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Terrible Beauty Tomb Architecture

BITLIS The Tombstones of Ahlat the Urartian and Ottoman Citadel

Date of submission to the Tentative World Heritage List: 25/02/2000
List Reference:  1401


Ahlat is a historic town and a district in Turkey's Bitlis Province in Eastern Anatolia Region . Though the history of the city dates back to 900 BC, its famous for her tombstones dating to 12 th-15 th centuties AD. It has an important place in the Islamic world in their variation within Anatolian tomb architecture in dimension and design. Apart from some small cemeteries here and there in Ahlat there are six main cemeteries of historical importance named; Harabe cemetery, Taht Suleyman cemetery Kirklar cemetery, Kale cemetery, Merkez cemetery, Meydanlik cemetery. Tombstones in Ahlat, some of the most outstanding tombstones and mausoleums of the early Turkish period in Anatolia are to be seen in Ahlat. These works are not only important sources of information on the technical and decorative repertoire of the period, but also act as historical sources for important masons and craftman, whose names appear in inscriptions there.

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