Kasımiye Pavilions

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The excavations during the 2005-2006 campaign revealed significant finds of Turkish civil architecture having specific structural features at a site locally called “Kasımiye”, lying 1.5 km to the east of the district center of Hasankeyf. Those with a rectangular plan in the east-west direction are characteristic buildings with an iwan at the center, and other buildings with a rectangular plan attached to it on both sides. Each building, similarly, has a pool in front of the iwan and various types of connections .

In the Salihiye and Kasımiye gardens, there are remains of 21 pavilions, of which 9 were uncovered during the excavations, probably belonging to the Emir and his notables. Each of these pavillons includes cascaded fountains or cascaded iwans on the face of walls. The water channels in the iwans are connected to the pools in front of them. The Pavilion 1 at Kasımiye seems to have more qualified architectural features compared to others. The unit octagonal in plan and covered with a dome was coated with tiles.

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – I

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The building No. 1 of Kasımiye excavations was built on a land with a 10 degree-sloping, which overlooks the Tigris basin. It consisted of a rectangular planned mass in the east-west direction and 9-80 x 16.40 m in size, and a second section fitting in a lon¬gitudinal rectangular area adjacent to the south in the north-south direction, and 9.70 x 15.50 m in size. The second section has a projection of 7.70 m from the constructional mass on the west towards south. The structure, while leaning on a slope to the south in accordance with the sloping of the land, integrates into an open courtyard to the north and front walls to the east and west .

In sections “E” and “F”, stone, soil and rubble piles were removed, and levelling work was performed after reaching the ground level in both sections. A stone-paved floor was uncovered to the north of the section “F”. In the northwestern part of the building, tile fragments were uncovered near the surface along with an unglazed thin white-paste vase.

The section coded under “C” is the most interesting unit in the Kasimiye building No. 1. Upon removal of the rubble filling, samples uncovered revealed that the unit had an octagonal plan, and there were rectan¬gular planned niches on each side except the north-south axis; the walls were covered with rectangular framed hexagonal vitrified tiles, but they were peeled off or removed; and the top was covered with a dome seated on muqarnas transitions surrounded by pöhrenks. The samples of hexagonal vitrified tiles on which a hatai pattern was imprinted in blue shades on a white background produced using the glazing technique were taken to the pottery laboratory at the excavation house
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The floor and main walls of section “C” were plastered with cas mortar. Section “C”, which has an entry on the northern corner is connected to section “D” with a second door opening on the southern side. When the collapsed area in section “B” was completely cleared, it was seen that this section with a rectangular plan extending in the east-west direction was, in fact, a large pool, measuring 6.70 x 5.20 m in size and approximately -2.00 m deeper than the current ground level . It became clear that the monumental iwan lying to the south of this pool and the doomed section so called section “A” was a small vaulted room having a direct connection with the dommed section to the north which has a collapsed wall in the east direction.

The stone material removed from the Kasımiye building I in which the excavation was completed were stacked on the northeastern part of the area, and the activities were terminated following the arrangements in the courtyard floor .

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – II

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The excavations in the Kasımiye Building II which was founded on a higher level of the area to the south of the Kasımiye Building-I were initiated from the body wall, the most evident part, following the photography work performed to document in-situ conditions and cleaning activities . The sections “A” and “B” to the south, and subsequently a stone-paved floor of a courtyard were reached. In the courtyard, a grindstone with a rim width of 0.30m and a depth of 0.25m was found.

Section “B” measures 2.74 x 4.05 m in dimension, which is a rectangular structure including two niches. The excavation area was expanded for 7.20 m toward the west, following the wall of the stone-pavement to the north, which yielded a pool measuring 2.80m in the north-south direction, 3.50 m in the east-west direction, and 0.75m in depth. It was found out that the aperture on the western wall of the pool was related with a water system extending towards the west .

During the second phase, the western wall of the pool was followed to yield a 1.20 m long water system from the pool. Following the cut stones in the floor to the east direction, a waterway corresponding to the mid-axis of the section “C” (middle) and reaching to the pool through a flume. The doorstep of the section “C” was reached by following the row of grooved stones towards the south after uncovering the courtyard to the south of the pool. The section “C” was completely cleared by removing the piles of stone and dirt in this area. There is a niche on the eastern and western walls of this rectangular section, which measures 3.40 m in east-west direction, and 4.75 m in north-south direction.

An entrance was found at 4.23 m from the northeastern corner of the building to the west with a depth of 0.76m. Called as section “D”, a heavily damaged 1.00 m wide and 1.75 m long stone block with unknown function was uncovered adjacent to the eastern wall of this section. Recovery of intense potsherds from the section “D” which was designed in a rectangular plan suggests that it was arranged as a kitchen.
After completion of the excavations at sections “B”, “C” and “D”, a blind section of 2.20 x 3.00m in size without any entrance was unearthed to the west of the building. Then, the southern main wall and another unit of 3.00 x. 3.47m were uncovered following the wall from the southwestern corner of the building towards the east. The square-planned section “A” measuring 1.44 x 1.44m in dimension was unearthed during the excavations to the east of the section “B”.

At the end of the excavation, it was found that the Kasımiye Building-II was a place of residence, probably of a high-level person, founded in an area of 20.00 m in east-west direction and 15.00 m in north-south direction, consisting of 5 adjacent and 1 back sections in the east-west direction and a pool to the north of the middle section, built with a rubble masonry, plastered with cas, including a single iwan and a cut stone floor, in a transverse rectangular plan with an entrance on the north, which was outstanding due to its location among others in the settlement area
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Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – III

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The third building of the Kasımiye pavilions consists of two sections .

Section A: The piles of dirt and debris filling the iwan coded as “A1″ in an area of 27.00 x 15.00 m were removed yielding a layer plastered with cas, and the floor was arranged. The inner dimensions of the iwan “A1″ which has a niche on the middle of the southern wall are 3.00 x 4.40 m. Another iwan was identified to the west of this iwan, and it was called “A2”. The debris was removed starting from the inner wall of the section on the east, and the floor which was covered with cas was levelled. The iwan “A2” measures 3.00 m in the east-west direction, and 4.40 m in the north-south direction .

A 2.00 m wide entrance was found on the mid-part of the northern wall in section “A3″ which lies to the west of the “A2” iwan. The section was accessed from this entrance, and the layer of dirt-debris was completely removed. With a niche on the western wall, the ground of the section measuring 4.10 x 3.60 m in dimension was levelled.

A 1.60 m wide entrance was identified in section “A4”. Measuring 4.00 x 4.70 m in dimension, the section was cleared from debris, and the ground was levelled. The coutyard lying to the north of these section was cleared during subsequent works, and a pool was found to the north of the “A2” iwan in the same direction. A smooth stone-paved floor was reached when the square-planned pool with a side lenght of 1.75 m and a depth of 1.00 m was drained out. To the west of the pool lies a workshop built of stones in front of the section “A3” and a channel was found to the east of the workshop.
The excavations in a 1.85 m wide street to the south of the section “A” extending towad the south yielded connection between the buildings.
Section B: The excavations continued in a group of buildings arranged in the form of an iwan lying to the western part of the Section “A” which was called Section “B”. The excavation area was around 18.50 x 25.20 m in size. The eastern wall of the building “B” and the western wall of the building “A” was arranged as a party wall. The fillings inside the section “B1” were completely removed, and the cas layer in the ground was reached and levelled. A water pipe was found on the southern wall of the section.

The excavations continued on the eastern wall of the section “B2″ lying to the west of the section “B1″ which measures 3.25 x 2.90m in dimension, and the fillings were removed. A water pipe and a water assembly just beneath it were found in the eastern wall of the section “B2”. The assembly was designed to have connections in four directions. The section measures 2.62 x 3.05 m in size.

The excavations in the courtyard was initiated from the western part of the section “B1”, and a pool was identified during removal of fillings. The pool which measures 2.00 x 1.80 m in dimension and 1.00 m in depth was completely cleared out, reaching the stone pavement in the ground.
The plan scheme prepared at the end of the excavations suggests that the pavilion III might have been arranged as ‘selamlık’ (the portion of a house reserved for men) in section “A” with two iwans and 2 rooms, and as ‘haremlik’ (the portion of a house reserved for women) in section “B” with 3 iwans having access to the pool .

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – IV

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The initial activities at the Kasımiye Building-IV included photography work and weed cleaning, and the excavation was initiated following the wall from the courtyard-side of the eastern main wall towards the south. The first uncovered section was coded as “A”, and a grindstone was found adjacent to its eastern wall. A 1.10 m wide door opening was identified on the western wall of the section.

Another entrance opening to the courtyard was identified to the north of the section coded “A1″ on the western part of the section “A”, and excavations in section “A1” yielded plenty of pöhrenks. The section “A1″ which was probably covered by a vault was used as a kitchen.

The excavations revealed that the sections “B” and “C” lying to the west of sections “A” and “A1” were an iwan in a tranverse rectangular plan with a cas-covered floor, and a niche on the southern wall, and the section “D” was a passage element to the upper floor. Also uncovered are a 4-step staircase adjacent to the western wall of the section D and a stoop which allowed access to a terrace or a second floor. The rooms on the western part have already collapsed, where only traces of the foundation are available.

The last activity at the Kasımiye Building-IV included identification of the walls enclosing the courtyard in front of the building. A very large drainage channel was found at the mid-point of the northern courtyard wall, presumably from the ancient period. Landscaping and leveling works were conducted in each section of the building and the courtyard following completion of the excavation works .

Plenty of small finds were uncovered during the excavations at the Kasımiye-Building IV. Among them are metal slags, pöhrenk fragments, tobacco pipes, potsherds produced in various forms and techniques, one thimble and one coin. Based on these finds, the building can be dated to the Late Ottoman Period, considering the material, technical and architectural features.

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – VI

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The excavations in the area called “Kasımiye 6” were initiated following the available traces of walls, yielding a section including a niche, which was identified as a mihrab. Measuring 4.15 x 3.45 m in dimension, the floor was reached at -1.10 m depth from the present ground level. The access to this section is through a door piercing the western wall. There is a mihrab (prayer niche) measuring 0.70 x 0.60 m in dimension and 1.60 m in height on the southern wall of the section, which was designed as a masjid. Two niches on the northern wall, and one niche on the eastern wall were found . To the east of the section lies a road extending in the north-south direction .

A large iwan with a pool in front of it was unearthed to the east of the masjid .

Another section with three iwans opening to a second courtyard was identified to the east of these two sections . It was revealed that each of these sections located in two different courtyards had one pool in their front and a water system connected with the pool. The excavation work in this area was completed after levelling of the sections and courtyards. It is believed that this pavilion was also designed based on the idea of haremlik-selamlık (separetely for men and women) .

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – VII

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The excavations in the area of 40.00 x 30.00 m called “Kasımiye 7” were initiated after in-situ photographic works within grids of 5.00 x 5.00 m and removal of debris . An iwan was uncovered at a depth of 5.00 m in the first grid under the ruins. The ground was reached at a level of -1.25 m. A covered section was identified in grid V following the iwans II, III and IV, which correspond to other grids with almost equal sizes.

A water channel made of terracotta pipes was unearthed in the iwan among the covered sections. In front of the water channel, there is a small square-pool which measures 0.30 x 0.30 m in dimension .

A second covered section was found to the east of this iwan as well as a second pool of 2.20 m x 1.90 m in front of the iwan on the east. The ground level was reached at -1.00 m in the pool, yielding a layer of ashes in the area.

The excavations yielded 4 iwans called “Kasımiye 7″ arranged adjacent to each other in the north-south direction, a fifth iwan in the middle to the east of these iwans, and a group of buildings (pavilion) which consists of two covered sections to the east and west along with its physical fabric of streets
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The excavation area yielded three coins, fragments of oil-lamps, jugs and pitchers and clay pipe fragments.

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – VIII

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The “Kasimiye 8” building, located at the junction of the beginning of the Kasimiye settle¬ment area and the eastern end of the Salihiye gardens, is popularly known as a mosque. However, the excavations revealed that it was, in fact, a pavilion. The pavilion overlooking the Tigris with a large courtyard enclosed by walls to the north opens to a main road stretching from south towards the town centre. The main scheme of the pavilion includes two iwans, one of which is the entrance, lying from east to west behind a wall which forms a façade; a small room behind the iwan opening to the courtyard; a large iwan with a selsebil (an ornament¬ed fountain), a pool and an entrance yard in front; and demolished rooms except the one in the west. Other elements of the pavilion include a neatly fenced and raised grape arbor in the middle of the courtyard, a fitting, probably for a toilet, on the northern corner, and a cemetery sub¬sequently built on the southeast .

The southeastern corner of the building is pierced by an iwan-like door, measuring 2.50 x 2.80 m in dimension . Another iwan opening into the coutyard was uncovered to the west of the door again opening to the courtyard. The iwan has a 1.10 m thick wall with a rubble masonry on the east and west. The western wall is pierced by a window while there is a niche on the eastern wall. The iwan was raised 0.30 m from the ground level of the courtyard. Removal of debris including dirt and stones around the iwan yielded one each room on the east and west.

A cemetery was found in an area of 6.00 x 7.00 m on the southwestern corner of the pavilion. Only landscaping activities were performed in 25 graves uncovered during the excavations, and they were taken under protection in intact position .

A pool measuring 2.40 m x 2.95 m in size and 0.53 m in depth was uncovered at a distance of 3-25 m north from the iwan . The cutstone cladding of the pool has been all removed. In the north¬west corner of the courtyard lies the remains of a structure which is believed to be a toilet. The excavations yielded small findings such as pöhrenk, pottery and coins.

Excavations at the Kasımiye Building – IX

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A new pavilion lying to the east of the pavilion 8 coded as “Kasımiye 9″ was excavated in 2006. The building is similar to other pavilions in plan and architecture, but only an iwan with a pool and two rooms on the south at the plinth level have survived to the present day .

To the south of the Kasımiye buildings 8 and 9 lies a main street extending in the east-west direction and having connections with side streets . The total lenght of the excavated area was 168.50 m, where the street had a width ranging from 6.10 to 6.60 m. Soundings were performed in two different points on the street, revealing that the street was paved with compacted rubble stones and dirt.

The excavation area yielded potsherds, glass and metal objects and fragments of tobacco pipes.

Excavations at the Water Channel

To the east of the Kasımiye building 9 lies a water channel indicating the antique period . The channel extending in the north-south direction and narrowing from below (0.57 m) to above (0.52 m) with a grilled plan, ends with a wall that forms a long facade of 1.26 m high in the east-west direction. Only 32.30 m of the channel has been uncovered, and it is estimated that it extends to the water¬shed located on the southern border of the Kasimiye gardens.

Remains of a monumental water architecture built with quality material were uncov-ered to the west of the facade .