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Elamite community and representation at Kurangun

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posted on 2022-03-28, 17:15 authored by Emma Jean Kaula
Perched above the Fahliyan River in Fars, Iran, is the open-air sanctuary of Kurangun. It is decorated with three panels of monumental reliefs depicting ritual scenes. Its central panel is dated between the 17th and 16th centuries BC in the Sukkalmah period, whilst two additions were made during the later Neo-Elamite period, c.9th-8th, and c.7th-6th centuries BC. The reliefs represent Elamite worshippers in contrasting ways: the Sukkalmah period relief depicts six elite attendees receiving flowing water from a divine couple. The Neo-Elamite reliefs show a distinct community of people, numbering around 40 figures, who descend the sanctuary's stairs. This project concerns the communities represented in the two different periods, and probes the identities of these people, quest ioning the socio-political background of Kurangun. In order to contextualise the sanctuary and gain an understanding of the communities who worshipped there, this project utilises an art historical and semiotic approach. An art historical analysis consults visual and iconographic parallels, enabling a contextualisation of the site's features and relationship with the natural environment. Furthermore, an understanding of Kurangun's semiotic capacity provides insight into how signs and symbols were transmitted and received . Due to Kurangun's melding of political and ritual expression, the role the sanctuary played for the Elamite communities becomes apparent; allowing for a further articulation of the communities represented, their relationship with each other, and the world around them.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. The Mamasani Plain: an archeological survey -- 3. Framework and mathodology -- 4. Limitations -- 5. Literature review -- 6. Kurangun I Relief -- 7. Kurangun II & III Reliefs -- 8. What can we tell of the people who worshipped at Kurangun?


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 82-90

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Javier Alvarez-Mon


Copyright Kaula, Emma Jean 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




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