A Study On The Use Of Brickbonds In Anatolian Seljuk Architecture

Bakırer, Ömür
In Near Eastern architecture the use of brick as the principle building material, goes far back into history, where it was first employed from necessity and later from preference.*• Until the tenth century, however, brick surfaces were usually concealed under specially prepared revetments, either for reasons of protection or for special decorative effects. Standing monuments help to settle that, during the tenth century, deliberately planned brickbondş, resulting from constructive arrangements of brick units, have started to attract the attention of builders and have initiated an interest in exposed brick surfaces.2 Eventhough, the country of origin for this new style in brick building is debatable, primary specimens as well as the gradual development into maturity took place in Khurasan under the Samanid's and Chaznavi'd'ş respectively, and in Turkestan under the Kharakhanİd's. It was evolved İn Central Iran first by the Buvayhid's and later by the Seljuk's. Similar trends were practiced İn Iraq during the period of the Zengid's.^ During the Seljuk period in Iran, builders surpassed all others both in unadorned and in ornamental brickwork.1* Besides the lower structures of religious buildings, owing to its solid and bulky qualities, unadorned brickwork was confined to secular architecture of any type. Decorative brickwork, on the other hand, exalted in development with distinctive increase in its decorative qualities, in Mosques and but especially in Tomb Towers and Minarets. Most of these were built from the mid tenth, until the thirteenth century. Seljuk's carried this tradition of building in brick to - Anatolia, where it was practised from the second half of the twelwth, until the end of the thirteenth century with achievements comparable to earlier practices. However, since the principle building material of the Seljuk period in Anatolia was stone, overall brick construction was limited to small sized Masjids and Tomb Towers, as well as to Minarets. In larger edifices, built of stone, brick was employed in a selective attitude, usually for the upper structures and rarely for the interior wall surfaces of some special spaces» displaying a preference in its utilization. Starting from the tenth century onwards, decorative brickwork has developed in two lines varying both in technique and in the final product. Firstly, there are the Brickbonds* that are constructive and laid-up directly during the structural process. Secondly, there are the Brick Revetments, that are assembled from precast sections. The process of production and the types of the bricks used, differ to a great extent for these two types of brickwork. Even so, both share a common aspect, which is their dependence on geometry. With brickbonds, patterns are delineated through modular geometry with the arrangement of standart shaped brick units, whereas the patterns delineated on brick revetments are pre-designed, according to geometric principles and assembled with especially cut bricks. - Both techniques were utilized in Anatolia, during the period under consideration. Yet, as in the Eastern Islamic World,5 it is not possible to trace a coherent chronological development, and signify which one of these two techniques was developed from the other. This brief study will simply deal with the brickbonds utilized in Anatolia during the period of the Early Principalities and the Seljuk1s, with an attempt to point out characteristics, that may help to determine a rough chronological evolution at least for the brickbonds.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Bakırer, “A Study On The Use Of Brickbonds In Anatolian Seljuk Architecture,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 143–181, 1980, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/51198.