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Universität Hamburg (2014)

Holz als Rohstoff in der traditionellen Kunst und Architektur in verschiedenen Epochen im Iran

Tabrizpour, Marya

Titre : Holz als Rohstoff in der traditionellen Kunst und Architektur in verschiedenen Epochen im Iran

Auteur : Tabrizpour, Marya

Université de soutenance : Universität Hamburg

Grade : Doktors der Naturwissenschaften 2014

Since time immemorial, wood has been among the most important natural resources worldwide. Even before humans started to settle down, they used wood to satisfy their most basic and relevant needs. This fact has hardly changed until the present day. Wood has been essential for the cultural development of human societies in all times and places. The Iran is such a case in point. In the present study, I examined the role wood has played during the genesis of the Persian Empire. I reflected on how the region’s supply with wood has influenced the country and its people throughout more than two thousand years of history and culture. The work gives an overview of the ways how wood was used over time, viewed from the perspectives of art history, archaeology and wood sciences. The peculiarities of the Iranian space of living are described, including architecture and works of art whose creation was dependent on the availability of wood. Moreover, numerous historical pieces of wood and charcoal were scientifically analyzed. These finds – dating back to different epochs of ancient and the more recent Iran – reveal the developing cultivation but also the exploitation of nature, the history of wars and of peaceful co-existence between different tribes and peoples, the history of victories and defeats as well as of the rise and decline of numerous dynasties. The following questions motivated me for this study : How has the Iranian natural habitat changed ? Which role wood has played during the Iranian history ? In particular, which role has wood played as a natural resource for constructions and handicraft ? Which species of wood have been principally employed ? Did these timbers come from local sources or were they imported ? Pieces of charcoal analyzed dated back to the pre-Islamic period and have been identified as Zelkova, Rosa, Populus, Prunus, Pistacia, Juniperus, Acer, and Platanus ; most of the timbers analyzed were from plane trees (Platanus). Timbers imported from India, Lebanon and Gandhara were Tectona, Cedrus and Dalbergia, respectively. In pre-Islamic times, the use of wood was most eminent in the Achaemenid Empire. After the advent of the Islam, it was under the Safavids that the use of wood was booming. Several doors, windows and pieces of intarsia from that time were analyzed and the results presented. It was shown that wood played a decisive, if not the decisive, role for the cultural development of the Iran. With the exception of the present time, men in each historical epoch were heavily dependent on the availability of wood. In construction, handicraft, architecture, music and weaponry (the last mentioned was not subject of the present study), the availability of wood gave Iran a competitive advantage over its neighbors. The study concludes that the changes in the Iranian habitat in the last 2,500 years have been dramatic. The area covered by forests has decreased by 70 % and the remaining parts are endangered


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