عنوان مقاله [English]
In Iran, The beginning of the construction of thrones, stools and similar devices coincided with the beginning of urbanization in the sixth millennium BC. Pottery stool belonging to the second half of the 6th millennium BC, which was found in the excavations by Erich Schmidt in the Cheshmeh Ali (Shahr-e-Rey), from 1934 to 1936, is the oldest stool in the Middle East region and is a testimony to the long history of this art among the Iranians. Despite the ancient background of this art in Iran, little attention has been paid to Iranian furniture. This article is a research about Iranian furniture in the ancient period from Elamite dynasty to the end of the Sassanid dynasty and the beginning of Islamic era in Iran. The goals of research are recognition and presentation of different kinds of Iranian furniture as well as expressing how they were in this period. The research attempts to answer the following questions: What are the shapes used in Iranian furniture design in ancient times? What are the related concepts of Iranian furniture in ancient times? In order to answer the questions and reach the goals, while the writers investigated the remaining documents regarding Iranian furniture in the ancient period (including the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid periods), they tried to introduce, analyze and express the physical characteristics, symbols and concepts associated with them in this period.
The research is a developing study and is qualitative and heuristic in nature. Data collection was done through library research as well as extensive field research. The statistical population includes the remains of Iranian ancient furniture from the emergence of the Elamite civilization (from the fourth millennium BC) to the extinction of the Sasanians (in the seventh century BC).
The result was that the Iranian furniture during the ancient times, despite the many differences, has undergone a continuous way in terms of the design process. It was observed that a large part of Iranian furniture in ancient times was designed with mythological animals, as if the oldest kind of throne in Iran was a throne in the form of a snake. The ancient Elamites, inspired by the mythological and religious animals such as the head of the snake, created the furniture in the form of these animals. Gradually, the use of mythological animals' forms was replaced by the decorative incorporation of mythological animals' parts, such as the use of lion toes in the four legs of a spinner woman's stool in Neo-Elamite period. The Achaemenids continued the Elamite way and used the motifs of the mythological animals such as the head of the lion, in a way that lion toes were used in many examples of Achaemenid furniture. Since the lion is considered as the symbol of power and might in this era, it is the most commonly employed animal motif in the design of the furniture. In the Parthian era, the presence of mythological animals is dimmed, but it is observed that the whole body of the mythological animal forms the base of the furniture. This style was also used in the Sassanid era. Such furniture was often used by the gods, kings and satraps in religious and official ceremonies. The gods and kings used the furniture which was based on the religious and governmental beliefs of the people. For example, in the Elamite civilization, kings and gods used the furniture in the form of snake in religious and official ceremonies since the reverence of the snake was among the most important religious beliefs in Elam. The lion as the most important element of government during the Achaemenid times, or the horse during the Sassanid period were used in the design of the kings' furniture.
Along with the use of furniture with the motifs of mythological animals, the geometric and simple furniture were also used in the banquets and informal ceremonies.
In this way, in general, it can be said that in each period, we observe application of motifs of mythological animals, geometry & simple shapes in furniture design which everyone has been using in accordance with religious & aesthetic principals, social function & status of individuals. In this way, the gods, kings and satraps used sophisticated and delicately wrought furniture in religious and official ceremonies. In the banquets and informal ceremonies, simple furniture was used by them or the common people.