In 2016 Sumru Belger Krody, senior curator textile museum Washington D.C., presented this paper at the Textile Society of America Symposium.
Subsequently it was made available online by the University of Nebraska, which is where we found it.
Entitled The Power of Color: Anatolian Kilims the original, which includes a few other examples from the Murad Megalli Anatolian kelim collection can be seen here:
After reading what Krody wrote we cannot help posting it and our comments, as in our estimation many of Krodys ideas about the Anatolian kelim are fanciful, often misguided and incorrect.
We trust our comments below, in bold typeface, present convincing argument to counter Krodys.
Kilim, eastern Anatolia, first half 19th century, wool, slit tapestry weave, The Textile Museum 2013.2.78, The Megalli Collection, 157 X 107 cm (61.5 X 42 inches), warp vertical
This kelim is in our opinion is a fake, a recent reproduction. It was most probably made in the same workshop where the ones we wrote about here were produced:
Reading our comments cannot help but cast serious doubt those kelim are genuine. This one we are equally sure is not genuine, or old.
Briefly, the colors and the design are so aberrant in comparison to other kelim we have ever seen. Plus the weaving technique, which utilized such large terraces at each color join, is completely unknown from other old kelim.
It just looks too much like the others we called fakes and unlike any other type of genuine example. While every old Anatolian kelim is not the same as any other, they do share design similarities and can be collated and grouped based on those similarities. There are no one-offs, and every old Anatolian kelim we have ever seen in the flesh, or published, has at least one that is very similar or strongly related.
"The Power of Color: Anatolian Kilim"
The kilims of Anatolia are great contemplative and minimalist works of art as stated by a kilim enthusiast.(1)
Created by women who had a magnificent eye for design and an awesome sense of color, these textiles are prized for the purity and harmony of their color, the integrity of their powerful overall design, their masterfully controlled weave structure, and their fine texture.
One of Krodys major errors is the belief Anatolian kelim were created by weavers who were creating an individual and personal weaving. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as no kelim weaver ever worked alone. Weavings, especially large kelim with many colors and complex iconography were a group effort. To acquire the wool, to spin and to dye it was never done by a weaver but rather a group of people among which the weaver was only one part.
Weavings like Anatolian kelim, and we have said this many times in the past both privately and publicly, were a WE effort, not an I one.
This fundamental fact blows serious holes in Krodys work, which will become far more apparent in our continuing comments.
The kilims are large tapestry-woven textiles. The visually stunning and colorful Anatolian kilims communicate the aesthetic choices of the village and nomadic women who created them.
This statement is part and parcel of Krodys erroneous vision of where the Anatolian kelims visual vocabulary came from and how weavers came to use it in their kelim.
Basically, there was an historic kelim weaving culture that existed in Anatolia for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Its origin can presently be dated to 500 years old but most probably it is far older. More about this below.
Yet, while invested with such artistry, Anatolian kilims first and foremost were utilitarian objects.
This is another major error. Because Krody has no inkling about this historic weaving culture and its degeneration, she assumes all kelim are the same. By this we mean Krody does not differentiate utilitarian (ie domestic, secular) ones from others that were cult objects (ie non-secular, spiritual).
Anatolian kelim with simple patterns, often displayed in stripes, can be assumed to be those meant for secular, utilitarian use. While those with highly complex iconography, rarely with rigid striped layout and repetitous patterning, can be assumed to have functioned as cult, non-secular, spiritual ones. These were woven to commemorate and celebrate birth, coming of age and marriage, as well as honoring the dead. The fact many early kelim were found in mosques and other religious buildings was no accident.
The simple fact the earliest Anatolian kelim have the most complex iconography, and the best rendition of it, is likewise no accident.
Also throughout history all societies have developed a vocabulary of images and symbols that are found on their most precious objects.. Often these were, in their most complex form, associated with deity worship and expression, as well as recovered from important graves and burials.
This association strongly implies these patterns were sacred and highly important to their makers. They were not simple doodles or personal expressions but rather part of ceremony and spirituality.
Throughout history none of these varied cultures and peoples treated this type of sophisticated and complex iconography casually. And none placed these patterns on strictly utilitarian goods. They were reserved for sacred objects and ceremony.
To deny or believe different is to discount evidence that is inviolable, and is quite frankly totally foolish. To not recognize it is a serious mistake.
To research the Anatolian kelim without countenance of these two points the fact weavers were part of a group and kelim with simple designs were intended to function in a completely different environment than those with highly articulated patterns is impossible. More about this below
Although employed by nomadic families for a host of uses, they were primarily used for covering household items and furnishing the tent interiors.
This picture Krody presents is one based on late 20th century fieldwork in Anatolia done primarily by Belkis Balpinar, former director of the Vakiflar Museum in Istanbul. For several decades Balpinar traveled thousands of miles in Anatolia for her search to interview kelim and carpet weavers. Her fieldwork is excellent and paints a picture of what the contemporary weavers and their small-scale societies were doing at that time.
However, trying to extrapolate these findings, and those of others like Josephine Powell, to explain what and how Anatolian kelims were produced, used, and appreciated a hundred, two hundred or five hundred years before is impossible. More about this below.
The Textile Museum collections received a gift ninety-six artistically and historically significant Anatolian flatweaves from the Estate of Murad Megalli in 2013. The practical and analytical study of these textiles is on-going in order to contribute to the expansion of knowledge of the Anatolian kilim weaving tradition. The research will address several questions that surround Anatolian kilims. But the fundamental question to be answered is what is there to see when you look at a work of art, such as an Anatolian kilim?
Looking at an Anatolian kelim, or any other type of artwork, requires the knowledge and ability to place it into a perspective of related and associated works, as well as understanding it original environment. Trying to make any valid judgments without this are pointless, and doing so is just like taking a painting and hanging it upside down. Regardless of the fact someone might like it better, doing so totally destroys its meaning and the makers intent.
Same with trying to understand and explain old, genuine Anatolian kelim without knowing their background or being able to compare it with others of its type, both newer and much earlier.
Next to nothing is known about any Anatolian kelim made prior to the middle-end of the nineteenth century. The only referneces that exist are in the kelim themselves.
We will explain more below but our 40 years of Anatolian kelim collecting, research and study has demonstrated there is a tiny group of exceptionally early examples that are archetypes for all other later kelims.
This is the strongest evidence study of these weaving presents. This is not interpretation or conjecture but hard and fast fact, something Krodys presentation not only discounts by omission but thereby suffers irreparable consequence.
Of the ninety-six flatweaves, forty-three are kilims are attributed to central and south Anatolia, thirty-eight to western and northwestern Anatolia, and fifteen to eastern Anatolia. Three of the flatweaves were woven with supplementary-weft wrapping. The other ninety-three are kilims made using slit tapestry weave technique.
(1) Alan Marcuson, Still Got Their Mojo, HALI, pp. 66-69, issue: 169, Hali Publications, London (2011)
Anatolian women and their lives
The weavers of Anatolian kilims were descendants of Turkmen nomads and their settled kin.
This sentence is the cornerstone of the impossibly flawed thesis Sumru Krodys paper is based upon. Regrettably it is not only myopic but absolutely incorrect.
It can only be called wanton prejudice, and unmitigated at that, to believe all Anatolian kelim were weoven by Turkmen when there is at least 12,000 years of indigenous Anatolian civilization.
Even a cursory study of the available archaeological literature makes this blatanntly clear. For Krody to ignore this, and the overwhelming probability both settled and nomadic descendants of these people were weaving kelim is unthinkable, and it colors her presentation totally black.
The way of life in nomadic communities in Anatolia has changed dramatically, especially during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Only the kilims are left as enduring records of that life, although it is extremely hard to decipher their meanings. Their history spans at least five centuries and they present an extremely wide stylistic variety. In addition, they were created by societies where oral tradition is the norm rather than the literary tradition of urban societies. All these factors make the analysis of kilims and the weaving tradition associated with them far more complex.
Citing the five centuries of Turkmen presence in Antolia seems nonsensical when, as we stated above, there is at least TWELVE THOUSAND years of indigenous Anatolian civilization. Krody does not discuss, or even mention, the fact the iconography found on Anatolian kelim of all periods has liitle to no relationship to any weavings made by Turkmen tribal groups. It does, however, have strong relationship to certain archaeological objects recovered from sites in Anatolia.
The iconography displayed on Anatolian kelim of all period from the earliest to that made in recent times is basically unique. It does not look like that seen on any other weavings, particularly Turkmen or Mongol or any central Asian people.
These factors blow huge holes in Krodys presentation, ones that cannot be papered over or dismissed.
The Anatolian kilim is a composite of powerful cultural and personal influences. We know that kilims are a potent expression of the nomadic and peasant culture in Anatolia as well as a highly personal expression of rural women.
This, too, is faulty conjecture, as it once again denies the existence of a historic weaving culture that was passed down from generation to generation. This is how the kelim iconography was transmitted. More importantly this explains why generation after generation of weavers used the same patterns, designs and symbols on their weavings.
This could not have happened if Krodys idea personal influences had any role.
Although we, nor anyone else, can prove our theory concerning the existence of this historic weaving culture, there is the simple and plain fact there are countless repetitions of almost all types of Anatolian kelim that date over long periods of time. Hundreds of years, in fact.
So how, pray tell, can anyone agree with this personal influences theory Krody tries to establish. Sorry it is only in her mind. The facts prove otherwise, and imply transmission of iconography from generation to generation was the vehicle that drove the art and craft of the Anatolian kelim.
This expression was molded by a profusion of aesthetic influences originating from the many ethnic groups that make up the Anatolian culture.
This idea is also completely false. It flies in the face of the undeniable fact certain groups of Anatolian kelim weavers used proprietary designs that are not found in the kelim of other groups. Even when groups migrated to new areas they took their proprietary iconography with them and conitued to utilize them. An Anatolian kelim weavers proprietary iconography and its retention for hundreds of years is the most important way to provenance and identify their work. Had personal expression been a significant, or even minor, part there wouldnt be so limited a number of identifiable types. There would be hundreds and maybe thousands, making even the limited number of generalized identifications now known impossible.
The Anatolian kelim communicated a group identity not a personal one, and for Krody to attempt to overturn this demonstrates an inability to understand another fundamental determinant.
The influence of the high Ottoman culture is also evident on many kilims.
Heres another major error in Krodys thesis. The only Anatolian kelim that display designs relatable to high Ottoman culture are ones made outside the small-scale society environment that produced the most genuine, old and important Anatolian kelim. Plus wheres the proof this high Ottoman culture did not co-opt iconography from the weavings made by those societies. After all those societies were present in Anatolia thousands of years prior to any Ottoman migration. More about this below.
Although work on deciphering the meaning of Anatolian kilims is ongoing, there is no denying that Anatolian kilims, with their bold but simple coloration, large scale, and skillfully balanced designs have a very strong visual power for contemporary eyes.
This is one of the only points in her presentation where we agree. There is little doubt the extreme stylistic differences Anatolian kelim and almost all othe types of oriental rugs display was the result of different origins. And those origins imply their source was the indigenous Anatolian civilization and not some migrant and foreign Ottoman influenced one. To say the Anatolian kelim iconography is inherently pre-Islamic in nature is no exaggeration regardless of the fact no Anatolian kelim can be securely dated prior to Islams beginnings. Well, so far that is.
The beauty and mystery that surrounds their origin, history, and design serve to amplify this aesthetic power.
We likewise have to part company with Krody here because were these factors known it would make no difference. The Anatolian kelim would still be as aesthetically powerful and alluring. We must say Krodys presentation is full of glib words but short on any evidence to support them.
Created by women who had a great eye for design and an awesome sense of color, designs of the Anatolian kilims are unpretentious, pure and essential shapes inviting deep meditation and contemplation.
More glib words considering the reality these weavers were not creating a personal vision but one that was totally dependent on their groups identity and an associated iconography with strong historical precedent.
Again, this expalins why for hundreds of years certain weavers only produced kelim with certain designs.
Kilim, central Anatolia, 18th century, wool, slit tapestry weave, The Textile Museum 2013.2.13, The Megalli Collection. 314 X 102 cm (123.5 X 40 inches), warp horizontal
Not only do we believe this kelim is not 18th century, we believe it is another fake, a recent reproduction.
Again the color palette, the layout, the simple uncomplicated design that is both easily woven and one that appeals to contemporary minimalist tastes raise strong suspicions. Unllike the Megalli kelim at the beginning of Krodys paper this one has some precedent.
It is fashioned after a well-known type, of which there are numerous examples that date over at least a two hundred year span.
However, the lack of any minor ornaments, plus the many other quite obvious differences, are just too much to make anyone believe it is, in reality, part of this group. The Megalli kelim is a fake, for these reasons and others we could cite.
Kilim is a term used in Turkish-speaking parts of West Asia, especially in Anatolia, for large slit tapestry-woven textiles. The visually stunning and colorful Anatolian kilims communicate the aesthetic choices of the village and nomadic women who created them.
No matter how many times Krody repeats the idea kelim weavers made aesthetic choices based on personal preferences it still will not nullify the fact weavers were expressing what they were taught by their culture. The Anatolian kelim is a group identity, a heredity object and weavers were bound, not free, to continue what their ancestors did and encuturated them to likewise do. The kelim weaver was not an artist in the western sense but rather a scribe who as carefully as possible copied a pre-existing format and particulars. Once again, were this not the case there would not be groups of kelim with similar designs but a prolifereation of examples with all sorts of patterns.
While invested with such artistry, Anatolian kilims first and foremost were utilitarian objects.
This was disproved above so no need to repeat its inclusiveness is completely false. Some were utilitarian, some not. The completely disparate iconographies tell us this beyond any doubt.
Anatolia was a crucial transitional point between the weaving regions of Europe, Asia, and Egypt. Its history is one of ancient, continuous interactions between West Asia, Arabia, northern Africa and Central Asia as well as the Caucasus and Balkan regions.
This, too, is myth making. It does not recount history. If there were such interactions, as Krody states, why then does the Anatolian kelim have such a patently different iconographic vocabulary than weaving made in these other areas?
The answer, of course, is that the Anatolian kelim existed in a protected, isolated environment and the designs woven were immune to influence. This is fact but why this happened is not so easily explained. Though our research implies the strictly adhered to historic weaving culture, and the importance of group identity through reproducing its iconography, were most likely responsible.
Turkmenethnic Turkish nomads from further east in Asiabegan to arrive into Anatolia in the tenth century, adding further diversity to already ethnically diverse area.
If this is so, as Krody keeps maintaining, why then did these Turkmen migrants, who apparently never wove with the slit-tapestry technique, suddenly begin to do it when they got to Anatolia. If they wove anything, these Turkmen made pile carpets, not kelim. Also their iconographic vocabulary was completely different from that displayed on any Anatolian kelim.
Krodys theory Turkmen made all or even most Anatolian kelim is full of holes that cannot be filled by reinventing fact and history.
The lands they passed through on their way from Central Asia to Anatolia were occupied by two different religionsIslam and Eastern Orthodox Christianityand two distinct culturesPersian and Byzantine/Greek.
By the 11th or 12th century when the first Turkmen migrants are said to have arrived in Anatolia, Islam had already begun to be adopted in some if not all of these regions. Why does Krody avoid mentioning this?
While the settled, Anatolian village women also wove kilims, their weaving tradition was rooted in the weaving practices of Anatolian nomads.
Now how does Krody know that? We have read all the literature and not once have we ever heard this. Sorry, but without a shred of documentation one can only surmise it is invention and far from fact.
Two major but distinct activities dominated the life of the nomads:
1. Migration to winter pasture, called kisla, and to summer pasture, called yayla
2. Pastoral life
Nomadism is a lifestyle in which groups of people, mostly close family members, move from one region to another to exploit local resources.
Mostly close family members? Sorry but once more this flies in the face of fact. Often families, more like clan, were very extended and relations were not only by blood, ie a family, but also by other associative factors.
Anatolian nomads living and economic units were predominantly groups of families (kabile) or of extended families (aile). They were generally herders and depended on large flocks for their livelihood. Some nomadic groups, such as those in Anatolia, were pastoral nomads, or semi-nomadic, meaning they moved between two pastures, one for winter and one for summer.
During these semi-annual movements, camels carried the familys belongings and tent, while the family, except the youngest members, walked alongside the camels. In this setting, textiles, especially kilims, functioned as showpieces displaying the familys wealth and the womens skill to everyone they encountered on the road.
Once at their destination, nomadic women could devote time to weaving their textilesthe only artistic output of these communities which survives today. Although utilitarian, the textiles were carefully woven and intricately decorated. One reason for this care was that for the nomads, textiles had artistic, social, and religious importance beyond their pure functionality, although it is hard for us to perceive the specifics of these aspects today, because of our distance from those societies in time and space.
Krody passes the opportunity to differentiate between kelim, ie textiles, used for purely utilitarian purposes and those intended for spiritual, ie religious or cult, activities. Again, it is impossible to avoid this distinction, as throughtout history, world-wide, no society ever used artworks of any type decorated with their most precious and sacred symbols for purely utilitarian purposes. To claim the makers of Anatolian kelim did is beyond reason, forget reasonable doubt.
Textiles were prominently displayed when the family reached the pastureland and set up tents. Each tent formed a single open space often with a wooden post in the middle.
Wooden post in the middle? Please now has Krody never seen a yurt, the most common type of transportable dwelling used throughout the Near East. No yurt has a post in the middle, it is supported by other means, and in the middle of the roof section there is always a hole to allow the smoke from the fire to escape. This is basic.
The large transportation bags that carried familys belongings during the migration were turned into storage bags and placed in a row in two different areas of the tent. One set of large bags was used to create two separate sides to the one-room tent: the public seating area for guests and family and the more private cooking area.
What about the fact kelim called pardeh were hung to separate private sleeping areas, particularly for bride and groom? Krodys generalizations here do no purpose other than show her limited understanding of the ethnographic literature concerning nomadic lifestyles.
The other set lined the back of the public area of the tent, creating a decorative back rests for sitting. Both of these lines of storage bags were covered with long kilims that were previously used as covers during migration. Occasionally these long kilims served as wall hangings, reducing dust, wind, and glare when the tent walls were raised during summer heat and providing extra insulation in winter months. The tent interior was all-purpose space and successively became the place for working, eating, sleeping or other social activities.
This was accomplished by rearranging kilims and other textiles, defining the common space for different functions. The practice of using textiles to delineate living spaces continued when nomads permanently settled in villages. Many village houses were one-room spaces. By arranging kilims and other textiles in this room, village women converted spaces for various social activities. When settled, former nomadic women continued weaving their kilims and bags for couple of generations, though storage bags and other textiles gradually disappeared from their weaving repertoires.
This is ridiculous invention. Krodys views are not worth the paper they are printed on. So according to her once nomads were settled they stopped weaving in several generations.? This may and probably did happen in the late 19th century but to claim it was going on before then is unadulterated myth making.
Only the kilim weaving appears to have continued. One reason for that might have been that kilims were flat rectangular textiles and could serve multiple functions as wall hangings, bedding covers, and even floor covers.
More utter nonsense from Krody that is impossible to believe. Where did she get such ideas, or did she just make them up.
Kilims also were used to honor the deceased. When a member of the family died, especially a male, the body would be wrapped in a kilim and carried to the gravesite. The kilim was not buried; however, it would be washed and presented to the mosque at mevlut ceremonies gatherings to honor the deceased held forty days after their burial.
This idea kelim were used in ceremonies of death and passing was one we first suggested in the early 1980s. Soon thereafter we encouraged Belkis Balpinar to investigate, and her findings though brief support the use of kelim in certain part of Anatolia for death ceremonies. So Krodys correct here, however, this is still a very cloudy area of kelim use.
Anatolian kilim weaving
Anatolian women were masters of two distinct weave structures: tapestry weave, more specifically slit tapestry weave, and supplementary-weft patterning. They used these two weave structures for two different functionalities. Supplementary-weft patterning in its various forms was used 90 percent of the time for weaving transportation/storage bags. Slit tapestry weave was used exclusively for kilims.
Slit tapestry weave is an inherently limiting technique restricting the creation of curvilinear forms unless weaver has the equipment, time, skill and material fine enough to do it correctly.
Heres another mistake Krody makes. Certain Anatolian kelim weavers knew a weaving technique called eccentric-wefting. This allowed the creation of curvilinear lines. From all appearances it seems only very few weavers knew how to do it, and primarily they were working in the earlier periods. Rarely if ever does it appear in 19th century or later kelim. In fact, it is easy to say only a few kelim, ones that can conventionally be dated to the 18th century or earlier, have this technique. Its a very strong indication a kelim is an early one.
The technique creates crisp vertical definitions between color areas. Often weavers incorporate the slits into their overall design.
The slits are an integral part of kelim, ie slit-tapestry, weaving, and frankly we have never seen a genuinely early kelim where the slits were part of the design. Where we have seen it used is in Persian area kelim, particularly those made in Kurdistan. Any ideas it was prevalent in Anatolia is more invention from Krody rather than factual reporting.
A structural weakness, however, results from such openings.
Kelim weaving is inherently weak. This is one reason why kelim are decorative and not utilitarian. A weaver can minimize this structural weakness by using finer warp threads, finer tightly spun wefting and slits that are as small as possible.
To alleviate this weakness, the slits can be sewn up after weaving. Alternatively, the weaver, can keep vertical openings between the color areas to short lengths, as Anatolian weavers did, to avoid compromising the overall structural integrity of the textile.
Anatolian weavers seemed to accept the techniques natural limitations and created designs that fit within the structural constraints of slit tapestry weave.
This is also not true. A highly skiller weaver working with finely and tightly spun materials could make any design she wished.
They developed a design repertoire that was essentially rectilinear, geometric, and nonrepresentational or abstract, while the original inspiration for the designs came from the natural world around them.
Oh, please, ms Krody kelim designs came from a long, thousands of year, inconographic repertoire that included richly decorated pottery, sculptural objects, wall-paintings and carving. Many of the earliest kelim diplay designs that have nothing to do with the natural, but rather the supernatural world.
Anatolian weavers stylized and geometricized them, absorbing them into their own rectilinear grammar.
Textile researcher Marla Mallett has mentioned that it is important to consider the critical relationships between what she calls weave balance and patterning.(2) This relationship is a vital part of the aesthetic development of tapestry woven textiles in general and in Anatolian kilims specifically.
This, catch-all eplanation for where and how the designs on weavings originated is nonsense. The structure does not determine the iconography, and Mallett nor anyone else can substantiate this theory.
Three aspects of weave balance pertain to the Anatolian kilim. The size relationship between the warp and weft yarns is one aspect; in most old kilims, the weft is less than half as thick as the warp, and is usually loosely spun and not plied, while the warp yarns are 2-Z spun yarns S plied.
(2) Marla Mallett, Structural Clues to Antiquity in Kilim Design, Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies, volume 4, pp.113-24. Edited by Murray L. Eiland, Jr., Robert Pinner, and Walter Denny. Edited by Murray L. Eiland, Jr., Robert Pinner, and Walter Denny. Published in Honor of Charles Grant Ellis. San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society and OCTS, Berkeley, CA (1993).
The weavers choice of materials was only limited by her knowledge, access to traders and economic situation. Any ideas to the contrary are not substantiated by examining hundreds of old kelim. We should know, as we have done this. Krody clearly hasnt. This is her major problem and cause for many if not all her errors,
In many cases they were twisted very tightly. Another applicable weave balance aspect is the necessity of achieving a balance between using enough slits to create motifs and limiting the length and frequency of slitting in order to maintain structural integrity. This has had a profound influence on the character of kilim designs.
This is more of Krodys limited study of early kelim, and her belief people like Mallett are anything but equally as lost. What they say is mostly applicable to later weavings, but surely not early ones. Kelim iconography came from connection to the historic weaving culture where connected weavers learned from a repository of icon, symbols and amulets that were proprietary to their group and were part of their common group heredity, heraldry and identification. Later weavers were separated and unconnected. Hence their inability to as accurately express the historic iconography, and penchant to replace it with generalized foreign designs and misinterpretation of historic ones.
Another technical factor that affected Anatolian weavers was the size of what they could weave with looms that needed to be collapsed and moved when the group moved. A weaver could weave up to 90 cm width with ease, but anything wider (160-180 cm) was woven in two panels.
There is another reason for two, or three, part kelim. Two or more weavers could work at the same time cutting the production time in half or more.
That is why many long kilims woven by nomadic women had narrow widths and why nomadic women often wove their designs in the half. The weavers expectation appeared to be that theywould weave the other half during the next available weaving season and would connect it to the first one if they needed a larger textile to complete the design. Meanwhile, the long kilim with its half design was still pleasant to look at and good to use. Most likely two weavers wove any single-panel kilims wider than 90 cm, in a wide loom, which was built in place and could not be moved, such as a village home where such loom could be set up.
This also is fiction because many nomads had a permanent dwelling either at the winter or summer place. There a large fixed loom could be set up to make larger one-piece kelim. Also if the kelim was not finished in one season it could be taken off the loom and then reset. Of course this required a highly skilled weaver and forethought. Something the makers of early kelim make quite apparent they were capable to achieve.
The creation of Anatolian kilim was, from start to finish, the work of a single weaver or family group. The same group of people completed the full production cycle. They sheared the sheep, chose the wool, prepared the yarn, dyed the yarns, dressed the loom, decided on the design, and wove the textiles..
This is generally the case but again Krody mistakes generalities for specifics. Sometimes special colored yarns made by specialists, who were not part of a weavers family or extended group, were purchased or traded for and then incorporated in their weavings. Also materials other than wool, like cotton and silk, could be acquired through trade.
The weavers had total control over the selection of their raw material. Although the supply was not unlimited, wool was readily available for the nomadic families. Regardless of the breed of sheep the wool came from, the weavers involvement from the beginning in choosing, cleaning, and combing the wool to make it ready for spinning was an important factor in achieving the high weaving quality seen in the kilims.
Another generalization made into fact. Actually the higher quality of the kelim the greater probability the weaver did not do everything to produce the finished raw materials. No weaver with great skill and knowledge, ie connection to the historic weaving culutre, would have spent her time doing the more menial work of material preparation. This is far more logical than Krodys ideas.
Kilim designs that are clear and precise and colors that are luminous and bright are almost always made with high quality wool.
Such colors could not be achieved with poorly prepared or inferior wool. Neither could an exceptional kelim be created using poor quality wool.
Nomadic and village women were not only involved with weaving, but essential part of the procurement and processing of raw material for textile production. The total involvement with raw material and control over raw material selection and yarn preparation, however, did not translate to total freedom of design. Anatolian women designed their kilim, but they wove from a rigid traditional design repertoire.
So where is Krodys idea of the personal expression she touted earlier. You cannot have it both ways. And a far better, more accurate and acceptable term to explain that rigid traditional design repertoire is the idea of a historic weaving culture.
The young weaver was expected to use the designs that were accepted by her community as their owntheir artistic tradition. Only after a weaver had assimilated and internalized these designs and the mechanics of weaving them to such a degree that she was a skilled master could she become comfortable introducing variations and minor innovations to the traditional design.
This confuses the issue of how weavers were enculturated and taught how and what to weave. The strict adherence to what we call the historic weaving culture and its vocabulary of icon did not allow a weaver to make anything but the most minor choices. Studying hundreds of old Anatolian kelim makes this absolutely a fact. Plus until a weaver had mastered the physical requirements and skills of weaving, as well as exhibited expertise in knowing the iconographic alphabet, would the weaver be trusted with the valuable materials necessary to produce a weaving. This ws no amateurs game and only highly skilled weavers would be trusted with the family or clans precious materials.
.Even the skilled and experienced weaver could do so only as long as she maintained and did not displace the accepted form.
Here again Krody discounts, and in fact negates, her idea of personal expression.
An Anatolian kilim could not be considered the overt self-expression of one individual, but rather an expression of the collective, the tradition.(3)
We rest our case: personal expression was not any part or determinent for the creation of an genuinely old Anatolian kelim.
Conversely, each kilim was different from the other. Even in this restricted environment, individualism was manifested in minor details if the weaver followed the expected traditional forms. The introduction of new design elements had to start with minor design elements, such as border designs, before moving slowly to the main design elements considered the most important signifiers of tradition.
(3) Peter Davies, The Tribal Eye
Later on, the weaver could take the same design element from a minor element status, enlarge it, and artfully make it into a main design element that dominated the whole kilim.
Compared to the facts shown by studying hundreds of old anatolian kelim, it is obvious Krody is talking out of her hat and worse both sides of her mouth.
Few old Anatolian kelim have richly decorated borders, except for those that had elem, ie borders at their ends but not the sides. And these elem panels were just as sacrosanctly treated as major field designs. Plus, when an Anatolian kelim has borders on all four sides it is usually a 19th century or later one.
The weavers of early kelim rarely if even enclosed their work within a border like frame. This is believed to stem from the concept the kelims design was part of an eternal and infinite universe, not one closed up in a finite area.
Many factors influence the uniqueness of each kilim: the weavers individual personality, her understanding of colors, ability to design, weaving skills, and level of expertise/experience in weaving all played a role, as did external factors.
This is more of the same misunderstanding how Anatolian kelim were made. Tradition was strictly followed, there was little to no invention or creativity on the part of the weaver. Yes, creativity to capture the essence of the historical form but not in inventing something new.
Changes in the conditions of the family groupthe influx of new families into the group and inter-marriage between different nomadic groupsbrought in new ideas. Chance exposure of weavers to new designs during migration or occasional (sic) visits to a mosque allowed new designs to be appreciated and memorized.
These ideas are totally disproven by the fact when weaving groups moved to new locations, or were forced to, they continued their old ways and for generations repeated the weaving vocabularies they used prior to any such moves. Contemorary fieldwork shows this over and over. Repetition of historic weaving iconographies continued unabated regardless of these factos Krody claims interrupted them.
Memory, rather than invention or creation, seemed to be the mode of learning in kilim weaving.
And where did that memory come from? Clearly not personal preferences but from connection to the historic weaving culutre that was inherited, not invented or made up.
This involved memorizing a small set of design elements and the mechanics of weaving this same set of elements. In other words, young weavers mastered the weaving technique and the design elements that went with it simultaneously. The learning process was both visual and tactile memorization.
This is a good point, Krodys best so far. It is far easier to remember something when two or more senses are used, and weaving a pattern as a weaver was learning reinforced both skills.
Through close examination of The Textile Museum kilims, we can determine the following characteristics of Anatolian kilim design tradition:
In creating their designs, weavers depended on repetition and variation of a relativelysmall number of motifs, although the motifs themselves might not be small in size.
The earlier the kelim the more complex, sophisticated, intricate and varied its iconography. The converse is also true, the later the less complex, etc. Also the earlier the kelim the better proportions, definition and articulation of that iconography.
Weavers expanded the design repertoire through a process of elaboration or simplification. This was done by presenting the same motifs in different sizes or by presenting motifs in varying degrees of distortion and regularity.
We find this statement valid only for later 19th century Anatolian kelim. It fails to describe earlier ones, particularly the earliest, which had no distortion and while they repeat icons their regularity is almost imperceptible. The clever use of gradiation of color and proportions are how earlier weavers made symmetrical pattern appear asymmetric.
Weavers created design fields with design elements of equal or fluctuating emphasis, in which what was dominant and what was recessive remains unresolved.
There is nothing unresolved in the early Anatolian kelim, again Krody seems to be unfamiliar with the small group of early ones and extrapolating her ideas from degenerate later examples.
Weavers juxtaposed colors, especially contrasting colors, to create dramatic effects.
Weavers enhanced visual impact with the exploration of spatial possibilities. The relationships between positive and negative space and between foreground and background have been important in kilim weaving.
Using minor designs or manipulation of the weave structure, weavers created designs that are visible and powerful from a distance, but also are engaging at close proximity.
All of these characteristics were also present in other Turkish textiles, including products of urban workshops.
Studies such as Patricia Daughertys fieldwork published in 1999, in which she interviewed contemporary village weavers to assess village weavings help us to comprehend the aesthetic choices Anatolian kilim weavers might have been making a few centuries ago and the criteria they used to judge their work.(4)
Well, there it is a fatal flaw. Logic and history prove contemporary weavers are almost, if not entirely, separated from their cultural past and that we call the historic weaving culutre. Were they not their weavings would not display iconographic degeneration and degradiation compared to earlier examples made by the same group. The factors affecting weavers of later examples were many and often destructive. To miss this point is not only Krodys, or Daughetrys, mistake but others have also fallen into the same trap.
What is happening now, or half a century ago, has nothing to do with what occurred two hundred or more years ago. Especially in most parts of Anatolia where the life and lifestyle of the people, even in the past 50 years forget two hundred, have undergone major societal change.
It appears that weavers preferred:
clarity and continuity in their designs, achieved through clearly drawn design elements and color harmony inside and outside a motif or design area;
logical layout of the design and logical relationships between design elements;
the presentation of one large coherent statement instead of small scattered design elements floating incoherently in the field.
The creation of color aesthetics and harmony is innate as much as it is learned. That is why one weaving tradition uses certain colors while others use different colors.
This is another ridiculous attempt at myth spinning. The colors weavers used were totally dependent on their access to various dyestuff, most of which came from local plants and sometimes minerals. In some instances, particularly close proximity to trade routes rather than isolated areas, weavers who were rich enough to buy exotic foreign dyestuffs did so. But this was far from a widespread occurrence, most weavers did not have access to anything but what was local.
This distinction benefits the recognition and separation of each cultures weaving, but does not mean that there is no principle that connects diverse weaving traditions. There are common-sense approaches that may be considered innate, such as the desire to achieve legibility through a high contrast between design element and ground. For instance, on the one hand a weaver may want to avoid big contrasts of both lightness and saturation in favor of pleasant, easy-on-the-eyes blend of colors, while realizing that on the other hand, limited areas of sharply contrasting accents bring visual interest.
In tapestry weave, the relationship between positive and negative space created through color is always important. Besides the mechanics of how a design is created, the use and variation of olors is an important consideration because color transforms the overall sense of the textile.(4) Patricia Daugherty, Through the Eyes of the Weavers: Aesthetics and Culture of Tribal Yuruk Women of Turkey,
Anatolian kilim weavers were deeply aware of this and took advantage of it. They wove the same design with different colorways, creating kilims with entirely different feelings and looks
Again we have to disagree as our experience in seeing hundreds of early examples shows how certain iconography always is woven in certain colors. And while we admit this is less than common, it nonetheless happens far more than not at all as Krody states.
Until the late nineteenth century, they had to work within the confines of a very limited palette based on available natural dyes.
This, too is not factual. Early kelim have excellent dye variation ususally two or three variations of a particular color. So that if there were only four or five the presence of two or three variations and gradiations, particularly red, blue and often green, add other colors, making the weaving appear far more colorful.
Again, this is not conjecture but demonstrable from our experience in studying hundreds of early kelim.
But they still could produce unsurpassed effects of color. They did so by exploiting to the fullest the color potential of this natural palette through using the dyes on their own, in combination, or in different concentration, and using different mordants. Red, blue, and yellow were the primary colors upon which kilim weavers built their vocabulary.
Wrong again, while red and blue are commonplace yellow is rare in Anatolian kelim, particularly those of the 19th century. And often it faded because of oxidation, and other effects of exposure to sunlight and water.
Purple and light orange-pink were two very characteristic colors in old Anatolian kilims.
Purple is a rare color, especially a deep rich one, but it is more common than yellow. While light pink is definitely not very common, as Krody states. It is more like yellow, not at all commonplace in any period of kelim production.
The uncompromising and uncluttered design seen on many early Anatolian kilims leaves largeareas of plain color exposed.
This is only true for a few types of middle period Anatolian kelim. The earliest have a masterful balance of areas of design and areas without design. This is more the norm than what Krody states.
The kilim weavers worked skillfully with this aspect. They emphasized the color combinations and juxtapositions in the outlines of the individual design elements and the negative space around design elements. They employed the contrast of light and dark in the design of kilims as a device for giving emphasis to the principal motifs. Using a thin outline of another color that is distinct from both neighboring colors emphasized the demarcation between two color areas;
This thin outlining rarely appears in the tiny group of earliest examples and is far moe prevalent in middle and later periods. It is a design trick the weavers of the earliest kelim did not need to employ as their ability to crisply articulate designs created enough emphasis. No extraneous one was required.
this in turn enhanced the contrast between the adjacent area of colors. Unfortunately, yarns used for outlines in many old kilims have disintegrated with the passage of time, making it more difficult for us to appreciate the total effect without close examination.
Anatolian kilim: symbolism, origin, and dating
We can posit that the designs on long kilims were expressions of weavers personal histories. A weaver might have related important events in the life of her nomadic group through these intimate expressions.
This is storytelling. Whether a kelim was long or short, wide or narrow, the determinants of design had little to do with a weavers feelings or intimate expressions. Tradition and generations of an historic weaving culture were responsible. This can be seen in kelim of all periods, even the latest.
As time went on design degeneration and degradation, accretion and subtraction, as well as amalgamation with foreign designs occurred. But since there are hardly any examples from any period without a major and overall design relationships, the idea personal preferences influenced Anatolian kelim weavers is not a reality. We defy Krody or anyone else to produce even one example. This does not include fake, reproductions like the two shown above.
It is almost impossible to know how to interpret or unlock these expressions without having been a part of the community when the textile was created or without directly communicating with its weaver. A textile can function as a document of the weavers memory, a host of symbolic reminders of her family and friends, an abstract portrayal of social affinities she developed during the creative process of weaving. Since the associational meanings died with the weaver and her family, it is impossible to rebuild the personal meanings invested ina given kilim
Here again Krody demonstrates her complete lack of understanding the two essential factors we have stressed in our critique, and in our previous publications. See our Anatolian Opus, which can be found here:
1. The Anatolian kelim has a very distinct and unique iconographic vocabulary that was inherited by each successive generation of weavers. This iconography was part of a historic culture, primarily one maintained and protected by weavers. Although it is possible others, who were not weavers, were privy to it. Tradition and history obligated the Anatolian kelim weaver to reproduce its iconography and not invent one.
2. The weavers of Anatolian kelim were not creating, they were copying what they had been taught. There was little to no outside influence or personal expression. Every kelim weaver was part of a group and individuality played no part. The kelim weaving was a We production, not an I one.
The two major questions that occupy Anatolian kilim studies are when and where kilim weaving began in Anatolia and when and where Turkmen started weaving kilims.
There are many other equally important questions. For instance what group wove what kelim; what were their original geographic locations and for how long where they there; what does the iconography on each groups kelim mean; what factors denote a kelim is early; and why are there so few very early examples, just for starters.
The earliest use of the term kilim, which we assume to be referring to tapestry-woven utilitarian textiles, appears to be traceable to the beginning of the thirteenth century when Anatolia was under the control of Seluk Sultanate of Rum.(5)
We read the citation from Daviess book and regrettably there is no mention of who made it or any more details. We have no doubt slit-tapestry has a long, much longer than from the 13th century, history in Anatolia. The archaeological record includes the discovery of loom-weights at numerous sites. Persumably they were used on prehistoric upright looms making slit-tapestry weavings, as other types of looms do not require weights. However, no looms survive and, of course, no kelim have ever been found.
If the kilims were being woven in Anatolia in the thirteenth century, when and where did they first appear in the region?
The better questions to ask is where were they supposedly being woven, by who, and what was the iconography.
There are two theories about the origin of the kilim weaving in Anatolia. One is the Turkmen theory, which argues that kilim weaving and its designs were brought from Central Asia with Turkish migration. (ed. The other was) Anatolian kilim tradition was an outgrowth of a cultural continuum which, while it might have also included other influences, had at its center the culture of Turkic people.
(5) Peter Davies, The Tribal Eye: Antique Kilims of Anatolia. Rizzoli, New York (1993), p. 67.
The second origin theory is the goddess theory, which argues that kilim weaving and its designs are native to Anatolia and predate Turkish migration. Adherents to this theory believe that despite all of the cultural transformations Anatolia passed through over the millennia, the kilim weaving tradition indicates the survival of indigenous populations who preserved the old beliefs and ways.
There are a host of generalizations presented in Krodys presentation but none more misleading than preposing any indigenous Anatolian kelim weaving culture is based on the so-called goddess theory'.
More than 30 years ago we wrote and published a book Image Idol Symbol Ancient Anatolian Kelim. It traced the 12,ooo plus year history of goddess representations found in archaeological sites that stretch from eastern Europe to eastern Anatolia. There are hundreds of beautifully rendered effigy figures. Some of them have design iconography similar to certain Anatolian kelim. But even if they are not put in the equation there are many other archaeological objects found in Anatolia that imply the design iconography on Anatolian kelim has origins that are thousands of years old. This cannot be denied, but neither can it be proven.
See here for additional information concerning the archaeology and the Anatolian kelim:
However in comparison there is a absolute lack of evidence, even as inconclusive as the archaeoligical data that supports the theory indigenous Anatolians are the kelim originators, to prove the origin of the Anatolian kelim is rooted in the migration of Turkmen from central Asia.
There are still myriad questions to be answered before either of these two theories can be proven correct.
If this is so why does Krody stake out such a strong belief all kelim weaving in Anatolia is and was always related to the Turkmen and not the indigenous Anatolians?
Many of these questions surround the Turkmen migration to Anatolia and the origin of all kelim weaving. Exactly what kind of weaving technology, technique, and design tradition did Anatolia have by the time of the great Turkmen migrations? What kind of weaving tradition did the Turkmen carry with them when they migrated?
While this question cannot be positively answered it is logical to belief the iconography on the plethora of extant Turkmen rugs, some of which are now dated to the 16th and 17th century, was similar in character to whatever their historic weavings displayed. It is easy to notice that iconography has absolutely nothing in common with any Anatolian kelim that is genuinely old. Also there are no known Turkmen slit-tapestry, ie kelim, and this implies it was not a technique Turkmen groups used. So how then, we ask once more, can Krody or anyone else believe Turkman migrants from central Asia were at all involved in the origin and development of the Anatolian kelim. This makes no sense.
Was there in either population a kilim tradition that could be regarded as the ancestor of what has become known as the Anatolian kilim? How did these two traditions interact in Anatolia once the various nomadic groups began their long process of assimilation and coexistence?
Although concrete evidence is scarce, the history of the region pre- and post-Turkish arrival has been reconstructed slowly in the past few decades with revived interest in the pre-Mongol history of Anatolia.(6) We know very little about the Turkic nomads that migrated into Anatolia. Their histories, were written primarily by othersmostly by Persian and Arab bureaucrats and scholars, if written at alland the elite urban literati exhibited little to no interest in the social or artistic output of the nomadic groups moving through Iran and Anatolia.
In terms of tapestry weaving, there is clear evidence that it was carried out in West Asia long before the Turkish nomads arrived. This evidence includes early Islamic textiles as well as much earlier late Roman and Byzantine textiles. Although the technique was not foreign to the region when the Turkish nomads arrived, there are no surviving example with designs that could be considered clear precursors of Anatolian kilim designs.
For the past almost 10 years our Anatolian Opus has been online and read by thousands of viewers. It can be found here:
It proposed, and provided documentation for, the idea a tiny group of eleven, actually now twelve as one more has been discovered, archetype Anatolian kelim exist. It further proposed their design iconographies, singly or in combination, were the source for all other Anatolian kelim. They appear to be much earlier than any other known examples, and it is not too great a stretch to believe they are part of the mentioned group of Anatolian kelim dating to the 13th century.
There also is no surviving conclusive evidence of the types of designs and weaving techniques used and brought by the Turkic nomad weavers into Anatolia in the tenth century.
It is extremely hard to establish the date and provenance of Anatolian kilims, especially ones predating the 1870s. These difficulties arise because these are traditional textiles, are woven by nomads, and are used in very harsh environments preventing large survival rates.
Not only does Krody err in believing the Anatolian kelim was solely the product of nomads at the expense of the contrary and totally logical idea settled Anatolians, who were the descendents of an indigenous Anatolian civilization that is at least 12,000 years old. But she also cannot understand the equally as logical fact some of these kelim were secular and utilitariean while others were sacred, spiritual and non-secular.
This division is determined by their iconography. The utilitarian ones have simple, uncomplicated designs. The non-secular ones display a complex, intricate, complicated one with icons and sacred symbols. This is not hard to prove and establish when studying Anatolian kelim of all periods.
The former secular group were used in daily life and as such had short survival rates. However the latter group, those that were sacred were used carefully, as all societies throughout history have done with their sacred, religious and spiritual objects, and treated with great respect. Consequently they were preserved, likely for numerous generations.
To avoid putting this concept into any Anatolian kelim theorizing is both illogical and foolish.
All twelve archetypes have complex iconographies that are replete with sacred symbols and icon, it is their most salient feature. None of them have the simple, often striped layout, and less complex designs, utilitarian kelim are thought to have had. If these did once exist it appears they were used-up, discarded and consequently not preserved. This explains why none exist and non-secular, ceremonial, ones have survived.
Anatolian kilim weaving is a traditional weaving, which meant that it was highly conservative, utilizing the same designs over multiple generations.
Again Krody steps on her own toes by affirming it is a historic weaving culture, not any personal preferences or ideas, that produced the Anatolian kelim, whether ancient or fairly recent.
The relative isolation of nomadic groups from mainstream cultural and aesthetic events of the Ottoman Empire was another important reason for this conservatism.
So what about Krodys statement of Ottoman influence? This is just one more of the contradictions and self-nullifications peppered thoughtout her presentation.
Many surviving kilims in collections date to the period from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth century.
This is nonsense. There are not many 17th century kelim in collections unless one believes the serious and unsupportable over-dating that has gone on for more than two decades in Anatolian kelim collecting circles. But should those kelim that are called 17th century actually be that old it is easy then to think the tiny group of archetypes date from the 13th century.
(6) A.C.S. Peacock and Sara Nur Yildiz, Editors, The Seljuks of Anatolia: Court and Society in the Medieval Middle East. Reprint. I. B. Tauris, London (2015).
Although some experts have tried to place surviving kilims in time through radiocarbon dating, these attempts have had limited success, as kilims were made relatively recently and are not good candidates for this technique.(7)
According to well-known practicioners c14 dating can be accurate for objects as recent as 125 years years old. However, this is not the problem for dating Anatolian kelim. That problem is the contamination issue, as all genuinely early kelim have become contaminated through hundreds of years of normal use. Consequently they must be decontaminated before testing, but there is no standard, accepted, proven effective decontamination procedure. Until there is accurate C!4 dating for any Anatolian kelim will remain unreliable.
Kilim, southern Anatolia, early 18th century- early 19th century, wool, slit tapestry weave, The Textile Museum 2013.2.57, The Megalli Collection. 385.5 X 155 (151.5 X 61 inches), warp horizontal
This kilim was Carbon 14 dated and the results indicates that it was 54.1% likely that it was produced between 1712 and 1821AD, 1661-1708 (18.6%) and AD 1835-1880 (8.2%) likely. Overall calibrated age has 95% confidence limit.
The reasons for the small survival rate of this material are threefold. Firstly, kilims were used far more heavily than carpets, which survive in abundance.
This is nonsense. Kelim were not put on floors or ever walked on, carpets were. Early Anatolian village carpets are as rare as early kelim. These carpets have definitely not survived in abundance, though more were made than kelim, as they were not woven by groups who were generally as isolated as those groups that made kelim.
Secondly, the environment in which kilims were used was exceptionally harsh on the textiles.
This might be accurate for certain kelim that are believed to have been used in the transportation of nomad belongings and housing materials. But for others it is illogical. Once again utilitarian kelim were not carefully used and preserved. Others embued with spiritual connotations surely were carefully used and preserved.
Thirdly, slit tapestry weave creates a lighter fabric that could be carried around easily, but it is not sturdy enough to withstand continuous heavy use.
While this is fact, the weavers surely knew this and when their weavings were intended for hard use they would not spend much time making them. This is another reason why what we call utilitarian, secular, kelim had simple, easy and quick to weave iconographies. Weavers of kelim were not stupid.
In terms of giving provenance to these textiles, the difficulty arises from the way nomads live.
They move continuously, sometimes splitting into smaller groups and sometimes reconnecting.
Nomad groups were not continuously moving. Maximum was three times per year. Most only twice. Also they habitutally went to the same locations year after year unless some foreign influences prevented them.
There are very few nomadic groups in Anatolia whose centuries-long movements were accurately documented. Because of these movements, we can identify various communities across Anatolia weaving very similar designs that are considered part of one or another groups design repertoire.
This is more generalization and extrapolating the findings from contemporary fieldwork into what happened several generations or even hundreds of years before. Kelim iconography was group-centric. It was proprietary to individual groups until the historic societal structures were broken down by external forces and eventualy destroyed.
This makes it very hard to provenance kilims accurately when they are collected out of context.
We know that kilims are a potent expression of the nomadic and peasant culture in Anatolia as well as a highly personal expression of rural women, but they also were molded by a profusion of powerful aesthetic influences originating from the many ethnic groups that make up the Anatolian culture.
Peasant culture? Hey there, ms Krody, you should be embarrassed calling anyone a peasant in this day and age. Respect for these people is due, especially ones who had the artistic and physical ability to produce an Anatolian kelim. Also your continued repetition of the fallacy there is any level of personal expression involved in the making of any genuinely old Anatolian kelim is equally embarrassing. And when the truth be known it will, we are 100% sure, validate most great early kelim were made by settled, not nomdic, weavers. As well the fact those settled weavers were the descendants of the ancient indigenus Anatolian civiliztion and not Turkmen migrants.
Although work on deciphering of Anatolian kilims is ongoing, there is no denying that Anatolian kilims, with their bold but simple coloration, large scale, and skillfully balanced designs have a very strong visual power for contemporary eyes. The beauty and mystery that surround their origin, history, and design serve to amplify this aesthetic power.
(7) Jrg Rageth, editor, Anatolian Kilims & Radiocarbon Dating: A New Approaches to Dating Anatolian Kilims. Edition Jrg Rageth and Freund des Orientteppiche, Basel (1997).
We are sorry to say the profusion of errors, false judgments presented as fact, the over generalizations presented as facts, the seemingly nave statements about what is an early Anatolian kelim, as well as other gaffs render ms Krodys presentation a highly suspect document.
Her paper joins others that have proposed similar erroneous ideas and theories.
We have published this critique to stimulate discussion. Perhaps it will.