Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor Tabriz University of Islamic Art, Tabriz, Iran.


TheAzerbaijan Museum has historical artworks from the pre-Islamic to Islamic periods. One of the most important parts of this museum is an open-air section, where a large number of Gravestones, were collected and transported to this place from cemeteries around the city (Tabriz), as well as various East Azerbaijan cities cemeteries. Collecting of gravestones from different parts, has created a very rich collection of gravestones in this museum, which has provided a very good opportunity for studying East Azerbaijan gravestones in the Islamic periods. Now, in this research, we have tried to classify the gravestones ornaments types in the first stage by systematic research and collecting information by fieldwork and library methods, and afterward in the next step we will analyze the gravestones ornaments by symbolism approach. This research, which is of descriptive-analytical type, aims to answer the following questions: What are the symbolic meanings of the Azerbaijan Museum gravestones ornaments? What are the main features of the decorations of this gravestones and what motifs have been used the most? Based on this study, it was determined that the motifs ornaments in the Azerbaijan Museum gravestones (which are related to 14th to 17th century) are divided into four categories: palnet, geometric, Altar and inscription motifs that has direct relationship with religious beliefs of decided. Among these motifs inscription motifs are used mostly, basically poems and verses that shows mortality people initiation to the world. According to their religious beliefs, these people consider this world to be mortal and have tried to warn others about this mortality. Accordingly, they have been careful enough in choosing the theme, in choosing the poems, and in choosing the verses of the Qur'an. This has led to a harmony between the themes. Among the plant motifs on the Azerbaijan Museum gravestones, Khatai and Arabesque, and among the geometric patterns, circle are used mostly.


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