Several species have been widely introduced worldwide.


Plants of the Arctium types have dark green leaves that can grow up to 70 cm (28 in) long. They are commonly large, coarse and oval, with the lower ones being heart-shaped.They are wooly underneath with hollow leaf stalks.  Arctium species generally from July through to October have flowered.In August Burdock flowers provide essential pollen and nectar for honey bees.

A large number of species have been placed in genus Arctium at one time or another. The burdocks are sometimes confused with the cockleburs and rhubarb.


Food and drinks

We can harvest and eat Burdock as a root vegetable. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.

Premature flower stems may also be harvested in late spring before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. The stems are thoroughly pared, and either eaten raw or boiled in salt water.

In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its culinary use due to the increasing popularity of the macrobiotic diet, which advocates its consumption. It contains a fair amount of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, amino acids, and is low in calories. It contains a  polyphenol oxidase , which causes its darkened surface and muddy harshness by forming tannin-iron complexes. Burdock root’s harshness harmonizes well with pork  in miso soup  and with Japanese-style pilaf.

Burdock is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that increases lactation, but it is sometimes recommended to be avoided during pregnancy based on animal studies that show components of  burdock to cause uterus stimulation.


Traditional Medicine

Folk herbalists considered dried burdock to be a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a  blood  purifying agent. Burdock is a traditional medicinal herb used for many ailments. Burdock root oil extract. Modern studies indicate that burdock root oil extract is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids. The green, above-ground portions may cause contact dermatitis in individual with allergies as the plant contains lactones.


Lavender is a type of plant found on almost all continents. It has a purplish color.

Lavenders in food

Lavender is also used in cake decorating, because the flowers can become candied. Sometimes they are used in flavoring baked goods and chocolate desserts, and sometimes they use it to make a very delicious “ lavender sugar”. Lavender flowers are also used to make tea.



Lavenders are sometimes put in medicine, too, and sometimes to prevent infection  such as lavender oil . As the folk wisdom says, lavender oil is also helpful to headaches, when rubbed on your temple, and lavender tea helps you relax before bed time. Lavender also is very helpful when applied to insect bites.


Salvia is the largest kind of plants in the Minit Family with nearly 1000 species of shrubs annually. It  is one of  the several  kinds that  commonly referred to as sage.

This kind is distributed throughout  the  Old  World  and  the  Americas, with three  distinct  regions  of  variety:

Central  and  South  America ; Central  Asia  and  Mediterranean ; Eastern  Asia (90 species).


Salvia species  include  annual, biennial, or  perennial  herbs, along with woody subshrubs. The stems are typically angled like other members of  Lamiaceae. The leaves  are  typically  entire, but  sometimes  toothed or  pinnately divided. The flowering stems bear small bracts, dissimilar to the basal leaves in some species,  the  bracts are  ornamental  and  showy.

The  flowers  are  produced  in  clusters or  panicles and  generally  produce  a showy  display  with  flower  colors  ranging  from  blue  to  red, with  white  and yellow  less  common. The   calyx  is  normally  tubular  or  bell-shaped, without bearded  throats, and  divided  into  two  parts  or  lips, the  upper  lip entire  or three-toothed, the  lower  two-cleft. The corollas are often paw shaped and are two-lipped. The upper lip is usually entire or three-toothed. The lower lip typically has two lobes. The stamens  are  reduced  to  two  short  structures  with anthers  two-celled, the  upper  cell  fertile, and  the  lower  imperfect. The flower  styles  are  two-cleft. The  fruits  are  smooth  ovoid  or  oblong  nutlets  and  in many species, they have a mucilaginous coating.

Many members of  Salvia  have  hairs growing  on  the  leaves, stems, and  flowers, which  help  to  reduce  water  loss  in  some  species. Sometimes  the hairs  are  glandular  and  secrete  volatile  oils  that  typically  give  a  distinct aroma  to  the  plant. When  the  hairs  are  rubbed  or  brushed, some of  the  oil-bearing cells are ruptured, releasing  the  oil. This  often  results  in  the  plant being  unattractive  to  grazing  animals  and  some  insects.

Staminal  lever  mechanism

The  defining  characteristic  of  the  genus  Salvia  is  the  unusual  pollination mechanism.

It is central to any investigation into the systematics, species radiation, or  pollination  biology  of  Salvia. It is  instead  of  the typical four found in other members of  the  tribe  Mentheae consists  of  two  stamens and  the  two thecae  on  each stamen are separated by an elongate connective. It  is  the  elongation of  the  connective  that  enables  the  formation  of  the  lever  mechanism.

It believed  that  the  lever  mechanism  is  a  key  factor  in  the  speciation, adaptive radiation, and  diversity  of  this large  genus.



George Bentham was first to give a full monographic account of the genus in 1832-1836, and based his classifications on stamina morphology and it is still

the only comprehensive  and  global  organization of  the  family.

He  was  less  confident about  his  organization  of  Salvia. At  that  time,  there  were  only  291  known  Salvia  species.



Bentham  eventually  organized  Salvia  into  twelve  sections (originally fourteen), based  on  differences  in  scyphus , pappus, flag. These  were  placed  into four  subgenera  that  were  generally  divided  into  Old  World  and  New World  species.

His system is still the most widely studied classification  of  Salvia, however, more  than  500  new  species  have  been  discovered  since  his  work.

Other botanists  have  since  offered  modified  versions  of  Bentham’s  classification system while  botanists  in  the  last  hundred  years  generally  do not  endorse Bentham’s  system.

Salvia was  monophyletic, meaning  that all  members of  the genus evolved  from one  ancestor.

However, the  immense variety  in  stamina  structure, vegetative  habit and  floral  morphology  of  the species  within  Salvia  has  opened  the  debate  about its infrageneric  classifications.

Selected species and their uses

Many species are used as herbs, as ornamental plants (usually for flower interest), and sometimes for  their ornamental  and  aromatic  foliage. The  Plant  List  has 986  accepted  species  names.


Many inter specific hybrids occur naturally, with a relatively high degree of cross ability, but some of them have  been intentional. A natural hybrid has given rise to a series of  popular ornamentals.


The name Salvia derives from the Latin severe. the verb related to sales , referring to the herb’s healing properties.

Pliny the Elder was the first author known to describe a plant called “Salvia” by the  Romans, likely  describing the type species of the genus Salvia, Salvia officinalis.

The  common  modern  English  name  sage derives from Middle English sawge, which was borrowed from Old French sauge, and like the botanical name stems from Latin salvere. When used without modifiers, the name ‘sage’ generally refers to Salvia officinalis . however, it is used with modifiers to refer to any member of the genus. The ornamental species are commonly referred to by their genus name Salviahee441


Melissa officinalis, known as lemon balm, balm, common balm, or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to south-central EuropeNorth Africa, the Mediterranean region, and Central Asia.

It grows to 70–150 cm (28–59 in) tall. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. During summer, small white flowers full of nectar appear. It is not to be confused with bee balm (which is genus Monarda). The white flowers attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for ‘honey bee’). Its flavor comes from citronellal (24%), geranial (16%), linalyl acetate (12%) and caryophyllene(12%).


  1. Officinalis is native to Europe, central Asia, and Iran, but is now naturalized around the world.

Lemon balm seeds require light and at least 20°C (70°F) to germinate. Lemon balm grows in clumps and spreads vegetatively, as well as by seed. In mild temperate zones, the stems of the plant die off at the start of the winter, but shoot up again in spring. Lemon balm grows vigorously and should not be planted where it will spread into other plantings.

  1. Officinalis may be the “honey-leaf” (μελισσόφυλλον) mentioned byTheophrastus.[8] It was in the herbal garden of John Gerard, 1596.[9] The many cultivars of M. Officinalis include:
  2. Officinalis ‘Citronella’

M. Officinalis ‘Lemonella’

  1. Officinalis ‘Quedlinburger’
  2. Officinalis ‘Lime’
  3. Officinalis ‘Variegata’
  4. Officinalis ‘Aurea’

(M. Officinalis ‘Quedlinburger Niederliegende’ is an improved variety bred for high essential oil content.)



Culinary use

Lemon balm is often used as a flavoring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It is also frequently paired with fruit dishes or candies. It can be used in fish dishes and is the key ingredient in lemon balm pesto.

food-herbs (1)

Uses in traditional and alternative medicine

In the traditional Austrian medicine, M. Officinalis leaves have been prescribed for internal (as tea) or external (essential oil) application for the treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver, and bile. It is also a common addition to peppermint tea, mostly because of its complementing flavor.

Lemon balm is the main ingredient of Carmelite Water, which is still for sale in German pharmacies.

Lemon balm essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy. The essential oil is commonly distilled with lemon oil, citronella oil, or other oils.


Research into possible effects on humans

High doses of purified lemon balm extracts were found to be effective in the amelioration of  laboratory-induced stress in human subjects, producing “significantly increased self-ratings of calmness and reduced self-ratings of alertness.” The authors further report a “significant increase in the speed of mathematical processing, with no reduction in accuracy” following the administration of a 300-mg dose of extract.

Lemon balm is believed to inhibit the absorption of the thyroid medication thyroxine.

Recent research found a daily dose of the tea reduced oxidative stress status in radiology staff who were exposed to persistent low-dose radiation during work. After only 30 days of taking the tea daily, consuming lemon balm tea resulted in a significant improvement in plasma levels of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, and a marked reduction in plasma DNA damage ,  myeloperoxidase, and lipid peroxidation.

The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as a mosquito repellent.

Lemon balm is also used medicinally as an herbal tea, or in extract form. It is used as an anxiolytic, mild sedative, or calming agent. At least one study has found it to be effective at reducing stress, although the study’s authors call for further research. Lemon balm extract was identified as a potent in vitro inhibitor of GABA transaminase, which explains anxiolytic effects. The major compound responsible for GABA transaminase inhibition activity in lemon balm was then found to be rosmarinic acid.

Lemon balm and preparations thereof also have been shown to improve mood and mental performance. These effects are believed to involve muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Positive results have been achieved in a small clinical trial involving Alzheimer patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Essential oils obtained from Melissa officinalis leaf showed high  acetylcholinesterase  and  butyrylcholinesterase co-inhibitory activities.

Its antibacterial properties have also been demonstrated scientifically, although they are markedly weaker than those from a number of other plants studied.The extract of  lemon balm was also found to have exceptionally high antioxidant activity.

Lemon balm is mentioned in the scientific journal Endocrinology, where it is explained that Melissa officinalis exhibits anti thyrotropic activity, inhibiting TSH from attaching to TSH receptors, hence making it of possible use in the treatment of Graves’ disease or hyperthyroidism.



Lemon balm contains eugenoltannins, and terpenes. Melissa Officinalis also contains 1-octen-3-ol10-alpha-cadinol3-octanol3-octanone, alpha-cube been, alpha-humulene, beta-bourbon end, caffeic acid,  caryophyllene,  caryophyllene oxide, catechin Enechlorogenic acidcis-3-hexenolcis-ocimenecitral Acitral Bcitronellalcopaenedelta-cadineneeugenol acetategamma-cadinenegeranialgeraniolgeranyl acetategermacrene D, iso geraniallinaloolluteolin-7-glucoside ,methyl heptanoneneralneroloctyl benzoateoleanolic acidpomo lit acidprotocatechuic acid,  phenazine,  rosmarinic acidrosarian acidstachyosesuccinic acidthymoltrans-ocimene and ursolic acid. Lemon balm flowers may contain traces of  harmine.


Khoresh-e Fesenjān , or simply Fesenjān, is an Iranian stew  flavored with pomegranate syrup and ground walnuts . It is traditionally made with poultry , but also variants using balls of ground meatghormeh cut lamb, fish, or no meat at all are not unusual. Depending on the cooking method, it can have sweet or sour taste. It is served with Persian white or yellow rice .

It is also found in Iraq and Azerbaijan


This khoresh is also a very old and popular dish with all Iranians. It is mandatory at all festival dinners and the public food servings of the religious nights of  Ramadan and Muharram. It may be made of duck, partridge, chicken, lamb or veal hind shin, shoulder, or ground meat.

1 large onion, minced

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons butter or cooking oil

1 pound meat or a small duck or partridge

½ pound walnut meat, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup hot water

1 ½ cups pomegranate juice

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 or 2 lemons (optional)

1 small eggplant

Cooking oil

1 ½ teaspoons cardamom powder


Sauté the onion with the pepper and turmeric in the butter or the oil until well browned. Remove onion and drain. If ground meat is used, make small balls and brown slightly in the oil remaining in the pan. If birds are used, brown them on all sides.

Sprinkle meat or birds with the flour and the chopped walnuts and sauté for a few minutes longer. Add water, pomegranate juice, and salt to taste and , if you like a sourer dish, the lemon juice. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Peel eggplant, cut lengthwise into 6 or 8 pieces, sprinkle each piece with salt, and stack one on top of  the other for a few minutes to drain .Then rinse in cold water, dry , and sauté in hot oil until lightly browned on both sides. Arrange the eggplant on top of the meat or poultry, partially cover, and simmer over low heat until the eggplant is tender and a rich, brown gravy rises to the top. Add powdered cardamom, stir well but gently, and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve with chelo.


1pound white fish or salmon may be used instead of meat or poultry. In this case the cooking time will be about 15 minutes less. Also either of the following vegetables may be substituted for the eggplant :one pound fresh pumpkin meat, minced and sautéed , or one pound Italian squash halved and sautéed.

Sometimes I use lemon or lime juice, brown sugar, and ½ cup tomato juice when pomegranate juice is not available.


Qormeh Sabzi  is an Iranian herb stew. It is a very popular dish in Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan Republic. It is often said to be the Iranian national dish. The history of Qormeh Sabzi dates back at least 500 to 2,000 years.


Qormeh is the Persian word for “stew”, while Sabzi is the Persian word for herbs.


This mixture is cooked with kidney beansyellow split-peas or black-eyed peas, yellow or red onionsblack lime (pierced dried limu-Omani Persian lime), and turmeric-seasoned lamb or beef. The dish is then served with chelo (Persian parboiled and steamed rice) or over tahdig.

This khoresh is served with chelou or kateh, dami and sweet polou. It is very much favored for picnics, and is humorously titled say-yed-ul-qava-mire, meaning the master of all minced ones.

1pound shoulder, leg, or shanks of lamb or veal with bone

1medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ cup hot water

1 cup lemon juice

2 pounds equal parts of fresh green onion leaves, celery leaves, spinach, parsley, and fresh dill (if available)

1/3 cup any good oil

One of the following ingredients:

3 ounces dried red or small white beans or ½ pound chopped raw potatoes

(Serves 4 to 5)


Cut meat into large pieces and sauté it with the onion in the 2 tablespoons oil until browned. Add turmeric and pepper, the hot water, and lemon juice. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile wash and mince all vegetable leaves and, without adding water, cook them in the large frying pan over low heat, folding constantly until wilted and dry.

Add the 1/3 cup oil and mix and sauté about 5 minutes longer. Add vegetables to the simmering meat. If dried beans are to be used, they must be added now. Cover top partially and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes longer. If  potatoes are used, they should be sautéed slightly in a little oil and then added to the meat. Let simmer again, partially covered, until a rich gravy rises to the top.


Sour fruit such as unripe sour plums or dried limes may be added in place of the lemon juice.



 Yazd  souvenirs are  various, some  of  which  are  world famous  including  carpets  with  charming  patterns; pileless  carpets, tirma (a kind of cashmere), brodcaded  silk, velvet, blankets, bed-cloths, earthen ware,engraving, glassware and  leather  ware. Being delicate and beautiful, these handicrafts are suitable  to be kept as souvenirs. Yazd is also famous for its various sweets, the most well known  are  Pashmak (cotton candy), Baqlava  and  Qotab.


Baqlava is a rich,sweet pastry made of  layers of  filo filled with chop ped nuts

and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, and is also found in Central and West Asia.


The history of  baqlava  is not well documented. There are three proposals for the pre-Ottoman roots of  baqlava : the Central Asian Turkic tradition of  layered breads, the Roman placenta  cake, as developed through Byzantine cuisine,or the Persian lauzinaq.


Baqlava is normally prepared in large pans. Many layers of  phyllo dough, separated with melted butter and vegetable oil, are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts-typically walnuts or pistachios, but hazelnuts are also sometimes

used- is placed on top, then more layers of phyllo. Most recipes have multiple

layers of phyllo and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry.

Before baking (180 C, 30 minutes), the dough is cut into regular pieces, often parallelograms (lozenge-shaped),triangles, diamonds or rectangles. After baking , a syrup, which may include honey, rosewater, or  orange flower water is poured over the cooked baqlava and allowed to soak in.

Baqlava is usually served at room temperature, often garnished with ground nuts. 

Regional Variations

In Iran,a drier version of  baqlava is cooked and presented in smaller diamond- shaped cuts flavored with rose water . The cities of  Yazd and Qazvin are famous for their baqlava , which is widely distributed in Iran. Persian  baqlava  uses a combination of chopped almonds and pistachios spiced with cardamom and a rose water-scented syrup and is lighter than other Middle Eastern versions. Azerbaijani pakhlava is widely eaten  in Iran, espesiaaly in Iranian Azerbaijan


Pashmak (Persian: پشمک‎‎) is a form of  Persian candy floss or cotton candy, made from sesame and sugar. The word  Pashmak  in  Persian  is composed  of پشم pashm [wool] + ـَک ak [resemblance suffix] meaning “wool-like”, as the confectionery resembles sheep’s  wool.

Pashmak  is  served on its own or as an accompaniment to fruits, cakes, ice creams, puddings and desserts.

Pashmak originated  in  the  Iranian  city  of  Yazd  known  for  its  various traditional  Persian  sweets  such  as  BaqlavaQottab, and Gaz.

A Turkish sweet called pişmaniye  bears  some  resemblance  to  Pashmak.


Always known for the quality of its silk and carpets, Yazd today is one of Iran’s industrial centers for textiles. There is also a considerable ceramics and construction materials industry and unique confectionery and  jewelry  industries.


A significant portion of the population is also employed in other industries including agriculture, dairy, metal works, and machine manufacturing. There are a number of companies involved in the growing information technology industry, mainly manufacturing primary materials such as cables and connectors. Currently Yazd is the home of the largest manufacturer of fibre optics in Iran.

Yazd’s confectioneries have a tremendous following throughout Iran and have been a source of tourism for the city. Confectioners workshops (khalifehs, or experts) keep their recipes a guarded secret, and there are many that have remained a private family business for many generations. BaklavaGhotab  and  Pashmak are the most popular sweets made in the city.

In 2000 the Yazd Water Museum opened; it features exhibits of  water storage vessels and historical technologies related to water.

Yazd has expanded its industrial fields since the 1980s. With at least three main industrial areas each containing over 70 different factories, Yazd has become one of  the  most technologically advanced cities of  Iran. The most famous corporations include Yazd Steel, Shimi Plastic of  Yazd, and Yazd Polymer.

Choqa Zanbil  is an ancient Elamite Complex in the Khuzestan province of  Iran. It is one of the few existence ziggurats outside of  Mesopotamia . It lies approximately 42 km South-southeast of  Dezful, 30 km  south –east of  Susa and 80 km  north of Ahvaz.

History of Choqa Zanbil

Choqa in Bakhtiari means “hill”. Choqa Zanbil means ‘basket mound.It was built about 1250 BC by the king UntashNapirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak.

Its original name was Dur Untash, which means ‘town of Untash’, but it is unlikely that many people, besides priests and servants, ever lived there. The complex is protected by three concentric walls which define the main areas of the ‘town’. The inner area is wholly taken up with a great ziggurat dedicated to the main god,which was built over an earlier square temple with storage rooms also built by Untash-Napirishia . The middle area holds eleven temples for lesser gods. It is believed that twenty-two temples were originally planned, but the king died before they could be finished, and his successors discontinued the building work. In the outer area are royal palaces, a funerary palace containing five subterranean royal tombs.

Choqa Zanbil is an ancient Elamite Complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran. It is one of the few existence ziggurats outside of Mesopotamia.

Although construction in the city abruptly ended after Untash-Napirisha’s death, the site was not abandoned, but continued to be occupied until it was destroyed by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 640 BC. Some scholars speculate, based on the large number of temples and sanctuaries at Choqa Zanbil, that Untash-Napirisha attempted to create a new religious center (possibly intended to replace Susa)which would unite the gods of both highland and lowland Elam at one site.

The main building materials in Choqa Zanbil were mud bricks and occasionally baked bricks. The monuments were decorated with glazed baked bricks, gypsum and ornaments of faïence and glass. Ornamenting the most important buildings were thousands of baked bricks bearing inscriptions with Elamite cuneiform characters were all inscribed by hand. Glazed terracotta statues such as bulls and winged griffins guarded the entrances to the ziggurat. Near the temples of Kiririsha and Hishmitik-Ruhuratir, kilns were found that were probably used for the production of baked bricks and decorative materials. It is believed that the ziggurat was built in two stages. It took its multi-layered form in the second phase.

The ziggurat is considered to be the best preserved example in the world. In 1979, Chogqa Zanbil became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Archaeology of Choqa Zanbil

Choqa zanbil was excavated in six seasons between 1951 and 1961 by Roman Ghirshman.

Threats of Choqa Zanbil

Petroleum exploration due to increased global demand threatens the foundations of  the site , as various seismic tests have been undertaken to explore for reserves of  petroleum. Digging for oil has been undertaken as close as 300 metres away from the ziggurat.



Some 3,000 years ago, in the area south of the Caspian Sea in what is now modern Iran, craftsmen developed a distinctive type of pottery. This small installation features some of the outstanding treasures in the Sackler Gallery’s collection of ancient Iranian ceramics. It celebrates the talents of ancient Iranian potters, and showcases the high quality of their crafted works.


The History of Persian Ceramics

Pottery making in the Iranian Plateau dates back to the Early Neolithic Age (7th millennium BCE) with the production of coarse, unglazed wares. Later wares were made from earthenware clays with a layer of white slip (engobe). They were covered by transparent lead glazes and colors were added with oxides. Persian ceramics matured with time into more elaborate styles and techniques.
During the 7th century, the Arabs conquered Persian territory as well as Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia. A large part of North Africa was conquered next, including Egypt (see map below).
In 717 CE, occupation of the Iberian peninsula took place, making the Arab empire one of the strongest.This set the stage for a development in Persian art forms based on Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Central Asiatic ideas. The blending of these ideas from many regions was seen in the products of the ceramic industry. Influenced by techniques already practiced in conquered territories, Persian potters developed new forms and styles to produce the fine wares that characterize Persian ceramics. Because refined wares were mostly destined to serve and decorate the homes of the wealthy, or for export, this industry received great patronage and support.


During the 9th century under the Abbasid rulership, additional styles and techniques were adopted and refined, later evolving into even more elaborate and exquisite forms. The use of cobalt blue dates to this period, as does the use of other metallic oxides, such as copper, to produce blues and greens. Potters at this time were also experimenting with slip decorations, and were able to control the liquid slip to create elaborate and intricate decorations. Colors such as manganese purple, tomato red, olive green, yellow and brown were applied to the surface and then covered with a transparent glaze, creating a glossy and smooth finish.
The 11th century brought dramatic changes to the ceramic industry, influenced by Chinese porcelain ware. For a time Persian potters had tried to imitate the Chinese potter’s porcelain ware, but they were unsuccessful because they lackedkaolin, a fine clay used for the production of porcelain. With the introduction of the Frit Ware, however, Persian potters were able to produce the smooth surface they sought. This new clay body was composed of white clay, powdered glass and quartz. Its soft consistency facilitated the use of new techniques such as engraving, piercing and molding.


By the 12th century, Persian ceramic styles were well established and they set the standards for further innovations and conventions. In the 13th century, however, ceramics took an abrupt turn with the Mongol conquest, and for a time, pottery production halted. Wares made during the Mongol occupation are called Il Kanid wares, referring to the ruling dynasty. In the 14th century the arts revived again, with the invasion of the Timur, under whose rule new centers of pottery production appeared. Kirman became one of the main centers.
The control of the Iberian peninsula and the fall of Granada in 1492, added polychrome pottery to the colorful spectrum of Persian ceramic styles.
Through the centuries, Persian potters have responded to the demands and changes brought by political turmoil by adopting and refining newly introduced forms and blending them into their own culture. This innovative attitude has survived through time and influenced many other cultures around the world.


A new look at ancient Iranian ceramic

A New Look at Ancient Iranian Ceramics, from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, is the first major exhibition of ancient Iranian ceramics in over a decade. The exhibition features forty-five extraordinary pieces that illustrate the 5,000-year ceramic tradition that flourished in ancient, pre-Islamic, Iran until 100 BC.
The beautiful, technically sophisticated, and often-amusing ceramics of ancient Iran demonstrate a rich yet little known tradition comparable to pre-Columbian, Chinese and Greek achievements, establishing ancient Iranian pottery as one of the great ceramic traditions.
The jugs, jars, beakers and spouted and shaped vessels in the exhibition were used for holding, pouring and drinking liquids, especially wine. Wit and Wine explores how ancient Iranian potters made and decorated these vessels with high quality of craftsmanship and design, and often with a unique sense of humor. Many pieces are shaped like animals or are painted with animal motifs. Interpretations of wild and domesticated animals show elegant deer, powerful rams and amusing goats. Some pieces were created to serve specific functions, such as cosmetic containers, some vessels were made to look like metal, and others are purely sculptural forms.
Included in the exhibition are an extraordinary ceramic head and neck of a bull, a vessel in the form of a seated camel, a stag head rhyton (drinking horn), a vessel with a deer’s head spout, a vessel in the form of a stag, a spouted vessel in the shape of a bull, and a delightful vessel with two feet.


Iran Ceramics & Pottery

Ceramic Industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. The first ever-excavated ceramic objects belonging to 10 to 12 thousand years ago were explored in Zagros mountain range in Iran that indicate a long and shining history in it. Archeological studies in Iran have shown that pottery in Iran has a history as old as 8,000 years.
One of the most important characteristics of the pottery and ceramics in different regions of Iran is “the expressive and beautiful decorations” on them. These decorations in different parts of Iran are completely compatible with the people’s belief, culture and climate of those areas.

Exceptional and marvelous items were created in that era. Decorating historical monuments and buildings inclusive of mosques in Isfahan and other Iranian towns.The color and quality of Iranian tiles and ceramics are so unique that they have resisted hard climatic and erosive conditions of Iran for centuries. “Sultanabad” and “Lajvardina” are two types of pottery.