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A Wall Tile Found in the Excavation at the Alanya Castle
Z. Kenan BİLİCİ*

The purpose of this article is to determine the importance of a Seljuk wall tile found in the excavation in the Inner-Castle of Alanya.

The Sultan named in the inscription on the tile is likely to be Alaeddin Keykubad I, in respect to the way he is entitled and that he is exalted by the by names of "Alâud-dunyâ ve'd-din ebû'l-feth". This is also supported by his conquest of Kalonoros (Alanya) and his reconstruction of it; he gave it the name Alâiye, an attribute of his name; and furthermore it makes the site of his magnificent winter palace clear. The beginning of the inscription with the phase "Burhanu's-sultanu'l-mu'azzam..." is, in my opinion, indicative, as a sign that his palace was situated in the Inner-Castle.

In this context, it is certain that the inscription we are dealing with should be completed as "Burhanu's-sultanu'l-mu'azzam Şâhenşâhu'l-âzam Alâ'ud-dunyâ ve'd-din ebû'l-feth Keykubad bin Keyhusrev".

In this manner, we meet for the first time the name Alaeddin Keykubad I, together with his titles and by-names on a wall tile. It should be remembered that on the tile medallion dated 1220, which was placed at the portal of the north-west corner of the courtyard of the Alaeddin Mosque in Konya, the sultan was described only by his title and by-name of "Es-sultanu'1-mu'azzam Alâ'ud-dunyâ ve'd-din", without his name being mentioned.

The beginning of the inscription, with the phrase "Burhanu's-sultanu'l-mu'azzam" that we have never seen before, not only makes the place of the Sultan's Palace clear, but may also be a justificiation for our search for another confirmation of his existence on the mentioned tile. In other words, together with the name, by-names and the titles of the Sultan, it was expected that his symbol of existence and reign should be expressed on the tile.

When these pieces of encaustic tiles are combined, at their center (surrounded by the inscription belt), the geometric composition that appears in the circle (with 10 cm. radius), and which can be defined as "a star with 16 edges" or as "a sliced rosette" expresses the sign of the reign of Alaeddin Keykubad I.

There is no doubt that the tile has a close relationship with the date of construction of the Palace in the Inner-Castle. In other words, not only the tile we examined but the whole tile revetment must have been completed at the same time as the Palace.

When we combine what Ibn Bibi wrote about the conquest of Alanya and the subsequent events, we can conclude that the Palace in the Inner-Castle was finished right after the "condemning of the emirates who were opposed to and attempted to assasinate him". Thus, it would seem sensible to date this tile with its inscription to the period between 1221-1223.

*Yard. Doç. Dr. Z. Kenan Bilici, Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Sanat Tarihi Anabilim Dalı Öğretim Üyesi - Ankara.

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