Ancient Pottery Item Reminder of Unity against COVID-19 Pandemic

Ancient Pottery Item Reminder of Unity against COVID-19 Pandemic

An archaeologist has compared to coronavirus the images on a 7-thousand-year-old earthenware item which depict farmers in the south or north of Iran dancing and jumping for joy around their harvest.

Narges Mombeini has likened those designs to a sign of unity among people to overcome COVID-19.

“Since around 10 years ago, I have focused on re-creating ancient designs and images,” said Mambini, holder of a Master’s degree in archaeology who is also a university lecturer.

“While studying the book ‘The Technique and Art of Pottery’ by Faeq Towhidi, I ran into a page illustrating a clay item with designs similar to the graphic image of coronavirus,” she told ISNA.

“This motivated me to study the exact meaning of the image on that piece of pottery,” she added.

She said the main image on the clay item shows people dancing and joying after reaping their harvest.

“Local harvest ceremonies are usually held in the north and south [of Iran] after the harvest is reaped,” she said.

“The reaped harvest is put in the middle and farmers begin dancing and joying for the harvest they have gathered,” she noted.

Ancient Pottery Item Reminder of Unity against COVID-19 Pandemic 2The archaeologist added the design brings to mind an image where the virus is put in the middle and people are united to defeat it.

“The images of the reaped harvest revived the image of coronavirus in my mind. So, I decided to compare the image on the pottery item to the image of COVID-19 and depict people’s unity to overcome the virus as a poster with a cultural theme,” she said.

She says the earthenware item being kept in the Louvre Museum in the French capital, Paris, was originally dug out at a historical site 150 kilometres from the ancient city of Susa.

“This very beautiful image illustrates humans standing side by side and hand in hand at a local ceremony while dancing; it depicts a sort of gathering held in pre-historic communities to show their gratitude for the harvest they have reaped,” she said.

She says she aims to incorporate the philosophy behind those rituals into the campaign against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Mombeini, if people today are united like they were in the past, they can definitely overcome the virus.

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