Zahra Kouzehgari: The Rise of Symbols, a Case Study of the Symbols in Central Zagros Iran, Mesopotamia, and Nile Valley Delta

On The May 11, 2020

Video-conference seminar

We will study the role of environment, geography and landscape, in general, in the process of emergence and production of meaning for signs in the early Bronze Age and Iron Age societies in Mesopotamia, Southwestern Iranian Plateau and the Nile Valley from a comparative perspective. To do this the most prominent and common symbols from these regions are selected and the process, since their very early representation in artworks to the production of meaning for them have been studied from a semiotic perspective. The results of this study demonstrates that there is a close relationship between the symbols as well as the meaning and significance they convey in various societies.

Symbols -marks, signs, and words- which are indicating, signifying or are understood as representing an idea, object or relationships allow people to go beyond which is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences. These symbols have always shared a great part and played an important role in communication and interaction among and within human societies since the very early phases of human history.
These symbols took on new forms and became more organized along with the emergence and development of the early urban centers in Mesopotamia, Nile Valley Delta as well as southwestern Iran and gradually became widespread within and among those societies. An overall look at these symbols from various geographical regions demonstrates distinct differences representing their varied geographical and environmental settings from which they are coming.

Zahra Kouzehgari is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the University of Art and Architecture of Pars, Tehran, Iran and a guest lecturer at the Art University of Tehran. She is a 2019-2020 fellow of the Collegium de Lyon.