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Scientific Analysis of Glazed Tile from the Seljuq Palace of Kubad-Âbâd, Lake Beyşehir, Turkey

Freestone, I; Yegingil, Z; Arik, R; (2009) Scientific Analysis of Glazed Tile from the Seljuq Palace of Kubad-Âbâd, Lake Beyşehir, Turkey. In: McCarthy, B and Chase, ES and Cort, LA and Douglas, JG and Jett, P, (eds.) Scientific Research On Historic Asian Ceramics: Proceedings of the Fourth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art. (pp. pp. 3-8). Archetype Publications with the Freer Gallery of Art: Washington, D.C., USA. Green open access

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Abstract

The palace of Kubad-Âbâd was built on the instructions of the Seljuq Sultan Alâeddin Keykubad I. Excavations have recovered large quantities of decorated glazed wall tile, typically in the familiar “star and cross” pattern. We have analyzed fifty tiles, using inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectrometry for major elements and inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry for trace elements. Selected tiles were subjected to petrographic thin-section analysis and to scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry for technological analysis of glazes and pigments. All the tiles are stonepaste bodies coated with an alkali-silica glaze. Black underglaze decoration is typically executed in crushed chromite. Turquoise is due to copper, and deep blue colors are due to cobalt; in some cases the cobalt pigment was mixed with fine-grained quartz to minimize bleeding into the glaze. Luster-decorated star-shaped tiles have tin-opacified glazes, but most glazes are translucent. The tiles were subdivided into visual types based upon shape, technique, motif, and color. Typically four–six tiles of each type were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry. Each type of star tile can be matched compositionally to a single cross type in terms of major and trace elements. Each star-cross pair forms a compositional group, which can be distinguished from other star-cross groups and from the monochrome tiles. Each group is distinguished in terms of decorative style, decorative technique, body recipe (clay:glass:quartz), and the elemental composition of the clay used. The compositional groups represent individual commissions, as tiles were ordered for different rooms in the palace. The differences in style, technique, and technology among the groups suggest that they were produced by more than one group of tile makers. Archaeological evidence suggests that some, perhaps all, of the tiles were made in the vicinity of Kubad-Âbâd. However, at least one tile group has a very different body composition and was made using a calcareous clay, whereas the others were made using kaolinitic clays. This group may have been imported.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Scientific Analysis of Glazed Tile from the Seljuq Palace of Kubad-Âbâd, Lake Beyşehir, Turkey
Event: Fourth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art
Location: Washington DC
ISBN-13: 9781904982463
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.asia.si.edu/research/ForbesProceedings2...
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2009 Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. This chapter can also be viewed in digital form at: http://library.si.edu/digital-library/book/scientificres00forb.
Keywords: Seljuq, Islamic, Tile, Glaze, Kubadabad
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1397660
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