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Creativity and Continuity in the Arts of Iran

The peoples of Ancient Iran created a tremendously rich and varied artistic tradition. The skill and creativity of Iranian artists is evident across many media, including ceramics, sculpture, architecture, metalwork, and weaving. While some themes of Iranian art ebbed and flowed, others, such as the depictions of bulls and animal-combat, surface repeatedly in different phases of Ancient Iranian culture, from the Neolithic to the rise of Islam. Meanwhile, vigorous dialogue with the artistic traditions of neighboring regions – especially Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Greek world – expanded and enriched the parameters of artistic creation.

3rd and 2nd Millennium: Elamites and the foundation of Iranian art

1st Millennium BC: Iranian art flourishes, culminating with the Achaemenids

1st Millennium CE: Imperial art on a new scale, with many global influences

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