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Original Articles Home > Acta Via Serica > Archives > Original Articles
Title East-West Exchange of Costume Culture: Focusing on the Analysis of Taq-i Bustan Reliefs of the Sassanian Dynasty of Persia
Author Youngsoo Chang
Volume Vol. 6 No. 2
Pages pp. 1~20 (all 20 pages)
Publication Date December, 2021
Keyword Taq-i Bustan, Sassanian dynasty, cultural exchange, costume elements, Greek-Roman Style, Central Asia
Abstract The Taq-i Bustan reliefs are representative works from the Sassanian dynasty of the 4th to 7th centuries. This study analyzes the costumes depicted in the Taq-i Bustan reliefs to gain understanding of the phenomena of cultural exchange between the East and West by observing the foreign cultural elements appearing in the Sassanian costumes of that time. Literature study and artifacts analysis were conducted in parallel. External elements appearing in Taq-i Bustan's costume were Greek-Roman and Central Asian. The tunics and trousers of the gods and the trousers of kings (Ardashir II, Shapur II and Shapur III) were made of thin fabric and showed many wrinkles, a characteristic of Greek and Roman clothing. On the spandrel above the arch of the great grotto of Khusrau II are depicted the goddesses of Victory, in a Greco-Bactrian style. Among the costume elements of Taq-i Bustan, there were also Central Asian elements observed. One Central Asian costume element was the round clasp ornament for tying the trousers. The side slits and hem of the tunic were presented in the style of the Sogd clothing of Central Asia in the 6th and 7th centuries, while the pearl rounded pattern was activated in Sogd, Kucha and Kizyl in the 7th and 8th centuries. These reliefs are considered important evidence of eastern influences in Sassanian culture.