The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

Seljuk stone sculpture


A prominent design component of Seljuk stonework is the widespread representation of human and animal figures.


It is known through the drawings of European travelers of the 19th century that certain public gardens, city gates and walls and private gardens in Konya were decorated with human statues. Charles Texier (1801-1871), the French archeologist, architect and historian, was assigned the task of conducting research in Anatolia in 1833-37 by the French government. He published the results of his travels and research in Anatolia in a monumental, six-volume work entitled Description de l'Asie Mineure (1839-1848), which included numerous engravings and plans of the city of Konya. His detailed and precise drawings of the stonework sculptures on the city walls are the only remaining testaments to these statues now lost.

Many Seljuk carved stone objects are now preserved in the Konya Ince Minare Stone Museum. Several display human figures and animals in high relief carving, the most interesting of which depicts an elephant.


Stone carving showing a hunting scene with deer and a leopard; Konya Ince Minare Museum


Stone angel from the Konya citadel; Ince Minare Museum, Konya


Drawing by Texier of the Alaeddin Mosque in Konya with the remains of the city walls to the right


Stone carving showing an elephant and a leopard; Konya Ince Minare Museum



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