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An analytic study on architectural decorations in early Islamic architecture

Masoud Mohammadzadeh, Ali Hossein Pour Hajjar


Islamic architecture dating back to about 1400 years ago, has been affected by territories under the Islam dominance from the view point of the form as well as architectural decorations. That is why some critics has considered the form similarities as a weak point in the Islamic architecture, while others are denying any derivation in Islamic architecture and believe that its principles have been extracted from the Islam religion. In this regard, Iran as a country having a civilization which both affected and was affected on/by the adjacent civilizations may be assumed as the basis for the Islamic architecture formation at the very beginning centuries and may overcome the related ambiguities. The present article attempts to consider the effects of the pre-Islamic patterns on Islamic architectural decorations during the first to fourth centuries (Hijri). Therefore, we firstly provide definitions and concepts as requirements of such study in the field of religious art and architecture in history and culture arenas. The related literature was also surveyed. A multi-section method was applied to classify Islamic art and architecture characteristics. Then, in contextual consideration of the religious thought among Iranian population at the era of the Islam penetration and after the Islam's dominance in the country, there appears an assumption about the way of this transition toward the new era, depending on the observed parallelism and mental evolution. In particular, the present article studies the typical decorations works of the time in a descriptive method as the primary period of the Islamic architecture formation. Regarding the results and findings as well as comparing the pre-Islamic Iranian patterns, in one hand, and the typical motifs of the early Islam era, on the other hand, we may achieve an insight to development procedures. Analysis of the two sections provides us with the process of studying the religious buildings evolution procedures as the era's typical architectural works. The research assumption is formed based on the severance of the elements such as inscription, forms and decorative images. This assumption is based on architectural and form evolution in pre-Islamic architecture in transition era and proportionate to monotheistic thought evolution in Islam and its inseparable integration with the Iranian culture. The findings of the research confirm this reality.


Pattern, Islamic Architecture, Pre Islamic Architecture, Motif

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