Posted by Christoph Huber on June 24, 1999 at 13:18:00:
The recent 14C testing series of Turkmen carpets is very fascinating. But since I read about it in the latest HALI I'm a little bit puzzled by some conclusions and questions which arouse in my mind... Perhaps you can help me:
1) To assume an age of "three to five hundred years" for some Turkmen weavings means that they are only 100 or 200 years later then the carpets known from Timurid miniatures which quite often are seen as their precursors.
I know that development or degeneration of motifs very likely was not a linear process, but I have to admit that I'm a little bit surprised about fastness of the change which seems to have taken place in a rather short period after Timurid times. The more surprising it is to me, if I consider the astonishing stability which Turkmen ornaments (shall ?) have showed afterwards for about a half millennium.
Do we have to see the relation between Timurid- and Turkmen carpets as different from the one between precursor and successor?
2) The above mentioned stability has (as pointed out in the HALI article by Hans Sienknecht) the consequence that we have almost no indication of age neither in design nor in the amount of free space in the field. In my eyes there isn't much anymore, is it?
3) Why were Turkmen carpets (after the Anatolian Kilims) chosen for this undertaking? Wouldn't it have been better [how do you say that in real English???] to gain some more experience before doing so by testing for example Caucasian carpets for which (at least to my understanding) a more refined framework for "conventional" dating exists?
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