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The Safavid Workshops and Petrographic Analysis

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Chapter Summary

Potters are generally considered to be conservative, as they are reliant upon a technology with a considerable number of variables that must be met before they can successfully produce pottery. The first Safavid also chose Tabriz as the capital, and pottery production continued there at least as late as the move of the capital to Qazvin. This chapter focuses on the petrographic evidence. The historical sources seem overwhelmingly to point to Kirman as the most significant site of production, especially for the export market. The sites of Nishapur and Mashhad, for instance, are also only 75 km apart on the map, but a large and barren mountain chain separates the two. Zarand and Kirman, on the other hand, effectively occupy the same valley. After Kirman (or Kirman/Zarand), Mashhad seems to have been the centre next in importance, followed by Shiraz, Yazd, and probably Isfahan.

Keywords: Isfahan; Kirman; Mashhad; Nishapur; petrographic evidence; pottery production; Safavid; Tabriz; Zarand



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