The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

INCIR HAN


Detail of scalloped vault over the main portal

High-relief sculptures of lions with solar symbols on the main portal

 

 

Lion and solar symbol on the portal

 

Cells in covered section; roof of middle vault now collapsed

 

 

DISTRICT
32 ISPARTA
 

LOCATION
This han is located on the Antalya-Isparta (Burdur) road, near the town of Susuz. Turning left at the turnoff for Bucak, the han will be found a short distance down the road, near the village of Incirdere. It is the third han north of Antalya on the Antalya-Burdur Road (preceded by Kirkgöz and Evdir and followed by Incir).

[map]

OTHER NAMES
The name of this han means the "Fig Tree" han, perhaps in reference to the numerous fig trees found in this area.
 

DATE
1238-39 (dated by the inscription)
This is a "Sultan Han", commissioned directly by a Sultan. Chronologically, it is the 5th in line of the Sultan Han group.
 

The inscription reads as follows:

1) The construction of this blessed khan was ordered by

2) the most great sultan, the magnificent Shah of Shahs, master of the napes of the peoples,

3) the lord of the sultans of the Arabs and non-Arabs, sultan of the land and of the two seas, the Dhu'l Qarnayn of the Age, the second Alexander, crown

4) of the Seljuk family, Ghiyath al-dunya wa'l-din, father of victory, Kaykhusraw, son of Kayqubadh, son of Kaykhusraw, associate of the Commander of the Faithful, in the year 636 [1238-1239].

 

The titles attributed to the sultan in this inscription - Dhu'l Quarnayn of the Age and the second Alexander - are unusual.

 

PATRON

Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev II

 

REIGN OF

Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev II (as per dated inscription over the hall door)
 

BUILDING TYPE

Covered open courtyard (COC)

Covered section smaller than courtyard

Covered section with a central aisle and two side aisles on each side running perpendicular to the back wall

6 bays of vaults
 

DESCRIPTION
The han faces south. It consists of an indoor area covered by three vaults, and a wider courtyard.  Next to the han is a fountain and a bath.

DECORATION

The stone carvings on the main portal are noteworthy. The portal consists of a protruding iwan with a vaulted niche in the shape of a scalloped shell. At the base of the arch is a figure of a lion cut in very high relief on each side. A solar symbol with a human face embellishes the backs of the lions. This solar figure is the armorial symbol of the Sultan Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev II, and is a variant of those seen on Seljuk coins minted during his reign. A similar human-faced sun can be seen on the Cizre Bridge built in 1164. Other decorative elements on the portal include arabesques.

 


DIMENSIONS
Total area: 2,750 m2
Area of hall: 1120 m2
Area of courtyard: 1300 m2

The Incir Han is one of the smaller hans of the Seljuk group.
 

STATE OF CONSERVATION, CURRENT USAGE
Little more than the foundations remain in the courtyard. The rest of the han is in good condition. It was surveyed in 1992-3 and in 2000. There are plans to turn this very handsome structure into a tourism venue.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

Acun, pp. 304-319 (includes extensive bibliography in Turkish); 450, 456-457, 504.

Altun, p. 199.
Erdmann, pp. 107-110, no. 29.
Ertuğ, pp. 79-80.
Bektaş, pp. 60-61.
Hillenbrand, fig. 6.53, p. 553.

Karpuz, Kuş, Dıvarcı and Şiek (2008), vol. 1, pp. 215-218.

Redford, Scott. "The Inscription of the Kirkgöz Han and the problem of textural transmission in Seljuk Anatolia", Adalya 12 (2009), pp. 351-2.



 




 

 

 

 

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