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HomeArt groupThe Enigmatic Arjan Bowl: Unveiling the Artistic Genius of the Elamite Civilization

The Enigmatic Arjan Bowl: Unveiling the Artistic Genius of the Elamite Civilization

The Arjan bowl, a remarkable bronze vessel dating back to the period between 800 B.C. and 500 B.C., was discovered in 1982 near the ancient city of Behbahan, Iran. This serendipitous find came to light when a bulldozer, working on the Marun Dam project, inadvertently cut into a rock tomb, revealing the captivating relic. The ancient city of Arjan, from which the bowl derives its name, served as the backdrop for this remarkable archaeological treasure trove.

The tomb, spanning an area of approximately 3.75 square kilometers, contained a wealth of artifacts, including a large bronze coffin, a golden ring, ninety-eight golden buttons, ten cylindrical vessels, a dagger, a silver bar, and a bronze tray adorned with intricate imagery. This tray, known as the Arjan Bowl or Dezmone Starks, has been meticulously preserved for over three millennia, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the artistic and cultural heritage of the Elamite civilization that once thrived in this region.

Flowers of Sixteen Feathers

At the heart of the Arjan Bowl lies a captivating feature – the “Flowers of Sixteen Feathers.” This intricate design, centrally positioned on the tray, bears a striking resemblance to the sunflower, a symbol that has transcended cultural boundaries and found resonance in various ancient civilizations. However, the true origins and deeper significance of this flower-like motif have yet to be fully unraveled.

Elamite bowl selected symbol for Iran Olympic delegation - Tehran Times

Scholars have drawn parallels between the Flowers of Sixteen Feathers and the Lotus, a revered symbol in many Eastern religions. Furthermore, the concentric circles and the sacred number seven depicted on the tray have been linked to the symbolic representations found in Sumerian, Mesopotamian, and other ancient belief systems. The continuous evolution and widespread adoption of this motif across diverse cultures suggest its profound and enduring significance as a universal symbol of the sun, the cosmic wheel, and the goddess of destiny.

The Arjan Bowl and the Arjan Ring of Power

While the Arjan Bowl commands significant attention, it is often overshadowed by its counterpart, the Arjan Ring of Power. This golden artifact, also named after the ancient city of Arjan (Arrajan), dates back to the Neo-Elamite period, spanning the period from c. 1100 BC to 540 BC. The Arjan Ring of Power, with its intricate design and symbolic relevance, has become a symbol of the rich cultural heritage and the enduring legacy of the Elamite civilization.

اهدای جام ارجان به رئیس شورای المپیک آسیا - خبرگزاری مهر | اخبار ایران و  جهان | Mehr News Agency

The Arjan Bowl and the Arjan Ring of Power, together, offer a tantalizing glimpse into the artistic, cultural, and religious traditions of the ancient Elamite people. These artifacts, meticulously preserved over millennia, serve as a testament to the ingenuity and the sophisticated worldview of a civilization that once thrived in the heart of what is now modern-day Iran. As scholars continue to unravel the mysteries surrounding these captivating relics, they shed light on the remarkable achievements and the enduring influence of the Elamite legacy.

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