عنوان مقاله [English]
In Iran petroglyphs are widely dispersed and have superficial and conceptual similarities with other cases found throughout the world. The motifs depicted in the petroglyphs, which are categorized among the artworks that have remained from Paleolithic to the contemporary era, are in fact the result of the lives of humans and societies prior to the invention of the alphabet. Following the invention of the alphabet and writing, this type of imagery lost its prominent presence in human life. The investigation and study of these pieces would help identifying and knowing the cultural context of the people living in that areas, as well as recognizing the geographical and cultural conditions and their way of life. The rock motifs of “Shotorsang” region are one of thousands of petroglyphs found in greater Khorasan and indicate the herdsman and hunting-based lifestyle of humans during the Neolithic. The motifs remaining on these rocks, as other rock motifs, include animal and human shapes, the most frequent of which is the wild goat. Unlike dispersion of various rock motifs in other regions of Iran, plant, symbolic, and abstract motifs are rarely seen in Shotorsang. The role of Goat as one of the most import animals in continuity of human life indicates the significance of this animal which is abundantly found in petroglyphs of Shotorsang. According to historical documents and evidences, wild goat is one of the oldest known symbols in human history, which is observed in ancient Iran since Neolithic period in different forms such as sculptures remaining from Neolithic shelters (Sarab, Ganj Darreh …), paintings on pottery (pottery works excavated from Sialk, Shush, Esmaeilabad …), engravings on utensils or rocks, and so on. Goat is the symbol of water, moon, prosperity, affluence, fertility, and is also the symbol of life. Once upon a time this animal had been worshipped as the embodiment of human fertility and was considered identical with Sumerian fertility god, Tammuz. In Hindu mythology, the goat was considered as a sacrificial animal of the god of fire. In Greek myths, goat has been a sacred animal for Zeus/Jupiter. In Christian art, the goat represents the Curse in the Last Judgment (resurrection). The objective of this study is to introduce and identify the petroglyphs in Shotorsang region and to explore distinct similarities and differences between motifs of this region and various motifs in other regions in Iran, a task that is not still seriously accomplished by researchers. This research aims at answering these questions: 1. what are the properties of wild goat motifs in “Shotorsang” petroglyphs? 2. What are the prominent differences and similarities in design structure, performance, and goat motif variation between the studied area in this research and other motifs in petroglyphs in Iran? The present research is conducted using analytic-descriptive research method. The data collection is done through library research and field study. While conducting field study, after identifying “Shotorsang” area in the last week of August 2019, as a survey, regarding the dispersion of the motifs on the rocks of the identified area, the researcher took many photographs from these motifs as series or as single shots. Approximately, around 80 petroglyphs are found in the “Shotorsang” area. The statistical society of the present study is composed of goat motifs in studied area and the dispersion of this motif in other regions in Iran, including Asbaghteh in Yazd, Jorbat petroglyphs in Khorasan Razavi, Darreh Negran in Saravan, Tappeh Shah Firoozjan in Kerman province, petroglyphs in Khorasan Jonoobi, Asu petroglyphs and also motifs in Erges Sofla in Zand district of Malayer. Regarding the morphology of petroglyphs, existing documents and evidences in relation to the motif of goat, nearly in all Iranian prehistoric cultural centers, it could be mentioned that wild goat motifs in “Shotorsang” area are often drawn in a stylized form with no decorative element using horizontal lines for top body and a few oblique lines for legs. Furthermore, the goats in studied area, similar to motifs of petroglyphs in other regions in Iran, are drawn in side view with one or two horns with short or very tall curves, which does not fit analogously to the animal body. Side view goats are often drawn with two legs, but in some cases goats with three or four legs have been recognized as well. Morphologically and conceptually, there are high degrees of similarities among goat motifs in different regions of Iran, majority of which are carved using petroglyph style. Archeologists, using approximate and relative chronology, have attributed the carving and formation of petroglyphs of “Shotorsang” to Paleolithic period.