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Landmarks of the Persian Renaissance : monumental funerary architecture in Iran and Central Asia in the tenth and eleventh centuries

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dc.contributor.advisor Nasser Rabbat. en_US Michailidis, Melanie en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. en_US 2008-05-19T16:11:55Z 2008-05-19T16:11:55Z 2007 en_US 2007 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2007. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 375-414). en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation investigates the sudden proliferation of mausolea in Iran and Central Asia in the tenth and eleventh centuries and how their patrons, who were secular rulers of Iranian descent, drew on the pre-Islamic past in new ways specific to each region. Mausolea constructed in the tenth and eleventh centuries have a wide geographical spread across modem Iran and the ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. However, the monuments take two different forms: the tomb tower and the domed square. There are formal and functional differences and a different geographical distribution, with the earliest tomb towers concentrated in the inaccessible Alborz Mountains in northern Iran. This remote region had a very different historical trajectory from that of Central Asia, where the earliest extant domed square mausolea are located. Historians of architecture have often noted that certain features seen in these mausolea have some vague connection with the pre-Islamic past, but this connection has never been precisely defined or explained; I argue that the cultural dynamics which resulted in particular architectural forms were very different in these two regions, so that pre-Islamic Iranian traditions were selectively continued in the Caspian region of northern Iran, whereas other elements of the Iranian past were consciously revived in Central Asia. Two of the mausolea that I analyze, the Samanid mausoleum and the Gunbad-i Qabus, are well-known monuments which appear in virtually every survey of Islamic art, whereas most of the others are almost completely unknown. en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation situates these buildings in their historical context for the first time and examines them in a new way as an expression of the Persian Renaissance, a term borrowed from literary historians which describes the florescence of Iranian high culture which occurred at this time. Since this group of mausolea was influential not only in the development of funerary architecture, but also in the development of Islamic architecture as a whole, understanding their origins and formation is important for the history of Islamic architecture. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Melanie Dawn Michailidis. en_US
dc.format.extent 414 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Architecture. en_US
dc.title Landmarks of the Persian Renaissance : monumental funerary architecture in Iran and Central Asia in the tenth and eleventh centuries en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 222332133 en_US

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