The pottery is one of the most important and oldest artistic handmade works of the man that has remained alive from the ancient time to the present. Due to the specific geographical location of their country on the way of the highway of civilizations, Iranians have not only been one of the pioneers in terms of pottery-making but also have been regarded as the most dexterous nation in this field. The pottery-making has been practiced in four residential areas of Iran as follows:
Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenides, was well-informed about the importance of minting and establishing a mint but unfortunately he was deprived of this opportunity due to his rather early demise. Cambyses (529-521 B.C.E) was engaged with various wars and conflicts during his short period of rule and consequently he could not get any chance to deal with issues such as mintage
Jewelries are recognizable through the high quality of ornate decorations inlaid with jewels. These decorations are a well-known characteristic of the jewelry during the Achaemenides era. According to this style, different jewelries are decorated with precious gems, glass and ceramics in various colors. These pieces are placed on the nicks of the surface of the gold. This art was brought to Persia via Egyptian and Median artists and artisans.
Metal utensils and tools
In modern age, the historical periods are categorized based on the rules of royal dynasties and governments. However, the oldest categorization of historical periods was based on the metal age. According to studies, Iranians were pioneer in using the metal age basis for such a classification. Categorization of various stages of the human history on the basis of the quadruple metals has been mentioned in the Avesta
Scientific investigations on the history of glass indicate that the early men living near the volcanoes discovered the raw material of the glass at locations where the molten rocks went cold swiftly. Using the glass, they embarked on making sharp items such as arrows, knife blades, and other practical tools. They finally got engaged in creating decorated items of glass. Looking at the history of glass working, one could identify three historical periods in terms of formulation and raw materials used for soda-lime-silica glass as follows
Murals (wall paintings) refer to any types of paintings drawn with any techniques or crafts, provided that their supports are walls. The important feature of murals is their close relationship to the architectural spaces for which they play a complementary role. Easel painting could be regarded as the complementary element of the architectural work but it is considered an independent work.
As an art, tilework is one of the valuable and sublime arts used for decoration in Iranian architecture from the ancient time to the present. This art has extensively been used for the beauty of the exteriors and interiors of religious buildings, mausoleums, mosques and bridges over various historical periods. This practical art used for fortification and beautification of buildings and monuments dates back to the second millennium B.C. and Iranian artists have been familiar with making adobes and glazed bricks since the ancient time. The glazed bricks in green, yellow and brown with human and plant designs have been used as tiles.
Stone artifacts and stonemasonry
Traditionally, stone-based arts in Iran have been of enormous diversity. They include items such as stone architecture, stone tools and equipments, reliefs, stone volumes and sculptures, stone stamps, stone frames, tombstone, stone mosaics, stone ornamental works, cutting jewelry and precious and semi-precious stones, stone beads and lithography. Stones are one of the most basic materials used by the man to make tools and shelters and meet his needs. Ancient Stone Age and Paleolithic periods represent periods when stoned took precedence over metal and other materials. Remains of stone-built houses in northern Iran date back to 7,000 years ago. In stone buildings, rubble stones have been used along with gypsum and lime mortars. Due to their weight and difficulty of application, rubble stones have relatively been replaced by construction materials such as bricks. However, in spite of being heavy and difficult to carry or extract, rubble stones have preserved their position in construction of heavy and hard buildings such as bridges, tunnels, avalanche barriers, separating walls and stone decorations.
During the Persian Empire (sixth to seventh centuries AD), stones were the main construction materials used in the construction of large and small buildings at places of higher altitudes in Iran. These buildings include many architectural complexes and archeological sites such as Persepolis and Pasargadae constructed during the reign of the Achaemenid period. Other ancient stone buildings of Iran include Sassanid stone buildings located in the south of Iran such as the Palace of Ardashir Pāpakan, Firuzabad, Bishapur, and Qal'eh Dokhtar (Dokhtar Castle). Other examples include Takht-e Soleymān in the northern Iran as well as some mansions to the west of the country such as Arch of Ctesiphon and Khusrow Palace in Qasr Shirin County.
Extensive use of stone in the historical architecture of Iranian highlands is rooted in the existence of raw materials (especially limestone and igneous rocks) in the Zagros Mountains, a long mountain range stretching from the northwestern Iran (Azerbaijan) to vast areas of southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq. This mountain range crosses through Iran along its western border and finally reaches the shores of Persian Gulf.
Stone-related scientific topics such as rock mining activities and studying origins of stone raw materials used in ancient constructions have widely been studied across the world. These studies comprise one of the important topics in multidisciplinary researches in the field of archeology. Researches are typically divided into two categories namely studies on the stones used in the construction of buildings and researches on decorative stones, stone tools and precious stones. With the development of advanced archaeological, geological, mineralogical and geochemical techniques used for analyzing ancient materials, archaeologists from around the world began to conduct researches on origins of stones and raw materials used in ancient buildings particularly stone and decorative blocks.
Stone artifacts unearthed in Jiroft enjoy unique attractiveness and features. The study and analysis of these artifacts in terms of semantics (content) and forms (structure) is instrumental to better recognition of people, cultures and arts of the ancient civilization of Jiroft. Additionally, these studies increase our understanding of the technical knowledge of visual arts of this civilization. Images on Jiroft stone vessels express mythical and ritual beliefs and ideas used successfully by artists and craftsmen though visual elements and qualities to represent and visualize their ideas on surfaces of vessels and figurines.
In the composition structures of Jiroft vessels, visual elements such as dots, lines and surfaces are used. These elements are taken from the nature and abstract ideas. Stonemasons have created images using these elements and the science of anatomy which reflect ritual and mythological beliefs of people of this region in the past. Data analysis shows that stonemasons have not used just a single visual element, rather they have used a variety of elements in different modes to create diverse combinations to convey the intended visual qualities to viewers. They have used diagonal horizontal and vertical lines to show the grandeur of palaces, temples and interior spaces. By repeating diagonal lines, they have showed the delicacy of palm leaves. Careful observance of the nature assisted them to make optimal use of visual elements and combine them with their mental perceptions in a way that they used wavy lines to design and engrave roots of old palm trees. Similarly, they used curved lines to show the softness of the lower part of snakes' bodies. These images indicate that these artists or craftsmen have extensively avoided empty spaces as much as possible. They used the surface of vessels to express their ideas in a natural and abstract ways. The rhythm of the movement of proportion is one of the prominent visual qualities of these artifacts. For instance, the rhythm of old palm trees shows the huge groves of this region in the past.
Images on Jiroft stone vessels showcases a nature full of movement and dynamism between animals and humans as the man fights with snakes and wild animals such as tigers or images such as goats grazing in the bushes. The movement of scorpions in the reverse direction of each other prevents stillness of viewers' eyes. Observance of balance and proportion in these images has made them attractive. These images are in harmony with shapes of the vessels.
Ancient city of Susa
The stone artifacts from this period date back to 3,000 to 2,900 BC. They include a collection of vessels shaped in the forms of animals such as birds, frogs, pigs and monkeys carved from stones such as marbles.
Ancient city of Elam
Significant stone objects have been unearthed in the central room of the temple of the goddess Kiririsha including a large number of marble sticks and limestones on the number of which the name of Untash-Napirisha, the king of Elam during the Middle Elamite period, were engraved. Also, a unique collection of stone objects and tools has been discovered in Haft-Tépé. In this period the art of stone sculpture was formed with an emphasis on expressing reality and far from imagination. This feature is the most visible in rock reliefs. The Elamites were skilled in the three-dimensional sculptures, too. Stone-carved heads obtained from the tombs of Susa are excellent examples of this art. These statues date back to the early second millennium BC.
The most beautiful manifestation of Achaemenid art can be found in the field of architecture. The materials used in the architecture of this period are mainly stones. The most prominent stone monuments of this period include the tomb of Cyrus, which was built as a six-story stone platform. The columns of the palaces of Susa and Persepolis have been decorated with carvings and stone masonry. The whole building of Persepolis is made of stones with no mortar between stones, but in some places, the stones have been connected with iron fasteners. The inscription of Bistun which was carved during the reign of Darius I of Achaemenid is located on a rock to be seen by passing caravans. The inscriptions on this relief are in ancient Persian, Elamite and Babylonian scripts.
The Achaemenid sculptures include a lion attacking a bull, a walking lion, guards of Susa, Persian and Median servants and decorative designs representing roses, palm leaves and reeds found in Susa and Persepolis.
Parthians and Sassanids
Parthian stone monuments include the historical monument of Kangāvar which evokes the grandeur of Greek buildings in terms of grandeur and the use of stones and carvings on columns and walls. The other example is the outer wall of Takht-e Soleymān which is made of stones.
During the Sassanid period, architecture and plan found their own forms in a way that they can be implemented both in palaces and government mansions as well as in ordinary houses. Stones were used to cover domes of buildings, too. Sassanid carvings are beautiful examples of stonemasonry as an art. Beautiful examples of these carvings are those seen in Tāq-e Bostān of Kermanshah as well as many rocks. The stonemasonry of the Sassanid period was as marvelous as that of the Achaemenid period in terms of beauty and detail. Additionally, it continued the Parthian styles in terms of its composition with some innovations such as three-dimensional (perspective) positioning of humans and margins around designs.
The first Sassanid relief to be mentioned is the victory of Ardeshir Sassanid over the Artabanus IV (also known as Ardavan IV). This scene is depicted in a huge relief on a large rock in the city of Firuzabad. In this relief, three pairs of warriors can be seen who are fighting. Their clothes, hair and beard styles indicate the official make-up of the Sassanid era.
Another relief is the one indicating the coronation ceremony of Ardashir I at the site of Naqsh-e Rostam. Next to this relief, an inscription can be seen in three languages namely Greek, Sassanid Pahlavi and Parthian Pahlavi. The theme of the inscription is the name of God and the name of the king.
One of the masterpieces of Sassanid sculpture is a relief indicating Bahram I, the son of Shapur I where the Sassanid king has extended his arm to take the royal crown from God. The other relief is the one known as Sar-Mashhad left from by Bahram II and his family.
The art and craft of stonemasonry declined in the Islamic period. A few store artifacts were made during this period and they were only an imitation of the sculptures of previous periods. The reason for unpopularity of this among Muslims was their religious beliefs since they considered carving pictures on stones as a form of idolatry. Consequently, stonemasonry was in stark contrast to the monotheism as the first principle of Islam. This belief even led to destruction of stone artifacts and carvings of the Medes, Achaemenids, Parthians and Sassanids during the Islamic era. Stone decorations were presented in a different way during the Islamic era. These designs were mainly dedicated to the construction of pillar bases in some mosques, stone lattice skylights and decorative bases. In other words, from this period onwards, what became important was not the emphasis on the splendor of the stone decorations, but the emphasis on the material and durability of stone structures. Therefore, in decorations of the Islamic era, we rarely come across stone decorations whose decorative aspects supersedes other aspects especially their uses. The most prominent Islamic works that we have passed to us are mosques, schools and holy places which have been decorated by architects and other artists leading to the perfection of Iranian architecture.
During the Qajar era, a great deal of attention was paid to the culture and history of pre-Islamic Iran and Qajar kings tried to imitate the architecture of buildings of ancient Persia. Due to this tendency, pre-Islamic artistic and cultural elements were so highlighted that the influence and modeling of pre-Islamic culture and civilization is easily noticeable in the artistic works of the Qajar period. The revival of the tradition of stonemasonry for stone columns inside religious and non-religious buildings is evident in historical cities of Iran such as Shiraz, Kermanshah, Isfahan and Sanandaj. These artistic endeavors were inspired by the columnar architecture of ancient Iran. The foundation of applying columnar stonemasonry in religious buildings in the Islamic period was laid during Timurid period, but all of these stone works were in the form of half-columns inside walls of buildings. Stonemasonry in mosques of Qajar era can be considered as the most important and prominent art of this period.
The stonemasonry applied in columns of mosques are divided into four categories: geometric motifs, plant-based motifs, abstract motifs and inscription motifs. Excellent designs were applied for decorating the bases, capitals and bodies of columns. All these four categories have not been used in the stone works of Qajar columns. Abstract motifs and inscriptions are less common in these stone artifacts while plant and geometric motifs are the most common ones applied in stonemasonry of columns of mosques. In addition to their various decorations, columns of each mosque have their own unique features. Influenced by the art of the ancient Persia and the Zand periods, the artists of Qajar were inclined towards building stone columns with sculptural techniques along with original Iranian motifs in religious buildings of the Qajar era. It is noteworthy that there are no traces of western cultural themes and arts in the stonemasonry of columns in the Qajar period while the western themes and arts have left huge impacts on the Iranian art and architecture during the Qajar period.
Over a long period of time, Iranian used parchment and skins of animals for writing. The word parchment evolved (via the Latin pergamenum and the French parchemin) from the name of the city of Pergamon, which was a thriving center of parchment production during the Hellenistic period. Making use of parchment was common even before the Achaemenides era. Darrius the Great has referred to using parchment (leather) in his reliefs.
The papermaking industry was born in China. Cai Lun, an official of ancient China, made papers in his house in 105 A.D. His papers were thin and smooth. Although this paper had taken its name from papyrus, there was no similarity between them. Over a short period of time, the papermaking industry spread to areas beyond Chinese borders. Followers of Nestorian Christianity in Turkistan wrote the Bible in papers as of the beginning of the third century A.D.
During the reign of Parthians, Iranians had extensive ties with Chinese. Apparently, these relationships led to a new trend of bringing papers to Persia from China. To promote their religions and beliefs, practitioners of Manichaeism enormously used writings and paintings during the rule of the Sassanians. They were so much interested in writing books and binding. Followers of Mane probably played a prominent role in engendering the papermaking industry in Iran as well as binding books. When Samarkand was conquered by Muslims in 753 A.D., some Chinese craftsmen who had gone there to establish the paper industry were captivated. With the support of these Chinese craftsmen, the paper industry got its way to the Islamic world. The first Islamic papermaking factory was established in Baghdad in 793 A.D.
Binding was another industry affiliated to papermaking. Binding began in Iran and took the artistic form. Plethora of books were bound in leather covers and they were inlaid with gold. Gradually, this art made its way into the Arab world. A new type of binding emerged that was the invention of Muslims. In this new method, a part of the leather sheet is placed on the cover and a marble sheet is placed to the back of the book. Some 1,000 years ago, papers in the standardized sizes were produced in the orient. The first paper money (bills) was printed in the city of Tabriz in 1524 A.D. and it became popular in the northern parts of Africa in the 11th and 12th centuries and consequently it spread to some European regions including Sicily and Spain. Little by little, the bills spread across the Europe from the Spanish cities in the 13th century and gradually replaced the parchment. Prior to the emergence of bills, parchment was used for transaction in Europe but since it was expensive, the writings on parchments were cleaned after one transaction and new writings were placed on.
Papyrus that was used for writing before the invention of papers lost its functionality in the 8th century. Actually, papyrus was used as the material for making ropes as of the 4th century. Popularity of parchment was one of the reasons for the decline of papyrus over that period.
History of Scripts in the World
As the mother of sciences and ancient inventions, scripts have always carried the weight of transferring human cultures through all the past centuries. Scripts have played an effective role in protecting and expanding various sciences. The history of scripts date runs across the history of the man on the earth. One can assert that the human civilization began when scripts emerged in the actual sense. As of the history of human writings, it might be claimed that the first art of the primitive man began with scripts as a geometric concept. The first simple lines drawn aimlessly by the early man on the tools, handmade vessels or walls of the residential caves became more perfect in the course of time, gained some meanings and contributed to registering human thoughts.
The early man created some images of animals, plants and human beings on the walls of his shelters. This stage could be regarded as the first step in registering the events and the relationship of the man with his external world. With the development of the civilization, these images gradually set the stage for the emergence of the first scripts. The first scripts were invented by civilizations of the Sumerians and Elamites which date back to the 4th and 3rd millennia B.C. These scripts were mainly a collection of images and events in the form of the pictographs. There were some symbols in these images to express actions and emotions.
Clay tablets were made in Mesopotamia. Sugarcanes were used to write on these clay tablets. To make carvings on the clays easier, a sharp wedge was later added to the end of sugarcanes. For applying these wedges, this type of writing is known as the wedge-shaped impression or script in the history of technology. The relief of Darius I in Bistun is one example of such a script. In other regions such as Egypt where papyrus was available, the writing was performed in another method.
The emergence of alphabet could be considered as the pinnacle of the evolutionary trend of writing. Most of scholars believe that the invention of alphabet originates in the modern Middle East. It is estimated that the alphabet was invented in 3,000 B.C. The birthplace of the alphabet was the Sinai Peninsula from which the alphabet was taken to other territories by Phoenician merchants. The modern Persian and Arabic alphabets take their roots in the early alphabets of Phoenicians.
Apparently Aryans who immigrated to Persia did not have any scripts. The history of the invention of cuneiform writing dates back to the period when Teispes (640-675 B.C.) and his successor, Ariaramnes, ruled ancient Persia.
Although numerous works have not remained from the time of the Medes, it is clear that they had their own scripts and writing which turned into the basis of the Achaemenides script in the later periods.
Writing was common and prevailing during the Achaemenides. The clay tablets and stone inscriptions discovered indicate that scripts and writings were extensively used in the Achaemenides culture.
Persians used two types of scripts during the Achaemenides namely the Phoenician script with its Sumerian origin and Aramaic alphabet adapted from the Phoenician. The Aramaic script had 22 alphabets. During the Achaemenides, the cuneiform writing was invented as the alphabetic writing rather than the audio script. The cuneiform writing was composed of 36 signs each representing a letter.
Parthians and Sassanians periods
The Pahlavi script gained popularity during the reign of Parthians and Sassanians. The Pahlavi alphabet was composed of 14 letters. Most of these letters were used in Avestan script. The Pahlavi script was written in seven various forms.
After the advent of Islam, the Pahlavi script was replaced by the Arabic script in Iran. The Arabic script is adapted from the Kufic script. The Kufic script is adapted from the Syriac script is rooted in the Aramaic script. The Aramaic script is adapted from the Phoenicians and the Phoenician script has taken roots in the hieroglyphic script.
The Arabic script underwent some transformations and changes in Iran. For instance, the Taliq script (lit. suspending script) was invented in the 11th century A.D. and the Nastaliq script was invented in the 13th century A.D. The Shekasteh script (lit. the broken script) was invented in the 17th century. Finally, the Shekasteh Nastaliq was invented in the 19th century which is the script of the modern Persian script.
Different types of scripts
Different types of scripts and their evolutionary paths have been explained by researchers in various stages as follows:
The pictographic script is divided into two main categories as follows:
a- Cryptography: During this period, the man used pictures in a certain fashion to express his intentions, ideas and points. These pictures and signs are used even now by some indigenous people such as American Indians.
b- Pictograms: This script was invented by Egyptians to express their own ideas. They called it the hieroglyph or the sacred script. It was used in Egypt in 3,000 B.C. and then was used in Asia Minor. To make their messages understood, people drew pictures as the hieroglyph. Statements written in this manner were abundant and they created lots of problems. Consequently, some changes were made in this method of writing which led to the emergence of the ideogram of ideograph.
2- Ideogram or ideograph:
In this type of script, they made use of pictures whose drawing was sufficient to express brief ideas. At this stage, the word was turned into the basis of the script and for every word a picture was designated. The combination of these pictures resulted in sentences. This script experiences some transformations in the course of time and turned into the syllabic writing after some stages.
3- Syllabary or syllabic writing:
In the syllabic writing there is no relationship between syllables and the items they refer to. In some scripts such as the Elamite, Sumerian and Babylonian scripts, for every syllable a special sign was developed. However, due to the enormous number of syllables in every language, the easier way was developing a specific sign for every letter and sound so as that one could limit the number of signs, that is, to move from syllabic writing to non-syllabic writing.
4- Alphabetic writing (non-syllabic writing):
This stage is considered the last stage in the process of evolution of scripts. During this stage some great steps were taken forward in the field of art and for every sound, a specific phonetic sigh was set. The most famous non-syllabic scripts are the following ones:
a- Ugaritic writing system:
The Ugaritic script is so similar to the cuneiform writing in appearance and it is composed of 31 letters.
b- Proto-Sinaitic (Proto-Canaanite) script:
This script was used in 2000 to 1500 B.C. It was completely similar to the hieroglyphic script.
c- Phoenician script:
The Sinaitic script was the mother of the Phoenician script. Scores of Arabic and oriental scripts have emerged from the Phoenician script. Hence, one can assert that the script originates from the Phoenicians. Coptic and Aramaic people adapted the script from the Phoenicians and made some modifications therein. Later, the Pahlavi script and other scripts were invented based on the Aramaic script. The Phoenician script was composed of 22 letters written from the right to the left. It was invented in 1,500 B.C. by Phoenicians and gradually spread to other regions of the world in different forms. The Phoenician script was used for writing on the commercial and trade ledgers.
d- Sumerian script:
Sumerians invented and established the cuneiform script, astrology, medicine and astronomy. They invented some 600 wedge-shaped impressions at its script in 3,200 B.C. These symbols were initially in the form of pictures but they were simplified by Akkadians and later this script was adapted by Assyrians, Elamites, and Babylonians. Consequently, this script spread to all Semitic-speaking groups and Semitic ethnicities in 1,800 B.C.
e- Semitic script:
The Semitic script emerged during the Bronze Age when governments of Egypt, Babylon, Assyrians and Abyssinians were in power. Concurrently, the Semitic tribes rose to power in Syria and Yemen and the Kingdom of Sheba took control of trade between the Far East and the White Sea. During this period, the alphabet underwent some transformations and changes from two directions. On the one hand, the alphabet of northern Semites or the Canaanites emerged from which the Hebrew, Aramaic and Minor Asian scripts were impacted. On the other hand, the alphabet of Semites in the southern parts of the Arabic Peninsula emerged. Local people in those areas made transformed the script invented by the Kingdom of Sheba.
The main basis and origin of the scripts in pre-Islamic period in Iran were the language of ancient Persia and that of the Middle Persian period. After the advent of Islam, the script was dramatically transformed in Iran and Kufic script gained popularity in an extraordinary fashion.
The Cuneiform script is made of wedge-shaped impressions. The script was used in the ancient inscriptions. It was developed in Mesopotamia by Sumerians and other civilizations in that region made use of it. The application of this script in Iran probably goes back to the era before the reign of Cyrus during the Achaemenides. However, it was extensively used as of the ruling period of Darius. In the Cuneiform script, every sign signifies a particular sound. There are 21 letters in this script.
One of the most important and ancient scripts is the Aramaic one that could be regarded as the mother of all the alphabetic scripts. There were only 25 letters in the Aramaic script. It was of two types namely the Parthian and Sassanian scripts. The Aramaic people were businessmen and spoke a simple language. This simplicity led to the swift spread of their language in the Mesopotamia and quickly it turned into an international language. The Aramaic script was initially used for commercial purposes but then turned into a script used by everybody.
The Pahlavi script was adapted from the Aramaic script during the Sassanian era for writing then-Persian language, that is, the Middle Persian. The Pahlavi script was used up to three centuries after the advent of Islam in stone inscriptions, coins, documents, letters and transaction documents compiled in the Pahlavi or Parsik languages.
The Avestan alphabet is referred to as ``the religion's script`` (dēn dibīrih in Middle Persian). The Avesta, the religious texts of Zoroastrianism, was written in the Avestan script. The Islamic authors have called it ``the religion's script`` (dēn dibīrih in Middle Persian).
The Manichaean script
After the rise of Mani (215-277 A.D.) and his religion, the Manichaean script became popular in Persia and other territories whose people were followers of Mani’s teachings. Mani adapted his script from the Palmyrene alphabet. The Manichaean script was written from left to right and its letter were not connected while written. Some of the invaluable works in the Manichaean script have been discovered in China’s Turkistan written in an eligible and pretty manner on precious papers by using colorful inks.
Arabic alphabet and script
Before the advent of Islam, there were two scripts in the old civilization of the Arabic Peninsula namely the Naqis Kufic and Naqis Naskh scripts. They gained ever-increasing popularity and use as of the beginning of Islam and spread across different territories in tandem with the conquest of Muslims over new territories. It was the case until the 8th century A.D. during the rule of the Umayyads and the Abbasids when a man named Qotbeh extracted some other scripts in another different form. These scripts were popular among the people until the rule of Al-Ma'mun, one of the rulers of the Abbasid dynasty when various types of calligraphy and calligraphers emerged. With efforts of then-chief minister, Ibn Muqla, the art of calligraphy entered a new phase in late 11th century A.D. Concurrently, some new scripts such as Mohaqiq, Reyhan, Sols, Naskh, Tovqi, and Riqa were adapted from the Kufic script. These six styles of writing are known as hexa-scripts. Although the Kufic script was in use until the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., other new scripts such as Naskh became more popular. Ibn al-Bawwāb, the famous calligrapher, presented the scripts founded by Ibn Muqla in a more beautiful and more elegant manner and he created the Reyhan style of writing.
After Ibn al-Bawwāb other calligraphers rose to prominence in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. and each of them contributed to the beauty and strength of Islamic scripts. Yaqut al-Musta'simi, a well-known calligrapher, stabilized and fortified the status of Islamic scripts in the Muslim territories. His works in the 15th century A.D. led the Naskh and Sols scripts to their pinnacle of elegance. His style remained popular until the late 15th century A.D. and he trained plethora of students.
At the outset, the Kufic script was used for needs of the time, particularly the religious needs. It was written in its primitive style but Iranians made some efforts to create a systematic and pretty script out of this script which resulted in the emergence of calligraphy in Iran. Gradually, the Kufic script elevated in Iran and it was enriched by illuminations. However, Iranians had difficulty in reading and writing in the Kufic script and looked at as an alien script. In the early 10th century A.D. Iranians made some new innovations in the calligraphy and Muhammad ibn Ali Farsi, known as Ibn Muqla brought about a new life to the calligraphy and scripts used in Iran. He formulated the basic Naskh script. Together with his students, Ibn Muqla created six styles of writing, known as hexa-scripts that added diversity to the Islamic scripts and its calligraphy.
The Taliq script (lit. suspending script) was invented in the first half of the 10th century as the result of combining Naskh and Riqa scripts. It was one of the initiatives of Hasan ibn Hosein ibn Ali Farsi.
Initially, this script was used for formal correspondence and writing. Gradually, its formed changed to cursive writing and it was put in the spotlight of calligraphy and art due to its beautiful appearance and forms of letters. Some great maestros such as Darvish Abolah Soltani, Khaje Shahabodin, Abdolah Morvarid, Abdolhaq Astarabadi and Najmodin Masoud Savoji emerged who were excellent in calligraphic works in Taliq script. Since its rise, the Taliq script was as common as the six scripts invented by Yaqut al-Musta'simi. However, in the late 13th century the Nastaliq script was born that resulted in the decline of the prosperity of the Taliq script.
The Nastaliq style of calligraphy existed in its imperfect fashion for some years but it was modified and organized by Mir Ali Tabrizi. It is one of the most beautiful and elegant styles of writing but it is the most difficult one, as well. Therefore, it is so difficult to write in Nastaliq where all the 12 rules of calligraphy are observed. This style of calligraphy reached its apex and excellence as the result of works of Miremad Hasani Seifi Qazvinin.
Shekasteh style of writing is comprised of two types namely the Shekasteh Taliq and Shekasteh Nastaliq. The former has been abandoned due to its complexities and difficulties in reading it but the latter is used in routine daily administrative writings and ledger writings. This style of calligraphy was born in early years of the rule of the Safavid dynasty. It was invented by Morteza Golikhan Shamloo and Shafia. Then it attained its perfection as the result of works of Abdolmajid Taleqani.
On its early days of creation during the rule of the Safavid, the Shekasteh script was a simplified version of Nastaliq void of any intricacy. Darvish Abdolmakid led it towards its perfection and excellence.
Students and followers of Yaqut in Iran used this style of calligraphy in writing Quran, scriptures, and inscription at mosques and schools. It was used during the Safavid rule. Some of the most perfect examples of Sols calligraphic hands could be found at Grand Mosque of Isfahan, Sheikh Lotfolah Mosque in Isfahan and other buildings. They were written by some renowned maestros such as Alireza Abasi, Alireza Emami, Mohamad Saleh, and Abdorahim Jazayeri whose works have remained up to now.
The Riqa script is one type of the Sols script. It could be regarded as the cursive form of the Sols script. In the Riqa style of writing, the words are more compact and it is mainly used in titles and annotations of scriptures.
Mohaqiq and Rehyan scripts
Mohaqiq script was used in writing the scriptures until the Safavid era. Then it was abandoned and its calligraphers were limited. The Mohaqiq style of writing is one of the main and old Islamic scripts whose letters are written in bold and in a visible manner. The Reyhan script is the more elegant and finer version of the Mohaqiq script.
Roqeh, Taliq and Diwani scripts
The Roqeh script is the cursive form of Naskh style of writing. In Roqeh script, the letters have become more simple with fewer curves and tilted movements to increase the speed of writing. This script is used mainly for drafts and commercial letters.
Based on Arabic letters, the Taliq script was created in an Iranian style. This script experienced lots of consecutive transformations and changes from its creation in the 11th and 12th centuries A.D. It was popular until the 8th century A.D. In the 13th and 14th centuries A.D. the Shekasteh Nastaliq was invented due to the great number of writings.
Diwani script is a calligraphic variety of Arabic script with a cursive style. It is of two types as follows:
1. The Khafi Diwani (or the covert style) is devoid of any decorations whose dots in the letters are written in a certain manner.
2. The Jeli Diwani (or overt style) is distinguished by the intertwining of its letters, movements, square dots and decorations with small dots.
The Kufic script was in use from the early days of Islam to the 11th and 12th centuries A.D. This script is sometimes used in inscriptions and titles.
The Kufic script has lots of varieties. Generally-speaking, it can be divided into four main categories namely the simple, moderate, decorative, and masonry. The Kufic script has potentiality for elaborate decorations and it is mostly seen together with decorations.
The Siaq script is a type of calculation script based on encrypted digits that made its way to some of Iranian written works as of the fourth century. It was used until the 1920’s. This script has 54 encrypted digits with no zero digit. The reason behind its encryption is that the authorities, secretaries, and people in charge did not like the codes to be revealed to the public. The documents written in the Siaq script are categorized into two main groups namely the public and commercial ones. Since the Siaq script was used in Islamic countries, its orientation was from the right to the left, like all other texts and writings.
کلیه حقوق مادی و معنوی وب سایت برای موزه تاریخ تجارت جندی شاپور محفوظ می باشد .