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Before carpet-rug art, it will be more appropriate to think about the social conditions in which the sheep, which is the source of raw material of it, became an important factor. Because, there are strong relations between carpet-rug art and domestication of sheep, and between interior decoration of tents and the felt necessary for the construction of the tent. 


According to historians, Afanasyevo culture, firstly emerged in a region with the same name in Altays. Horse had been firstly domesticated here, in this region. The people lived here are said to be the Khuns[1]. "The animal raiser nomads needed easy movable tents for mobilization those can be also lifted by the animals. Those people did not know the European Style furniture. So the most important decorating items were the carpets...According to Uhlemann, the motherland of the carpets were the dry steps. This is also approved by the climatic properties. The most characteristic people of steps were the Turks. So it is natural that to see Turks as having great role in carpet production and distribution. This is an idea on which many specialists agreed"[2] .Sheep is an indispensable animal of the steps together with the horse. Horse, with its maneuver ability, provided right to live for Turks against Chinese armies. On the other hand sheep, with its wool, provided material for the items of wearing and accommodation. Turks made felt from the wools of sheep and embroidered the ram head on to their felts, carpets, and rugs. For example "....the carpets of Kyrgyz, who lived in upper Yenisey and Mongolia for a period after Uygurs, also made of felt. The domestic people call the motifs as "Koçarding müzü" (the horn of the rams)[3] it is still possible to see Kazak Turks, in Kazakhstan, wearing shoes and boats made by felt, and in all Turkic Republics, ram-head decorated felts.


A. Miller, one of Russian ethnographers, says in his treatise published in 1924, and named as "Carpet Products of the East"; They are the motifs of flower and plant in Persian textiles. The carpet motifs found at Caucasian archaeological sites during excavations completely same with other ornaments of 14-15th centuries of Turks. We cannot ignore this contribution of Turks to the Caucusian teztile". On the other hand author says that about the history of carpet weaving. Only the Turk thibes were the producers of carpet items. If it is necessary to count some of them: Turcoman; Karakalpak, Uzbek, Masaget and Kyrgyz. Especially for the Kyrgyz people, carpentery presents close relations between nomadic life and needs of this style of life. The Spanish Voyager Clavicho`s testimonies are useful, who visited to the Palace of Tamerlane in 15th century. The resident people of Turkistan, Sarts and Tajeeks do not involve with carpet weaving"[4].


The core of the the Afanasyero Culture, shortly mentioned above, is a fortress near Bateney town. In this fortness; some remnants of sheep and horses found with some ornaments[5]. As known, horse is an important sacrificial animal for Turks as it is a riding animal. Old Turks were sacrificing horse for sky and ram for the earth. Still in Kazakhstan horse is being a sacrificed and it is more expensive than, sheep, cattle, and camel.


The regions of inner Asia, in which Turks live, named as "horse raising cultural region", and it is emphasized that the turks first produced this culture. According to Manghin, one of the important researchers of this culture, Ural-Altaic people have two main faculties in world-history. These are firstly, the animal raising and secondly, the state-establishing faculties[6].


The oldest known carpet in the world, found at Pazırık fortness of Altay region. Here is the oldest location, used by Turks since the oldewst ages of history. But russan archaeologist Rudonko, insisted that the carpet he found is Iranian made. Some other Russian archaeologists and art historians, discussed in their articles whether the Pazirik carpet Iranian or Scythian. They had no word about Turks, but even they wrote about Mongols or Chineses had probability of existence although a weak probability.


Another different approach came form UNESCO. This organization, reserved twelfth issue of their fifteen language publication "Görüş Dergisi" (1976)I to Pazirik carpet. The writers of this issue, used Iran, Osset, Altayians, Tuva, Kazakhstan, Mongol, Chinese, Russian, Scythian, Ukrainian names often, but insisted on not use of the name Turk even once. Only the funeral ceremony of the first Turkish Khan had been written about and then Avars and Rums said to be ready at the ceremony representing the Byzantium. Also it is said that "the participants of funeral came from the regions like Pacific region, Siberia, and Central Asia which were not belonging to Turks"  if this issue will be treated completely, it can be easily seen that is scientifically weak like the example above. For instance, in one article the motherland of Scythians said to be Northern black Sea, in another article Scythian traces in Siberia is talked about and at the other one it is said that "Scythians are like their relatives, Altayians" decorates their graves. Also it has been written" there is no relation between Central Asia (in other word, The Great Turkistan) and the Turks". And very ridiculously for anyone who knows a little bit about language geography, there are sentences like" Altayians, like Scythians uses some dialects of Persian Language"[7]. In the same issue Scythians are being narrated as"... they use arms on horses, specially sacrifice horses for gods, do not raise pigs, do drink kimiz, believe life after death and so put foods to the grave and the hero people were buried after mummifying with their horses, they used ram-head bowls, lived in tents with wheels"[8].


J. Straygowski, the manager of the Institute of Art history of Wien, reminds to Turkish scientists in his broad article that, in Türkiyat Mecmuası, 1926-1933 v-II. If Turks themselves will not treat the subject, they do not have to wait humanists to say their art has an old past [9]. In spite of this notice, it can not be said that, the Turkish Art treated sufficiently by the Turks themselves, except some studies. For example the first serious study about Turkish Art is "Türk Sanatı, İstanbul, 1965", by co-writers E. Diez and O. Aslanapa. Even though the first responses to Rudenko gave by Abdülkadir İnan (1937), by N. Diyarbekirli (1984), and E.F. Tekçe, who has a broad study named as Pazırlık (Ankara, 1993), unfortunately there is still not a voluminous study about the tombstones, main lands, the general ethnographic history of Turks, including house-wares, ornaments and carpet-rugs.


It is very useful for the ones who will write about carpet-rugs, to begin with Pazirik carpet found in the world. As known, Pazirik plateau is near Balikli Göl (Fish Lake) and across Yan Ulagan River shore. There are stamp or leopard, and the figures of horse, saddle, cavalrymen with trousers on this first known carpet of the world which is found in one of the fortresses here. Leopard is the stamp of Almati, the former capital of Kazakhstan and the state stamp of Tartaristan. The trouser is named as "şalvar" in Kazakhstan but there is no wear like "şalvar" of Anatolia, here. The one who has a little bit information about medicine, knows that a saddle-like bone at the skull is named as "Turkish Saddle" (Sella turcica). Consequently only one saddle and the wars of cavalry-men is enough to give sufficient clues about the relations of Pazırık carpet and Turkish culture. Plus, the saddle is a Turkish discovery and there is no similarity between Persian wear style and the wear style of horse-culture. But Rudenko wrote after his studies in Pazirik,[10] "...probably this grave does not belong to Turks or Mongols but belongs to Scythians of Arian race." But it is possible to understand Scythians are not belonging to Arian race by considering their properties like kimiz drinking, not accommodating pig in their lands, hors sacrificing and ceremonies regarding death and grows. It is known that only Turks and Mongols drink kimiz and Western people had not known about it until 1944. On the other hand the treatises, about the Scythians` Turk identity, at least their existence in the socio-cultural environment of Turks, are much more than the ones about contrary ideas and they are more coherent than those. And "according to Chinese chroniclers of III century B.C. the Khuns were living in Pazirik region. The Uygur Ondar (onlar) or Ondar Uygur tribe of Urenha Turks still exists at the east of Pazirik tumulus. Shortly in the grave of excavation all the races which show the interment, rite, and cerements can be explained only by the custom, and traditions belonging to Turks.  All the traces found in excavation, are the productions of the culture which Turks evolved in Central Asia and Altays before Christ[11].


It is certain that being of a cultural element in a region is not an evidence for that culture belongs to that region. But the specifications of the found cultural elements give clues more about what it means within that environment, to which environment does it belong and etc. for instance, there is a widespread opinion among anthropologists about a cultural element, which says if a cultural element concentrated in somewhere and it carries important meanings for that socio-cultural life, this means that element is a trace of the region.


The oldest documents about Persian khan remained from VIII century AC. The specialists about Iran, whom their opinions about Iran are generally accepted by the world, like Spiegel Kremer and Geiger says "carpet weaving is not something autochthon for Persians"[12]  But Piotrovsky, after he says "famous Iranian Carpet" about Pazirik carpet, he adds that the felts, found in Altay mountains show Chinese, Iranian and Scythian impacts[13]. Gryaznov says "... in middle and South Kazakhstan, western regions of Altays, and in Tuva, some traces, belonging to Scythians age, were obtained" then he declares that the animal figure can be seen in a wide area from Danube shores to Chinese Wall.[14] So the regions, in which Scythians lived, are in fact the regions, Turks had accommodated since the known past of history. Turks still live in Kazakhstan, Tuva and Altays. It`s widely accepted by some historians concentrated on the Khuns, Chinese and, Mongol History that Altay region is accepted as the first motherland of Turks; so lthe should not be a problem.


While Vambray was talking about the travels he did to regions like Hive, JAhran and Bukhara, he narrated aboutg the production of carpet and felt made by Turkmans and described embroidery work as; "a woman draws on sand part by part the embroidery samples she wants to be made and the workers weave the carpet by looking to these samples [15]. the geograph in which the art of carpet weaving was borned is theregion in which Turks lived. The studies about carpets, which are near a hundred years old, shows that this art spread to whole world by Turks. The carpet which belongs to VI century, and was found before Pazirik Carpet had been introduced by Seljukids. The knotted carpet of Pazirik had been weaved by "Gördes knot" which is also called by social scientists as "Turkish knot". This technique firstly used in Inner Asia. So in some treatises it is declared that knotted carpets have strong relations with Turkish history. As art historians show, the "Iranian Knot" is asymmetric but Turkish knot is symmetric. So it has to be evidence that the symmetrically knotted carpet is a Turkish carpet or at least is not an Iranian carpet[16].


As known form Pazirik carpet or from the carpet rugs knotted in current Turkic Republics, the dominant elements on these carpets are the animal stamps. These animal stamps had been sourced from "nomadic culture" field according to the specialist historians as the branch Manghin, Kopper, Grousset, Rasonyi, Barovka [17]. The lands of Hakas, Tuva, and Altay autonomous republics are the center of this cultural environment.


Russian scientists like L.P. Kyzlassov, K.F. Simirov, Kisselev and Griaznov objects Rudonko`s opinions and the opinions which suggests Pazirik carpet as Iranian carpet, K. Erdman, the art historian, was formerly having doubts if Pazirik carpet is Turkish or not; but then in his last treatise, he defended the opinion that Pazirik carpet is a Turkish carpet since it had been knotted by "Turkish knot".[18] According to Diyarbekirli, "Pazirik capet is something like the mirror of the material values of the Khun communities lived in Altays"[19].


As it is explained above the dominant element of Iranian style is the stamp of plant. In Turkish style on the other hand the ram head and abstract stamps are dominant. The photos presented here had not been taken intentionally but all they had been taken randomly. The photos, we think, give important information regarding Pazirik carpet and the history of carpet weaving history. For example the dominant stamps of Pazirik carpets can be seen not only on carpet-rugs, but also on outer wall of a house, near "sickle-hammer" on banknotes, on a tombstone and even on ceilings or walls of toilets. Consequently the sameness of the stamps, seen on photos and taken in a wide geography from Altays to Van, Hakkari, to Adana, Bergama, Çanakkale and Edirne must have a meaning for thinkers. Most of them are not only similar but also identical. Else, using the same stamps of people in such a big area, in their carpets tombstones business and entertainment places, and even embroidered to Lenin`s statue must express something for thinkers.  



[1] ÖGEL, B., İslamiyetten ÖNCE Türk Kültür tarihi, Ankara, 1984, p. 17,56.

-KAFESOĞLU, i., Türk Milli Kültürü, İstanbul, 1991, p.207,209

[2] RASONYI, Lydia, Türklerde Halıcılık Terimleri ve Halıcılığın Menşei, Türk Kültürü, Issue 103, 1971, pp.614,615.

[3] RASONYI, Lydia, Tarihte Türklük, Ankara, 1996, p.42

[4] MILLER, A., Doğunun Halı Mamülleri, Leningrad, 1924, pp.3,6,15,22,23.

[5] ÇORUHLU, Y., Türk Sanatının ABCsi, Iatanbul, 1993, p.17.

-About horse culture, refer: AKSOY, M., "Türklerde At Kültürü br Kımız", Türk Dünyası Taih Dergisi, Sayı 134, 1988.

[6] RASONYİ, L., Ibid pp.3-4.

[7] PİOTROVSKY, B.B., "İskitlerin Dünyası", Görüş Dergisi., Issue 12, 1976, s. 4,7.

- ZAVİTUKHINA, M.P., "Pazirik", Görüş Dergisi, Issue 12, 1976, p. 31,36.

[8] GÖRÜŞ DERGİSİ, Issue 12, 1976, p. 10,2,18,32. Ayrıca bk: AKSOY, M., Ibid

[9] STRZGOWSKI, D., "Türkler ve Orta Asya Sanatı Meselesi", Eski Türk Sanatı ve Avrupa`ya Etkisi (Haz. A.C. Köprülü), istanbul (No date), p.20-21.

[10] İNAN, A., Makaleler ve İncelemeler, II. Cilt, Ankara 1991, p. 262.

[11] İNAN, A., Ibid., p. 263, 267.

[12] RASYONYI, Lydia, Ibid., p. 616.

[13] PIOTROVSKY, B.B. Ibit., p. 6,8.

[14] GRYAZNOV, M.P., "Öteki Dünya İçin Hazırlanan Atlar", Görüş Dergisi, Issue 12, 1976, p. 38, 41.

[15] VAMBERY, a., Orta Asya Gezisi (Haz. A.A. Özalp), İstanbul, 1993, p.57.

[16] YETKİN, Ş., "Yurdumuzdaki Müzeler ve Camilerde Bulunan Değerli Halılar", Türk Kültürü Dergisi Sayı 4, 1963, p.2.

-YETKİN, Ş., Türk Halı Sanatı, Ankara, 1991, p.1,2.

-HAOCK, H., Doğu Halıları (çev. N.G. Görgünay), Ankara 1975, s. 38.

-DIEZ, E., Türk Sanatı (Çev. O. Aslanapa), İstanbul, 1955, s. 46.

[17] DİEZ, E., Aslanapa, O., Ibit., p. 43. KAFESOĞLU, İ., Ibit, p. 208, 209, ÇORUHLU, Y., Ibit., p. 17.

[18] DİYARBEKİRLİ, N., "İlk Türk Halısı", I. Uluslar arası Türk Folklar Semineri Bildirileri, Ankara, 1974, p. 263.

-TEKÇE, E.F., Pazırık, Ankara, 1993, p. 32,33.

[19] DİYARBEKİRLİ, N., Ibit., p. 267.


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