Home > Flatweaves >two Anatolian kelim: A relationship
Author:RK
email: [email protected]
Wed, Oct 9th, 2019 01:17:05 PM
Topic: two Anatolian kelim: A relationship


Detail double helix icon; Archetype Anatolian kelim, published Plate 4 "Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim", 1989; RK Collection

Identifying the origins of the iconography displayed on weavings we collect and research is one of RKs prime interests.

We proposed the set theory as a means to prove iconographic relationships connecting weavings that appear to have no obvious relationship.

The detail above, from the kelim panel fragment below, is one of a number of important icons this kelim displays. We have published this kelim a number of times, and written about it as well.

For instance see here:
https://www.rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?refnum=3000&id=3000 <
and here:
https://www.rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?refnum=2910&id=2910
and here:
https://www.rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?id=1894&refnum=1894

This type of kelim is known as Aydinli, named after the place where some later examples were found. It is an extremely rare type.

Archetype Anatolian kelim panel fragment, Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim, 1989; RK Collection

That said there are goodly number of later, post-1800, examples, which reproduce some of its iconography but none we know include the archetype's double helix icon or other key ones.

Here are two of the better copies.


Early Traditional period panel; published The Goddess from Anatolia; volume 1; Plate XII, no.7



fig72 Traditional period; published 100 Kelim; Plate 82

The archetype's spotted animals and the continuous gabled arch are the two most obvious identifying design elements, and most of the later copies have versions of one or both.

However, there are other important icon the archetype has but later copies don't. Two are below.

Vulture icon


Turbe icon

In our Anatolian kelim opus
https://www.rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?id=2892&refnum=2892
a number of cutting-edge ideas for Anatolian kelim studies were introduced. Perhaps, the most significant was the identification of a group of archetype examples.

This had initially been proposed in our 1989 " Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim" publication.

When the online Anatolian Opus was published, December 2009, there were eleven archetype examples, but since then a twelfth has been discovered.

These can be divided into two sub-groups, the narrative style and the unitarystyle.

The archetype Aydinli style kelim belongs to the narrative group -- those which tell a story through rich complex visual iconography.

Basically, the archetype Aydinli kelim story concerns death and the human soul passage from the body and journey to the great beyond.

The distinctive blue gabled archway is explained by a Turkish language concept gokyuzu yolu, which translates literally as sky-road or sky-way.

Its gabled arms can be interpreted as the path the vulture flies after collecting the soul of the dead, represented by the double helix icon.

Left: Vulture icon; Center: Gabled sky-way including Double-Helix, Vulture and Turbe icons; Right: Turbe icon

The fact this double helix icon has the same appearance as human DNA should not be lost on our interpretation.

Neither should the representation of turbe, ie mausoleum, external free-standing buildings constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people.

According to our set theory, or any other form of logic, it is beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt this is what this iconography expresses.

.We decided to reiterate this story to put another kelim, shown below, into proper perspective and context.

Classic period Anatolian kelim, Mark Berkovich

Earlier this year someone sent us a picture of this kelim and asked our opinion.

From the get-go we recognized how the undulating design was not a snake, as some have suggested, but rather half of the ancient double helix icon.

We also dated it to the late Classic period, and see it as a non-ecular, ie cult, weaving, most probably woven for a funeral and then given to a mosque, or prehaps reused for the passing of other family members.

There is no surprise this design, both as the double helix and single, is exceptionally rare and actually for now unique to these two kelim.

Readers probably wonder what period of time separates them?

This is an intersting question that cannot be answered exactly. However, from our perspective, there it is at least 200 years.

RK is more interested this comparison demonstrates our theory the iconographies all post-Archaic period kelim display can be traced back to one or more Archaic period examples.

That's no accident either.

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