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The art of gemstone carving: Persian handicraft

Stone carving is deeply rooted in the Iranian plateau and is practiced in various provinces of Iran, including Khorasan.

Stone carving is deeply rooted in the Iranian plateau and is practiced in various provinces of Iran, including Khorasan.

Historical artifacts excavated from archaeological sites in Iran suggest that the history of stone carving goes back to four thousand and five hundred years BC when cutting both decorative and applicable objects out of green stones was common in Iran. 

Nowadays, decorative objects like rings are made using stones like turquoise, marble, jade, black stone, etc.

From seven thousand years ago until today, kinds of stone such as Mica have been used to make cooking utensils such as pot, etc.

By the art of stone carving, kinds of utensils, lamp stands, photo frames, chess pieces, vases, sugar cube holders, and other applicable and decorative objects can be made.

Important centers of stone carving in Iran are Mashhad, Shahr-e Rey, Qom, and Kerman. Today carvers use raw stones and cut them into desired pieces. The extra parts are cut away by chisel and hammer.

In Mashhad, the stone-made utensils are polished with oil and painted almost in black. Then motifs like flowers, geometric lines, figures, portraits, hunting grounds, and famous poems are carved on them by carving pens.

Situated some 70 km west of Mashhad, the city of Neyshabour is long been known a source of turquoise. Turquoise Neyshabour Mine is considered the oldest turquoise mine in the world.


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