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The end of rock art production
In After Iron Age Rock Art?
Rehman Abdullayev
07 de mai. de 2020
In the case of Gobustan there was rock art after the Iron Age even until the Late Middle Age (XIX century). Of course, style, social, and spiritual context is changed but it seems that the intensity of rock art production is not changed. Some old motifs are evolved and even new motifs emerged during the entire 1500 years of the Middle Ages. In contrast, in the Apsheron peninsula, around Baku where rock art production flourished at Bronze Age, the tradition disappears at the beginning of the Iron Age. What are the reasons for these two different fate of similar rock art traditions of Gobustan and Apsheron? I think it can be explained by the lifestyle and economy of dwellers of these regions: despite 50 km of distance, there were different economic and social systems during Iron and Middle Ages. The influence of the ideology of the Achaemenid Empire (possibly Zoroastrianism) to the sedentary population of Apsheron resulted in remission of ancient traditional beliefs. Gobustan was out of this pressure because the population still engaged in transhumance lifestyle. Despite the fact, Zoroastrianism was replaced by Christianity and then more scholastic Islam during the Medieval period the same circumstances were equal for these regions. Even in the Late Periods of the Middle Age, you can see writings and rock art on the same panel in Gobustan, so we can name this period as "transition" from pictographic to written communication in Gobustan society. So in Gobustan case, the power of economy and lifestyle stand behind the ancient belief system to persist in front of powerful Medieval ideology. And this transhumance lifestyle dictated by the landscape still practiced in this region.
Rehman Abdullayev
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