H. 31 1/2 in. (80 cm)
W. 31 1/4 in. (79.4 cm)
D. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
Wt. 74 lbs. (33.6 kg)
Rogers Fund, 1940
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
This large fragment was found in the rubble of a structure excavated at Nishapur in the mound known as Vineyard Tepe. Only a very small section of the mound was uncovered, but this revealed part of a grand building with substantial architectural ornamentation. It is likely that this building was destroyed by an earthquake in the year 1145 and never rebuilt. The fragment itself reveals more about the form of the Vineyard Tepe building. Its shape suggests that it probably came from an arcade, or row of arches set atop columns. Here, the extrados (outer faces) of two arches are preserved, each decorated with a continuous band of blossoms flanked by half-palmette leaves. Several other arch fragments were found alongside this one in the same room. Given this evidence, it is possible that the space was originally domed or otherwise vaulted.
1937, excavated at Vineyard Tepe in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds
Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Some Early Islamic Buildings and their Decoration. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. p. 201, ill. fig. 2.31 (b/w).