The Seljuk Han of Anatolia


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Eravşar, 2017. p. 378; photo I. Dıvarcı

Eravşar, 2017. p. 92; photo I. Dıvarcı

Eravşar, 2017. p. 93; photo I. Dıvarcı



The Derebucak Han is located in the mountains south of Beyşehir. The Derebucak Tol Han is located on the Beyşehir-Antalya road in the Derbucak region, 10 km out of the town of Derebucak.  The old caravan route in front of the han may still be seen. 
The Derebucak Tol Han is located on the Konya-Beyşehir-Manavgat road, 5 km from Derebucak, on the banks of the Karakisik River. This road was the best option for merchants traveling from Kubadabad to the Mediterranean coastal cities, and the Derebucak Tol Han was the first station on this road. The next station is the Ortapayam Tol Han, which is reached after passing through the Gembos Plain. The Gembos Plain was a swampland until the beginning of the 20th century and was called Gembos Lake, according to sources. The Eynif Tol, Mutbel and Kargi Hans are located further along this road. Another caravan route, following the Alara River, exists to the east of this road and descends to the Mediterranean coast. This road which still preserves paving stones dating from the Roman era. The Ebulhasan and Burma Hans are located on a third caravan route branching to the west.



There are three hans which are called “Tol” (“Little Village”) which has created considerable confusion in texts. There are no references to the Derebucak Tol Han in historical sources. The building was first mentioned in a scientific article by O. Kunduraci in 2001, who also included information on the Eynif Tol and Ortapayam Tol hans in the same article.



It was probably built at the beginning of the 13th century, after the conquest of Alanya by Ebülhasan.



An inscription, believed to belong to the han, is exhibited along with several other inscriptions in the municipal garage of the village of Derebucak. The inscription is carved on a white marble plaque, half of which is lost. It reads as follows:


“The han which is dedicated in sequence… and six hundred… two.. all praise is due to Allah.”



There is no reference to the patron of the han in the inscription and the date indicated cannot be deciphered. It is believed that the han was built at the same time as the other hans in the region as part of a planned architectural program.



Covered section only (C); the covered section comprises one long single nave (C). The existence of a courtyard has not been determined.



It had a long rectangular plan like the Şarafsa and Ortapayam hans.


The majority of the main walls are have collapsed down to the foundation level; however, it is possible to determine the architectural features from the ruins. The han consisted of a covered section only with one single nave, and which was covered with a pointed vault in the north-south direction. According to traces discovered in the wall surfaces, the roof was carried on 11 reinforcing arches. Square support towers extended to the roof level and were supported on the interior by equally-spaced rib arches on the west side. The support towers in the southwest and northwest corners are circular. The Derebucak Tol Han, with its covered section comprised of a single nave, resembles the Kuru Han, located between Kayseri and Elbistan, and the nearby Ortapayam Tol Han, as well as the Şarapsa Han.


Entry to the covered section was through a crown door located in the middle of the west side. The crown door projected from the main wall, but it is now completely ruined. There are two sections located to the north or the south of the entry, which most certainly were administrative offices for the han keeper. It is not certain if there was once a courtyard, or if it had been designed but never built.


There is an independent building to the south of the han, which was covered by a pointed vault in the east-west direction. The purpose of this building has not been determined, and it must have been built at later date, as can be determined by the differences in the building techniques with the han. Some researchers believe it could have been the mosque, but there is no mihrab to support this hypothesis.


Few reuse spolia materials were used in the building. The exterior walls are made of pitch-faced stone, while the arches and vaults are made of smooth-faced stone. The stones used in the lower levels of the walls are larger in scale and were set more carefully than the upper level stones. Small stones and a lime mortar mix were used as infill material for the walls.


No decorative elements were found among the ruins.



It is now in ruins. The caravanserai is deserted at the present time, with its destiny left to fate. The walls were removed in the 1970s by villagers who stripped them to extract the lime plaster.



Bilici, Z. Sarapsa (Serapsu Han)" in Acun, Hakki ed., Anadolu Selcuklu Donemi Kervansaraylari, 2007, p. 400.

Eravşar, Osman. Yollarin Taniklari (Witnesses of the Way), 2017, pp. 90-93.

Erten, F. Antalya Vilayeti Tahrihi, 1940.

Karpuz, H. & Kuş, A. & Dıvarcı, I. & Şimşek, F. Anadolu Selçuklu Eserleri, 2008, v.2, p. 136.

Kiepert, R. Karte von Kleinasien, in 24 Blatt bearbeitet, 1902-1916.

Kunduracı, O. Kubadabad-Alanya Selçuklu Kervan Yolu Güzergahı Üzerine Yeni Araştırmalar-I”, I. Uluslar Arası Selçuklu Semineri Bildirileri, Konya, 2001, p.53-59, fig. 4.

Kuş, A., Dıvarcı, I and Şiek, F. Konya ve ilçelerindeki Selçuklu Eserleri, 2005, p. 44.

Özergin, M. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansaraylari”, Tarih Dergisi, 15 (20), 148, 1965, p. 164.





















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