Reas about Uzbekistan Ceramics: History and modern uzbek ceramics
Picture of Uzbekistan Ceramics
History of Uzbekistan Ceramics
Examples of ancient ceramic pottery are abundant in the Uzbekistan city of Samarkand, once known as Afrasiab. Archaeologists have excavated an incredible array of plates, bowls, jars and serving pieces dating as far back as the third century B.C. Between the fifth and fifteenth centuries B.C., ceramics were produced in great abundance in Uzbekistan and traded throughout the cities of the Silk Road of Central Asia. Due to the many ethnic conquests of this region, there is great diversity in the style of ceramic pottery found in Uzbekistan. The greatest period of diversity was around the tenth century B.C.
Ceramic pottery has been found dating from pre-Islamic to early Islamic periods of Uzbekistan. During the Islamic period, Uzbekistan was made the center of Eastern Islam, and consequently the center shifted to the south. This created an unpopulated area of abandoned streets and homes, which archaeologists have been excavating for nearly one hundred years. They have uncovered an extraordinary series of historic ceramic artifacts from Samarkand, the ancient city of Uzbekistan. Pottery - making is one of the earliest arts in the history of human civilization, created originally purely for necessity and later more as an art form. The excavated pieces are lovely, very colorful and artistic, many with paintings of animals and plants. Colored in shades of bright red, black and yellow, the decorations include stylized flowers and cosmic spirals. Many pieces are finished in the ancient ishkor technique, which is a plant- derived glaze.
The ancient masters passed on their knowledge and traditions from generation to generation for centuries, and all modern ceramic craft in Uzbekistan today has its roots in the distant past.
During the period when Uzbekistan was taken over by the Soviets, the region of Samarkand became the capital of the Eastern Soviet Union. At that time many artisans were forced to work in factories, where their creativity and originality were stifled. It is amazing that the ancient arts and traditions managed to survive despite this period of suffocation for the arts. Today, the Rakhimov family in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is dedicated to the preservation of the wonderful ceramic arts that date back to antiquity. Akbar Rakhimov, the foremost ceramic scholar in Uzbekistan, and his son have researched and studied historical materials and techniques. Akbar studied for years under an old master, now deceased, who taught him ancient techniques such as ishkor glazing. Deeply involved with organizations like UNESCO, which strive to maintain, support and preserve art and traditions in Uzbekistan, Akbar and his son are also in the process of building a school for teaching authentic historic ceramic techniques.
Modern Uzbekistan Ceramics
Factory made ceramics are available today in Uzbekistan. These products are inexpensive to make and purchase. However, these products are not original in design. In addition, they do not employ the age-old traditional methods of production or decoration. For example, these factory-made items use lead glaze rather than the traditional ishkor glaze. Fortunately, beautiful, authentic, hand-made artisan ceramics are both easily available and popular among visitors on a tour of Uzbekistan. These ceramics represent and retain the beautiful ancient art so much a part of the history of Uzbekistan and of human civilization.