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Chancel barrier lintel with decorative reliefs

Type of monument:
Chancel closure slab with decorative reliefs.
Bedeş (Kayabelen) (Synnada): in the wall of the türbe.
White marble closure slab with decorative reliefs; complete.
Ht. 0.84; W. 0.97; Th. 0.19.
MB notebook copy; photograph (1955/19).
Tenth or eleventh century AD.

This closure slab is decorated with a strap-work frame, twisting into a diamond around a central medallion decorated with an eight-pointed flower. The corner fields each carry a small medallion surrounded by a strap-work loop; the loops are connected to one another by an inner strap-work frame, parallel to the outer frame, forming an octagon around the central medallion. This iconographic repertoire (especially the central diamond and the geometric strapwork) is highly characteristic of Byzantine decorative marblework of the tenth and eleventh centuries: compare Sodini 1980: 131, with Pl. XXXVI c-d (chancel closure slab from Xanthos); Sodini 1994: 306, no. 10 (ambo parapet slab from İhsaniye); Ivison 2008: 510-11, Figs. 18 and 19 (ambo parapet slabs from Amorion). A particularly close parallel is provided by a chancel closure slab in the Afyon archaeological museum (MAMA IV 46; Buchwald 1995: 254-5, no. 1.2, with Fig. 3).

Ballance noted that the türbe contained numerous other pieces of decorated Byzantine marblework, and suggested that these materials might have been brought from a church, now completely destroyed, on the rising ground between the türbe and the village of Bedeş (Kayabelen).


MAMA XI 193 (Synnada 16: 1955-19)

MAMA XI 193 (Synnada 16: 1955-19)