Sunday, April 20, 2008

L.A. Rug Expert Brian Morehouse weighes in on 18th Century Anatolian Turkmen

L.A. Rug Expert Brian Morehouse weighes in on 18th Century Anatolian Turkmen

The level of discourse on Turkotek certainly has gone up a notch or two since Jim Allen started his 18th Century Anatolian Turkmen thread. Now L.A. Rug Expert Brian Morehouse has jumped into the discussion with both feet. Brian has come out with a variation of the old, Turkish Rugs are Armenian rugs, argument.

Brian Morehouse wrote: "I cannot for the life of me see why anyone given current scholarship would still adhere to the Turkmen genesis for Anatolian Rugs. Do people really believe that Anatolian weaving traditions languished for thousands of years until the arrival of the Turkmen…..nonsense? Or that the Kurds or Armenians were not privy to the technology of pile weaving....nonsense! Clearly over a thousand years had passed from the time of the Greco-Romans and almost that long under Byzantine rule."

I was reading Kurt Erdmann's "700 years of Oriental Carpets" this afternoon and Erdmann made the point that there were Turkmen, Armenians, and Greeks. In fact he quoted Marco Polo in support of this. So as I read this Brian Morehouse's argument flashed through my mind and I realized that if we eliminate the Turkmen then all we have left are Greeks, Kurds, and Armenians. So were the Greeks weaving Brian's thousands of years of rug? If Greeks wove rugs why don't Greeks weave rugs. Are we to believe that Greeks wove for thousands of years and then fled the Turks and forgot. Nope, not likely in my book. So that leaves the Armenians and the Kurds. Now the Kurds are Eastern Anatolian. If Brian wants to attribute western and central Anatolian rugs to the Kurds then he is going to have to deal with the Turkotek Kurdish rug YO Michael Wendorf and his Kurdish heartland mandate.

So following the Morehouse argument that leaves the Armenians. I always suspected that some Central Anatolian rugs were Armenians but All of them? Keep tuned to Jim Allen's 18th Century Anatolian Turkmen thread for the latest in Internet rug scholarship.

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