Inter-Textual Analysis of Square Sign in Elamite Scripts & Iranian Contemporary Hand-Woven Rugs
Tribal and nomadic Iranian rugs are adorned with various motifs arranged as per the known rules pertaining to visual rules. The geometric pattern of square comprises the basis of many motifs used in handwoven fabrics. A detailed study of the background of the motifs on hand-woven rugs reveals their most ancient counterparts. Based on a comparative study, these motifs might be the roots of contemporary geometric motifs reflected on handwoven fabrics. Continuity is the characteristic of Iranian art. Although it was believed that the written signs and symbols used in the pre-Elamite and old Elamite era before the popularization of cuneiform have been forgotten, a comparative study of the motifs used in the rural and nomadic handwoven fabrics with some of such signs reveals some surprising facts. This research paper has employed intertextuality approach. Whenever there is an element in the two texts, an intertextual relation is created. In general, the intertextual relations can be categorized into three: explicit, implicit and tacit. Explicit intertextuality refers to the apparent presence of one text in another. In this type of intertextuality, the author of the second text does not intend to conceal his reference, and thus, uses signs that can be identified and even referred to as intertextual. The type and application of the contextual symbols and the difference between these two texts results in the formal transformation of the elements in the second text. For this reason, in this type of intertextuality, certain people, that is special audiences, who are specialized in the texts (especially the first one), are able to identify the intertextual elements. In this study, the first or pretext are Elamite tablets and signs and the second or hypertext, is the nomadic and rural rugs of Iran. Based on intertextual relations, if the geometric patterns of the hand-woven fabrics are repeated exactly similar to inscriptions, they should be classified as explicit intertextuality. Investigations carried out for this study display that the system of inscriptions and their layouts have not been exactly reproduced on the hand-woven fabrics; however, a new system have repeatedly organized Elamite scripts on the Iranian Rugs. This can be identified as some type of tacit intertextuality which results in the formal transformation of the elements in the new text.     In this research, formal transformation of geometrical signs derived from squares have been analyzed. The signs have been read based on the formal similarity of the elements because the meaning of the signs in the inscriptions have been read hypothetically without any decisive proof. Therefore, to prove the intertextual relation of the two texts, the comparison has been made on form and appearance. The main question of the research is what are the differences and similarities between the common signs in the two areas of Persian hand-woven fabrics and ancient cuneiforms. In fact, the paper seeks to prove one of the earliest pretexts of the formation of geometrical square motifs in Iranian handwoven fabrics which is the Elamite cuneiform. Moreover, it aims to illustrate what changes have Persian handwoven fabrics have imposed on pretexts (Elamite signs). The analysis focuses on a kind of transtextual relation between the two fields of study of ancient scripts and Persian rugs, with the two having around 5000 years of time difference. Moreover, the paper intends to study the visual and semantic values ​​of the rural and nomadic rugs and their similarity with the most ancient cuneiforms in Iran; elaborate upon the motifs of handwoven fabrics as meaningful signs, and finally elucidate the possibility of the continuation of the disrupted cuneiforms on the textiles. The study has employed descriptive-analytical approach in terms of methodology. Data has been collected through desk study of library resources (i.e. note taking and image analysis) and data analysis was done qualitatively. The study results indicate that the Elamite inscription cuneiforms are the oldest pre-text of the formation of geometric patterns of Persian rugs. Twenty-one geometrical symbols derived from square geometrical motifs are common to both the ancient Elamite cuneiforms and Iranian handwoven textures. Some of the signs are totally unique and have been used repeatedly within the text and on the margins while some others constitute the overall structure of a texture and imply a tacit intertextual relation. There is no explicit intertextual relation between the works of the two fields as no systematic representation of the inscriptions have been found in any of the texts. What is certain is that 21 cuneiforms that were hitherto thought to have been forgotten have made their way to the present day in Iranian handwoven fabrics. The main difference between the two categories is the transformation in the arrangement of the signs from that of the Elamite cuneiform to the recurring geometric patterns on the Iranian rugs. As per the rules of intertextuality, no text will be created without a reflection of previous texts. The earliest meaningful Iranian signs that form geometric patterns are the Elamite cuneiforms. Pre-Elamite and Linear Elamite scripts carry signs, some of which may have been deciphered by Walter Heintz. A comparative Study of the motifs of handwoven rugs with Pre-Elamite and Linear Elamite scripts demonstrate that the earliest pre-text of the square-shaped Iranian motifs is rooted in inscriptions dating from the third millennium BC. The intertextual relation between the linear signs of the pre-text (inscriptions) and motifs of the hypertext (handwoven fabrics) is tacit. Because the motifs drawn from the square pattern taken from the structural system of the Elamite script and language have recurred on fabrics.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Theoretical principles of Visual Arts, Volume:5 Issue: 1, 2020
91 - 104  
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