An Investigation of the Geometric Proportions of Bell-Shaped Column Bases and Bull Capitals at Persepolis and in Caucasian Achaemenid Sites

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia
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Columnar halls were an important architectural phenomenon during the Achaemenid period. The columns varied in shape, but one of the most frequent kind had bell-shaped bases and back to back bull-shaped capitals. Such columns were not only to be found in Persian capitals but also on Achaemenid sites in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia that lay within the vast Persian Empire. We know that the Achaemenids in Persia used precise geometric proportions in their architecture and sculpture; here in this paper we consider whether there are any similarities between the architectural proportions of buildings at Persepolis and on Caucasian sites. If so, it would indicate that there was a consistent architectural management throughout lands controlled by the Achaemenids.

An Investigation of the Geometric Proportions of Bell-Shaped Column Bases and Bull Capitals at Persepolis and in Caucasian Achaemenid Sites

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

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References

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19

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21

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22

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27

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Figures

  • View in gallery
    Column Bases. 1: Type A; 2: Type B (after Boardman 2000, figs 2, 52 and 2, 53).
  • View in gallery
    Column Bases. 1: Type C; 2: Type D (after Boardman 2000, figs 2, 54 and 2, 55).
  • View in gallery
    Column bases from the Caucasus. 1: Sari Tepe, Azerbaijan; 2-3: Gumbati, Georgia, base fragment; 4: Gumbati, Georgia, reconstruction; 5: Beniamin, Armenia, base fragment; 6: Qarajamirli, Azerbaijan, base fragment; 7: Tsikhiagora, reconstruction (after Gagoshidze & Kipiani 2000, fig. 1).
  • View in gallery
    A comparison between bell-shaped column bases. 1: The central building at Persepolis (after Schmidt 1953, 249, F); 2: Qarajamirli (after Babaev et alii 2007, fig. 10).
  • View in gallery
    Persepolis column bases of Haremsara (after Schmidt 1953, fig. 107, H, G).
  • View in gallery
    Column bases. Measurement details. 1: Tsikhiagora, reconstruction; 2: Sari Tepe, reconstruction (after Gagoshidze & Kipiani 2000, fig. 1).
  • View in gallery
    Column bases. Measurement details. 1: Tsikhiagora, reconstruction; 2: Sari Tepe, reconstruction (after Gagoshidze & Kipiani 2000, fig. 1).
  • View in gallery
    The bull-shaped capitals. 1: Tsikhiagora (after Gagoshidze & Kipiani 2000, fig. 3); 2: Persepolis (after Schmidt 1953, fig. 61, C).
  • View in gallery
    The bull-shaped capitals, frontal view. 1: Tsikhiagora (after Gagoshidze & Kipiani 2000, fig. 3); 2: Persepolis (after Schmidt 1953, fig. 61, C).
  • View in gallery
    Column bases, above section comparison. 1: Persepolis (after Schmidt 1953, fig. 107, F); 2: Qarajamirli (after Furtwängler & Knauss 1996, fig. 9).
  • View in gallery
    Bull-shaped capitals, comparison of the heads. 1: Tsikhiagora (after Gagoshidze & Kipiani 2000, fig. 3); 2: Persepolis (after Schmidt 1953, fig. 61, C).

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