Selçuk SEÇKİN1, Saliha TANIK2

1Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sanat Tarihi Bölümü. İstanbul/Türkiye
2Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sanat Tarihi Bölümü. Ankara/Türkiye

Keywords: Ottoman, Tombstones, Yalova, İlyasköy, Form, and Decoration.


In this study, we scrutinized all the tombstones Ottoman period in İlyasköy, one of the local villages in Yalova. First, tombstones were classified in terms of form and decoration style and then compared to other tombstones in surrounding areas and cities. This study focused on nineteen tombstones removed from the village cemetery and lined up in a row in the village square of İlyasköy. Besides, nine plain tombstones in the village cemetery were photographed and presented in a table in the appendix. Seven of the nineteen tombstones date back to the 18th century, and eleven to the 19th century. Since only the footstone is available in the first tombstone today, it could not be dated. The headstones of the other eighteen tombstones still exist. Although quality stone materials were prevalent then, the given tombs were made of marble. The inscriptions on the stones were engraved by relief technique. Tomb types could not be distinguished since the tombstones were removed from their places of origin, and there were no ruins. The fine stonework at the bottom indicates that the stones were placed in the type of sarcophagus, burial, or framed grave. All tombstones had rectangular cross-section characteristics. Of those rectangular cross-section tombstones, 11 had a male headdress, 4 had a female headdress, 1 had a triangular crown, 1 had a vegetal crown, 1 had a semicircular arched top, and 1 had a pointed arched top. It was observed that most of the tombstones in İlyasköy were simple and plain. The top of the headstones was decorated with a floral composition of acanthus leaves, while the body of the footstones exhibited curled flower branches. Thuluth writing was preferred in most stones. In detail, the celi-thuluth style could be seen in thirteen and celi talik style in five tombstones. Only on three tombstones were occupation written, while others did not have any information about the occupation of the tomb owner. Seven tombstones in İlyasköy had the same death date, which might suggest an epidemic disease in the village in those days. The stones were similar to the “capital style” in terms of artistic form, technique, and decoration. We hope that these tombstones, located in a Manav village in the west of the Marmara region, will contribute to the Art History literature on material, form, technique, and ornament, as well as to the Turkish identity thanks to the headstone inscriptions.