Posted by Sue Zimmerman on 08-25-2003 01:59 AM:

Dead Men's Tools

Lucky for rubes like me that some "mirabs" in the "prayer rugs" haven't been stylized to the point where they are no longer recognizable as surveying instruments of ancient cultures. I almost missed the first one until I connected the white dots and saw the "field" was a plumb bob. The one shaped like Omega with Alpha, etc., within, is pretty clever. Too bad these tools are no longer available anymore in our civilization so we could follow the trail back to another Manistir -- the one in Turkey that was a suburb of Sagalassos. I read about the dig going on there at the Archeology magazine web site. They are having a bit of trouble seeing the lay of the land because of the dense vegetation of Kermes Oaks but despite that it is a treasure trove. Sue

Posted by Sue Zimmerman on 08-30-2003 11:51 AM:


Before all roads lead to Rome they lead somewhere else and somewhere else before that, etc. Mean time was not always measured from Greenwich. The "Manistir" "prayer rug" I think of as the Alpha/Omega one has within it a composite symbol I have been wondering about for some time. It is that one which resembles, quite closely, the woven areas on "Kufic" borders on many "Holbein" rugs. It can be found in the right side of the rectangular elements within those rug's borders. Of course the alignment of the triangles in these composite symbols differs as they are being sighted from different angles -- different places.

Rugs are not one trick ponies. Many of them speak on many levels. Quite a few of them serve the purpose of maps and calendars. Of course maps and calendars have different constructions from civilization to civilization so one must learn these different systems to prove this function to oneself. It takes some time and effort to do this but it really isn't that hard.

I am not much interested in where or when a rug was born. I am interested in what they are saying -- a different trail. As I proceed on my trail I am finding that the answers to the rug questions I have the least interest in are the one's who's answers are the most easily accessible. Ironically, those in rugdom who seem most interested in where and when a rug was born seem the most resistant to finding answers to their questions, or so it seems to me. The universe has an interesting sense of humor, doesn't it? Happy trails! Sue

Posted by Steve Price on 08-30-2003 01:07 PM:

Hi Sue,

You wrote (of rugs), Quite a few of them serve the purpose of maps and calendars. That's an interesting notion, and I'm not familiar with anything along either (maps or calendars) line. So, I would ask some things of you:
1. Can you provide us with one or more examples of rugs that serve as calendars and one or more examples of rugs that serve as maps?
2. Can you give us the bases on which you consider each example to be a calendar or a map?
3. Can you offer some reasons why someone would weave rugs - which is labor intensive and requires relatively costly raw materials - to produce maps or calendars?

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty skeptical about this.


Steve Price