عنوان مقاله [English]
Cemeteries are a symbol of the culture, beliefs, traditions and religious rites of the people. Thousands of different religious symbols and emblems have adorned graves through the ages, indicating attitudes towards death and the hereafter, membership in social organization, occupation or even ethnic identity. While many of these grave symbols have fairly simple interpretations, it is not always easy to determine their meaning and significance. This article outlines traditions that researchers have followed in conceptualizing symbols; each with its own preferred topics of study, understanding of power and social relations, and epistemology.
Somghan village has been selected in this research. The graves of Somghan village, located in the city of Koohchenar, Fars, due to their significant shapes and decorations are a symbol of the historical art and culture of this region. So far, no research has been done on the history of Somghan and its historical graves, and these historical and cultural resources are being destroyed without having been known and studied. Only 24 specimens of these graves can be explored. Hence, the authors intend to introduce and study these historical graves; to prepare this information for future study and knowledge by preparing documents and by studying them scientifically and semiotically.
Semiotics is a discipline, in which culture, society and natural phenomena are explored as signs. The authors treat the concept of sign, not as a fixed entity, but as a set of relational functions. Semiotics explores the content of signs, their use and the formation of meanings of signs at both the level of a single sign and the broader systems and structures formed by signs. A sign is never independent of the meanings and use of other signs. Semiotic analysis uses both qualitative and interpretative content analysis involving semiotic concepts and terms.
Therefore, with the aim of identifying the structure of religious culture and art in Somghan, the authors seek to answer the questions by examining the body and decorations of graves: How many categories are there in the historical graves of Somghan? What factors have influenced the physical form and decorative elements of historical graves of Somghan village?
This research has been done by analytical-descriptive method and based on field perceptions and library documents. The research has been done in three stages. Based on the survey and case study method, library documents and analytical-descriptive methods, the authors studied the typology of different types of graves in the historical cemeteries of Somghan village, then obtained the required documents for the graves by preparing a linear plan of the graves and examining their designs. Finally, referring to the background and existing documents about historical cemeteries and symbols in the history of the country's art and interviewing the residents of Somghan village, they analyzed the semantics of the patterns and studied the religious, cultural and social concepts hidden in them. The data required for this research are obtained from field surveys and library documents.
It was concluded that the historical graves of Somghan village are divided into five categories: statues in the shape of a lion, altars, slabs, flat cradles, and coffin graves; box graves can be divided into four separate groups in a simple and domed way. Examination of the names and titles of the deceased, semantics of grave signs and oral traditions transmitted from the villagers also showed that the social status, traditions of Islam, mythological culture, job and reputation of the deceased have affected the body and decorations of the historical graves of this village; because the graves of prominent people in the village have a larger body, more prolific calligraphy and more decorative motifs. The decorative motifs used in these graves are also often used symbolically, with the aim of honoring the deceased's personality, seeking forgiveness for him and referring to his job and reputation, and only in one of the motifs in its direct meaning and with the purpose of description, the story of the battle of the deceased with a wild animal has been engraved. These motifs have been used in different historical periods and religions and rituals, and each of them has several ironic meanings. All these meanings refer to such things as the beliefs, rituals and religious traditions, the cycle and elements of nature, the cosmic concepts and the world after death. The influence of the deceased's social status and religious, cosmic and cultural concepts such as heroism in the formation of sculptural, cradle and altar types is quite visible.