The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

Building materials



The architecture of the Seljuks of Anatolia was dependent on the local material and building techniques. Turkey is a region blessed with immensely rich stone quarries of limestone and marble.  Hans were built of stone: blocks and rubble.


Hans were built with ashlar masonry. Ashlar masonry uses individual blocks of finely-cut (square or rectangular in shape) and worked stone. The precisely-cut stones allow for very thin mortar joints between the blocks. In ashlar masonry, the smoothed square or rectangular stones (generally limestone) are laid with rubble mortar in horizontal courses. In many cases, the stones were so precisely cut that no mortar was needed. The stone was of varying quality, and sometimes aggregate stone (rubble fill) was used. A better-quality stone was used in the covered sections than in the courtyards, in the portals than the walls, and in outer walls than for the inner ones. The superstructure of the hans was stone vaults


The stone blocks were either smooth cut or rough cut.


The outer walls are solid, between 1-2 m thick, with an average of 1.25 m.


Marble was used for the inscription plaques.



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