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On Persian-Type Furniture in Macedonia: The Recognition and Transmission of Forms

This paper focuses on the occurrence of Persian-type furniture in late fourth-century Macedonia as part of a wider discussion on the range of meanings artifacts carried in different cultural milieux that were in contact with one another. It is argued that furniture of this particular type, although developed within a long-established Near Eastern tradition, could be specifically related to the Achaemenid court. Items of furniture and other objects, best illustrated in the monumental Achaemenid reliefs, may be interpreted as elements of a court-derived repertoire that was used by the Achaemenid kings in the public display of their power. Through display by the elite, knowledge of the specific links between objects and the central court could be disseminated throughout the empire. Problems involved with the definition of a court-derived repertoire, the recognition of messages conveyed through images and objects, and the efficacy of various classes of objects as transmitters of messages are examined with particular reference to Persian artifacts and Macedonia. It is shown that objects of the court-derived repertoire traveled widely throughout the empire and beyond it, and while the limited evidence cannot prove that they were recognized as such in Macedonia, it is shown that the possibility most definitely existed.

Author(s):  Paspalas, Stavros
Format:  Article
Date:  2000
Source:  American Journal of Archaeology
Volume Info:  July 2000
Volume:  104
Number:  3