The Iconographic Approach to the Mengucek Gazi Tomb in Kemah
Keywords: Kemah,Mengücek Gazi,tomb,cosmology,central support,golden ratio,hexagon
Current studies show that systems of thinking and faith elaborating on the creation of universe evolved and changed since the known ancient times yet preserved its sustainability. One of the most difficultly changing traditions of societies is the ritual for dead. These changes, if any, cultural persistence, transformations and interruptions are best observed in the tomb architecture of a society. In this article one of the best examples of the medieval Turkish tomb architecture, the tomb of Mengücek Gazi in Kemah is examined. The article focuses specifically on its patron, its artist, the person the tomb was made for, and the society's awareness of cosmological beliefs and thinking systems which actually shaped the architecture in general. The tomb's architectural accounts also force us to concentrate on design features and also focus on the cultural medium of medieval Turkish world with its past which left prominent traces throughout the history. The features of the tomb's facade reveal that the tomb was designed with golden ratio based on golden rectangle, which was developed from an initial square. The building's main geometric body and design of the corpse space as well as its portal decorations along with surrounding stripes show the existence of pre-Islamic Turkish cosmological influence which was well maintained in the medieval Islamic world by the end of 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century.