عنوان مقاله [English]
Problem statement: Kufic inscriptions of Islamic architecture are considered the ancient era masterpieces of Iran and the Islamic world. Some of the Caravanseries in Razavi Khorasan province are counted among superb monuments in terms of decorations and architecture. However, the antiquity of some of them has not yet been well analyzed. Monumental inscriptions are often the most outstanding architectural elements that can direct the researchers through their endeavors from various viewpoints. Therefore, we deemed it critical to review the inscriptions under the study in terms of the scripts, objectives, various calligraphy types, etc., and determine their impacts on the identity of the monuments of interest.
Research objective: This study tries to comparatively review the inscriptions, scan the obscure ones, and correct the erroneous scanning of some others. In this spirit, the authors focused their efforts on presenting advice on the recreation of the inscriptions found at Robat (a small fortification built along a frontier) Mahi excavation site. They determined some of the monuments’ ages through a critical approach toward inscriptions scanning by employing the surviving texts and shreds of evidence.
Research method: The present study was conducted through survey and archeological research methods. First, the inscriptions were recorded using the survey investigations. Then it was attempted to accurately identify the events of the past to further clarify the historical, political, and economic identities of the monuments under investigation through library research, verification of the firsthand resources, evidence gathered by the past photographers, and then through data analysis and classification, following the historical approach.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the writing structure of the Kufic inscriptions was based on the early Kufic scripts with diverse writing styles and that the artists have employed the decoration factor in conveying their message. The placement of the inscriptions in the predetermined spaces is in abundant congruity and harmony with their associated monuments. A reason for inscribing the scripts has been to serve religious purposes. Some advice was then made for age determination of Caravanseries of Ziarat, Mahi, and Sharaf sites after scanning and reading some of the inscriptions.