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.THE MAGIC OF MARLIK


 

By Professor Ezat O. Negahban

 

Fourteen kilometers east of the town of Rudbar on the road from Tehran to Rasht, is a little coffee shop called "Kalati". Across the river from this coffee shop, on the southern bank of Sefid Rud lies the village of Lot which serves as a river port for the villages located in the valley of Gohar Rud.

Due to its natural advantages; the beauty of nature, the mildness of the climate and the fertility of the soil, from ancient times this area has served as the home of rulers and ruling classes whose lands extended over vast areas of northern Iran, consequently, in this valley there are numerous large and small archaeological mounds in which the remains of forgotten ancient cultures have been buried, of which the most important are Marlik, Zeynab Bejar, Pileh Qal'eh, and Jazim Kool.

I have concluded that the Marlik people flourished for two or three centuries during the late second and early first millennium B.C., that they used Marlik, because of its religious importance, as a cemetery; that their great school of art could not have existed without depending on a strong political power whose center could not have been far from the Marlik royal cemetery; that this culture dominated a vast area including Gilan, Mazandaran and Azerbaijan and its influence extended to other parts of the Middle East; and finally it can be theorized that at the beginning of the millennium B.C., under pressure from western states such as Assyria, the power of the Marlik people gradually declined and that the remnants of these people were driven to the central part of the Iranian plateau.

 

Marlik objects

 

   

Marlik Cup.gif (55537 bytes)

Marlik gold bowl, one of the most beautiful of the gold vases discovered in this excavation. On each side of the bowl are two winged bulls climbing the tree of life. The strength and vitality of these animals are evident.

Height 18 cm. Weight 316 gm.

   
Marlik Bowl.gif (50812 bytes)

Crushed gold vase with a design of winged bulls and griffons, in two rows. A leogriffon with a lion body and eagle head is
on the top row. This imaginary creature may have some connection with the heroic mythical bird of Iran, the Simorgh.

Height 19 cm. Weight 235 gm.

   
Marlik Humped Cow.gif (29956 bytes)

Red pottery humped cow with gold earrings.

Length 28 cm. Height 23 cm.

   
Marlik Male & Female.gif (34032 bytes)

Pottery male and female figurines holding spouted vessels to their chests.

Height 37.5 cm (both).

   
Marlik cow.gif (44824 bytes)

Bronze figurine of a cow mounted on four wheels. The hump is exaggerated and the face is formed these simple planes.

Length 11.5 cm. Weight 1,235 gm.

   
Marlik Charioteer.gif (42138 bytes)

Polished, burnished red pottery charioteer with horses. The group consisted of a charioteer with a dagger at his waist, standing between two horses, the whole mounted on four wheels.

Length 26.5 cm.

   
Marlik Crouching Leopard.gif (24535 bytes) Bronze figurine of crouching leopard with straight tail, ready to attack.

Length 12.5 cm. Weight 86 gm.

   

Gold bust of a king in ceremonial dress. His crown is a separate twisted loop of gold wire. His ears are pierced and in one a simple loop earring still remains.

Height 11.7 cm. Weight 43.5 gm.

   
Marlik Antelope.gif (21962 bytes)

Red pottery burnished figurine of antelope. It has a natural attitude with graceful horns, short tail and pierced ears.

Height 28 cm.

 

   

 

 

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