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ON PATHS IN THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF MASULIH, GILAN, IRAN.

Abstract
By : Ehsan Daneshyar

 
This article illustrates the significance of pathways in cultural landscapes. It does so via an in-depth analysis at the paths in the historic community of Masulih, located in the Iranian province of Gilān. The town of Masulih, including its surrounding landscape, has an inter-connected systems of pathways that serve to tie the area together as coherent whole, making it an excellent site to explore the significance of path systems. On a functional level the neighbourhoods and homes, bazaar, teahouses, mosques, and Imāmzādih, in addition to the grazing lands and paths connect shrines outside the community. However, the paths of Masulih are significant beyond their mere utilitarian function as travel routes. This paper finds that various attributes of the paths are interrelated: the relation of path to topography; the cyclical and seasonal usage of paths; the path’s function as connector of the bazaar and tea houses where individuals meet and socialize; paths serve as an stage during the lunar rituals that allows for further socializing; lands near and far are connected by the network of paths. Finally, this paper documents the dynamic connections between paths, landscape, built environment, and individuals in Masulih.
Keywords: Paths, Masulih, Community, Cultural Landscapes.

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