Stucco Decoration in the Architecture of Iran and Neighbouring Lands: New Research – New Horizons

Posted on 2022-05-05

May, 5-7th 2022 | Bamberg

Stucco Decoration in the Architecture of Iran and Neighbouring Lands: 

New Research – New Horizons 

University of Bamberg – Institute of Oriental Studies, Islamic Art and Archaeology

Valentina Laviola - Ghazni Stuccoes. From an Old Excavation to the Synergetic Study of the Ghaznavid Palace Architectural Decoration


The excavation led in Ghazni by the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan from 1957 to 1966 returned numerous finds of architectural decoration in marble, alabaster, brick, and stucco. The analysis of the stucco has been neglected for long time and it was only resumed when studies on the other materials were already well-established. Nevertheless, this delay allowed stuccoes to be considered within the framework of a synergetic study of the Ghaznavid Palace and its decoration. Though the stucco had a minoritarian role, its tight relation with brick ‒ expressed in more than one way ‒ confirms as one of the main trends of the Iranian area. 

Facing issues of accessibility and preservation of finds, along with the challenging analysis of provenances, the comparison between stucco and other materials highlights either similarities or differences that involve morphologies, decorative patterns, techniques, epigraphic features, and polychromy. These aspects bear witness for specific choices within the integrated aesthetics of the Ghaznavid Palace.