The Message of Cross Motif on Potsherds

Document Type : مقاله کوتاه


Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University


The cross motif is frequently found on Persian pottery. This paper argues that the origins of this motif could be traced back to Mithraism, i.e. the worship of the ancient Persian god Mithras, a god of light, truth, and honor who was worshipped before Zoroastrianism. The motif initially symbolized Mithras' chariot, but took other meanings in later periods. The diverse meanings this motif symbolizes are reviewed. An analysis on the physical characteristics of the cross leads to the use of this motif and its impact on architecture.