Friday, September 26, 2014

minnet bozdemir writes about Kilims History

 minnet bozdemir writes about

Kilims History

History of Carpet & Kilim Weaving

No one knows precisely when and where the technique of weaving first started, There is no doubt that the weaving, in general, started in Central Asia. Nomadic tribes used flatweave techniques to make their tents to protect themselves from the elements. In addition, they started to use kilims, flatweave carpets, to cover their earthen floors. As nomadic tribes started to spread across western Asia, they spread their weaving techniques to the people they met. Over a period of time, the art of weaving improved and many useful items started to be made, such as saddle bags, camel bags, and cradles. Pile carpets probably appeared later in imitation of animal pelts, by adding pile to the basic flatweave kilims. The oldest surviving pile carpets were discovered in a grave of a Syncthian prince in the Pazyryk valley of the Altai mountains in Siberia by the Russian archaeologist, Rudenko in 1947. This carpet, carbon dated to the 5th century BC, was woven with the Turkish double knot. It shows great sophistication, showing that there was already a long history of pile carpet weaving by this time.

Chatal Hoyuk, an 8000-year old town

History of Turkey

The history of Turkey is astoundingly long, with human occupation dating back to the late Paleolithic period around 10,500 B.C., at the site of Karain Cave. Agriculture was established around 7000 B.C. and by approximately 6500 B.C., the Neolithic period, a village was established at the site of Çatal Höyük in Central Anatolia with energetic wall paintings, figurines and early pottery. The Chalcolithic period followed, at sites such as Hacılar around 5000 B.C., with beautiful pottery and copper artifacts. By the Early Bronze Age (2600-1900 B.C.), Anatolian cities started to develop at sites such as Kültepe.

In the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 B.C.), the Hittites moved into Anatolia from the area east of the Black Sea and established a sophisticated civilization with graceful pottery, ironwork, and gold. The Hittite Empire was later weakened by cities along the Aegean coast, including Troy. Eventually, they were destroyed around 1100 B.C. by a massive invasion of the mysterious ‘sea peoples,’ and the vacuum was filled by smaller Greek-related states such as the Phrygians, Urartians, and Lydians.

In 560 B.C., Croesus, the leader of Lydia brought all of the Greek colonies under his control, but was soon overthrown by Cyrus of Persia in 546 B.C. However, the Greek cities continued their efforts to overthrow the power of Persia for the next two hundred years, resulting in numerous battles.

This finally settled with the conquest by Alexander the Great in 334 B.C. Small kingdoms were built, which lasted almost two hundred years, until the Roman conquest. By 129 B.C., the Romans established the province of Asia with its capital at Ephesus. It was during this peaceful Roman period, when the concept of an universal Christian church was developed in Antioch (modern Antakya) and St. Paul and his disciples traveled throughout the Roman Empire.

By around A.D. 250, the Roman Empire had weakened. In the mid-sixth century, as the western Roman Empire was falling apart, Emperor Justinian was able to bring the eastern capital, Byzantine Empire, to its greatest strength reconquering Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia, Egypt, and North Africa. However, his successors were not strong enough to maintain the Byzantine Empire. One of the forces was the birth of Islam in A.D. 612 and the development of the Muslim Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties which continually challenged the power and status of the Byzantine Empire. In addition, the Great Seljuk Turkish Empire from Persia started to challenge the already weakened Byzantine Empire by the early 11th century and became the dominant power in Anatolia. However, the Seljuk power quickly declined and another nomadic group, the Ottoman Turks began to expand into Anatolia. For a time, the Mongols took over much of Anatolia, defeating the Ottomans, but in 1453 the Ottomans captured Constantinople (modern Istanbul), forming the Ottoman Empire, dominating a wide geographic area covering southeastern Europe, parts of southwestern Russia, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire flourished until 1923 when Kemal Atatürk established the Turkish Republic, as the Ottoman Empire grew weaker due to repeated wars and emergence of nationalist movements in the Balkans.

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