery , antiques, and figurines.
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