A Comparative and Analytical Study of Jaame, Mosque of Gaz According to New Renovations Findings

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.


Jaame, mosque of Gaz is located seventeen kilometers to the north of Esfahan in one of the ancient areas known as Borkhar. According to the texts and documents of the third and forth Hijri centuries, business was brisk in this area during the Seljuq and Safavid eras. Gaz as the center of this area has been important before and after Islam. Jaame, mosque of Gaz is considered as a monument of Seljuq era by most of the researchers. Despite having special architectural and decorative features, it has not yet been studied precisely and comprehensively. Recent renovations of this mosque which consisted of removing some parts added in the contemporary era have uncovered a few spaces, decorations, and shapes. These findings have provided new information on chronology and developmental stages of this monument. This descriptive, comparative, and analytic field research aims at presenting new chronological perspectives and developmental stages, as well as architectural, decorative, and stylistic features of this mosque. The findings of the present research indicate that this monument was originally a "columned type mosque" built in Buyid era. Nothing can be said about the details of its plan and design with certainty. However, the prevalence of "columned type mosques" in Iran in that era among which Jaame mosques of Esfahan, Ardestan, and Na'iin were typical examples, as well as the arrangement of remaining columns in this monument indicate that there were probably a courtyard in the center with some porticos around it, and a columned sanctuary in the south side. Some of the special features of this era mosques are polyhedral columns and stucco decorations in form of simple decorative ivies as well as other decorative ivies in form of multi-petal flowers. According to prior geographic texts there used to be many mosques in Borkhar area at that time, most of which had orators and minbars. Undoubtedly, Jaame, mosque of Gaz was one of them. Later, in Seljuq era a minaret was added and just like Jaame, mosques of Esfahan and Ardestan four arcades were added to each side of the courtyard. Therefore, it was changed to a four- arcade mosque. It is most likely that the four arcades were built simultaneously. Jaame, mosque of Gaz was different from other four- arcade mosques of Seljuq era in terms of special stylistic features. So that, the whole space of each side of the courtyard was surrounded by one arcade, also unlike the usual trend of the Seljuq era mosques especially those in Esfahan area, there was no independent dome chamber. Although the non- existence of a dome chamber in four- arcade mosques was not unusual in later periods of the Iranian architecture, no mosque with the same features as the Jaame, mosque of Gaz has been registered. There is no clear information about how constructions were made in mosques and how new parts were added to them. In Safavid era skillful architects fixed the mosque, built some new parts, and added to its decorations. This was ordered by Safavid kings. Renovations and constructions in this monument have been in progress since Qajar era until today.