Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beauty for the sake of religion

Yes you read correctly.

According to an article in "Press TV" both men and women wore make-up and adorned themselves all in the name of religious worship.

"Archaeologists have discovered various instruments of make-up and ornamental items in the Burnt City, which date back to the third millennium BCE.

The caves of the Bakhtiari region, where the first hunter-gatherers settled at the end of the ice age, have yielded not only stone tools, daggers and grindstones but also several stones covered with red ocher.

As no cave paintings have been found in this area, researchers believe the people of this era bepainted their faces and bodies with ocher.

Other caves in Kermanshah have also yielded several samples of animal bones with traces of paint. Again, as the cave walls are undecorated, it can be inferred that the residents used these bones as ornaments.

The tombs found in Kerman have all yielded white powder made of lead or silver suggesting the people of this region were the first to use white powder for beautification purposes.

The masks and statues unearthed at Haft Tappeh in Khuzestan, show the people of the time blackened and extended their eyebrows, reddened their lips and cheeks and lined their eyes up to the eyebrows.

Archaeological finds dating back to the first millennium BCE, show the diversity and abundance of cosmetics and ornaments in this period, suggesting that this era was the peak of the art of decoration and makeup in Iran."

In addition to these finds, archaeologists have found some amazing pieces of jewellry:

"Metal, bone, shell, stone and glass rings, bracelets, armlets, anklets, hair and dress pins, circlets, chokers, ornamental buttons, various ear and fingernail cleaning tools are among the frequent finds from this era.

Agate, pearls and other semi-precious stones have been discovered in the Burnt City, and the quantity of unearthed necklaces, bracelets and rings show that the inhabitants were fully aware of the value of ornaments and their application.

The oldest man-made mirrors discovered, which date back 4500 years, have been found mostly in Ilam, Luristan and Azarbaijan and are ornamented with mythological figures carved into their handles and backs."

Please visit the main article as there are displayed jewellery and ornamentations of the most intricate design - it really sheds new light on the artistic genius of those who lived many centuries before us.

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