The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

ELI-KESIK HAN


 

DISTRICT
42 KONYA


LOCATION
This han is located on the Konya-Derbent road, about 21 km outside of Konya. Before reaching the bridge over the Altinapa Dam, there is a road sign for Derbent to the north (turn right). The han is about 7 miles past the turnoff, and lies next to the small Başara River and near the village of Güney.


OTHER NAMES

Derbent Han

 

DATE
1200-1210

The inscription plaque has been lost.

 

REIGN OF

Probably Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev I


PATRON
 

BUILDING TYPE

Covered open courtyard (COC)
Covered section and courtyard of the same width
Covered section with a central aisle and 1 aisle on each side running perpendicular to the back wall

4 bays of vaults parallel to the back wall
 


DESCRIPTION
This han faces southeast towards Konya, and lies perpendicular to the road. This road led to Derbent and Doğanhisar, and was used by the Seljuks as frequently as the current one linking Konya to Beyşehir.

 

This is one of the earliest Seljuk hans in Turkey, and is a part of the dense chain of hans between Konya and Beysehir (Altinapa, Kuruçeşme, Kandemir, and the now lost Yunuslar hans), all of approximately the same date. In view of the small size and the lack of decoration, this was probably a minor han.
 

The odd name of this han, the "Han of the Cut-Hand" probably named for an anecdotal incident that happened there.

 

This han has a small courtyard, with only 2 cells on each side. These have collapsed, but their traces remain on the ground.

The entry portal is recessed about 1 m. A mosque probably existed to the front of the courtyard. There are traces of a room on the southwest side of the han, believed to be a bath. The central aisle of the covered section is larger (5m) than the side aisles (3m). The covered section was surmounted by pointed arches which have now completely collapsed. There is a water trough in the courtyard.


DECORATION

The hall door tympanum is empty but probably once held an inscription plaque. There is no recessed area for a plaque on the entrance door to the courtyard. There is no decoration on this han, except for the many reuse (spolia) stones that are found throughout the han. The use of Byzantine reuse stones from nearby Christian churches is frequently seen in the hans of the Konya region, such as in the Altinapa, Obruk, Kadin and Zazadin hans.

 

 

DIMENSIONS
This is not a particularly large han:

Total external area: approximately 385m2.
Covered section area: 250 m2
Courtyard area: 135m2


STATE OF CONSERVATION, CURRENT USAGE
The han is in good condition and may be visited. It is in a peaceful rural setting of a fields and poplar trees, and an Ottoman han stands nearby. There are plans to begin a restoration project starting in 2010.

 

 

The author would like to thank the noted Konya photographers Ahmet Kuş, Ibrahim Dıvarcı and Feyzi Şiek (see bibliography) for their guided tour of this han in August, 2007.


BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

Acun, p. 495.

Erdmann, no. 5, p. 39-40 (numerous photos).

Karpuz, Kuş, Dıvarcı and Şiek (2008), vol. 2, p. 134.

Kuş, Selçuklu, pp. 39-40.

Talbot-Rıce, p. 206.

 

 

southeast exterior wall

Spolia reuse stones from a Byzantine church

 

Spolia reuse stones from a Byzantine church

Spolia reuse stones from a Byzantine church

 

 

traces of side cells of courtyard

The Ottoman Kavak Han to the east of the Eli-Kesik Han

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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