The role of coral in art and architecture: An overview

Zohreh Moradi


Coral is one of the richest ecosystems in the world and divided into two major groups. First group consist of soft corals living in tropical and semitropical oceans and seas. People in the past used these kinds of coral to make jewelry and decorative objects. Second group contains hard coral which have been used as construction material in coastal zones. This paper presents the role of corals in art and architecture in four southern Islands (Qeshm, Hormoz, Hengam and Larak) of the Persian Gulf by studying objects in some museums around the world and some ancient Iranian jewelry manuscripts. The results showed that despite references made about corals, especially the red one, in jewelry and historical books and in Persian literature, there have never been any traces of an object made by coral in the Persian Gulf. In scientific researchers, there is no report on red coral in the Persian Gulf and studies indicate that red coral as a jewelry and decorative objects were exported to these Islands via India and Africa. Instead three groups of Coral reefs, Lumashell and Coquina were used as construction materials in these Islands mostly in historical, religious, hydraulic and offshore architectures.


Coral, Art, Architecture, Jewelry, Persian Gulf.

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