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History of Iranian Architecture
2010-2012

Research group: Zohreh Bozorgmehri, Anahita Khodadadi

Architects and artists in Islamic countries have created special architecture and artworks based on their geography, lifestyle, and historical background while attempting to respond to the newly emerged objective and subjective goals. Therefore, architectural prototypes, patterns, decorations, applied technologies are different in each Islamic country. Mohammad Karim Pirnia was the first Iranian scholar who represented Iranian Architecture in academia via field studies in collaboration with several architects and archeologist fellows. Zohreh Bozorgmehri has been one of the architects who has analyzed and documented her investigations on traditional Iranian technologies in building vaults and domes, geometrical processing of ribbed domes (Karbandi) and traditional decorations (Amoud) and common building materials. During the past 50 years, several documents have been published providing factual information on Iranian architecture. However, the reasons for some developments and the essence of some fixed design principles have been studied less, and existing ideas and analyses seem fragmented and inconsistent. During the 1400 years of the Islamic era, political, social, and economic changes have affected the architecture and urbanization in different regions of Iran. Thus, the authors’ main objective in this book is to address the social roots and effects of the developments in Iranian architecture during the first six 

centuries of the Islamic era. The book includes three chapters where Iranian architecture and urbanization are discussed in three separate periods: 1- The first three Islamic centuries (651-934 CE); 2- The fourth century of the Islamic era (934-1037 CE); 3- The fifth and sixth centuries of the Islamic era (1037-1219 CE). The reason for such arrangement is the integration of certain political, social, economic and sometimes religious happenings within each period. Each chapter begins with a brief narration of the history and the quality of urbanization, then, continues to represent the studies on religious buildings such as mosques, tombs, minaret, and schools. Housing including the common houses, palaces, and roadside inns (karavansara) are discussed subsequently. Next, other types of public buildings and constructions such as bazaars, bridges, dams, bathhouses, mills, and water reservoirs are discussed. In the last sub-section of each chapter, architectural decorations are also addressed.