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Old 14th August 2006, 10:09 PM   #31
Zifir
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Hi,

The arabic date seems to me as 1303 which can be correctly converted as 1885-1886.

However, from 1840 onwards the Ottomans started to use a second calendar which was called the Rumi calendar. The basic aim was to use a calendar which was compatible with the European calendar. Anyway, if your date is a Rumi date, then its Gregorian equivalent is 1887-1888.

best,
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Old 14th August 2006, 11:34 PM   #32
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Thank you Zfir !!!

I know the Ottomans switched to a Julian (Solar) Moslem calender in the early part of the 19th century (to try to correlate with the Julian Gregorian European calendar) but I had no idea what it was called or if it was close to the Hijri (lunar) calandar.

The number 3 is unusal here, is this script used in any particular portion of the Ottoman empire?

Thank you again
Jeff
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Old 15th August 2006, 01:43 PM   #33
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The unusual style of the number '3' in the date may have something to do with workmanship. Because, the same is true for the Gregorian date 1888 on the sword. Very weird 8's indeed I think the same think is valid for the numbers in the Hijri date.
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Old 15th August 2006, 04:06 PM   #34
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Thank you again Zifir,

I am a little confused. Is the Arabic number three used here common? I am used to seeing it written as below.

You are right about the 8's I actually found the Islamic date first and it took a while to figure out that the 8's made a Gregorian date Duh

All the best
Jeff
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Old 15th August 2006, 11:56 PM   #35
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In hand writing, the numbers 2 and 3 have slightly different forms. I attached two examples, the first one is 9240 and the second one is 33,600. You can see how the numbers 2 and 3 in handwriting are different than their printed forms. I hope this helps.

Best,
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Old 16th August 2006, 12:58 AM   #36
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Hi Zifir,

Yes this does help. Essentially, this "written" script of 3 could come from any where the Rumi calendar, was used. Unfortunately it doesn't particularly add anything to what has already been noted on the origin of the Black Sea yataghan.

Thank you once again it is great to have your imput.

Jeff
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Old 16th August 2006, 03:44 AM   #37
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It is amazing how long this discussion of these 'Black Sea' yataghans has continued, especially the 'controversy' over thier origins. The evidence for origin in North Africa consists of the single example presented in Mr. Tirri's book, which as mentioned, was discussed at the talk presented by him several years ago. This theory was supported by a caption in a Michael German catalog from London, which had suggested a North African origin without corroborating support, as well as an entry from I believe a Russian book suggesting the same.

I began studying these curious yataghans in 1996 when I acquired my first example. Back then these were actually considered relatively rare, and there was considerable speculation about them. I discovered that they had been shown in the equally rare German publication "Schwert Degen Sabel" by Gerhard Seifert, a prominant German arms scholar, in 1962. They were identified there as Kurdish-Armenian yataghans, and in subsequent communications with the author I found that his attribution had derived from a scholarly article written in 1941 and presented by the Danish Arms and Armour Society. References for this article derived further from a Hungarian arms scholar who had travelled in regions of the Black Sea, Caucusus etc. in the latter 19th century. These weapons were provenanced from Turkish regions c.1850's, and I did confirm thier presence and dates collected in the museum listed in communications with that museum.
After several years of confirming this data, communications with various authors and scholars, in later years these weapons were confirmed in museums in Istanbul by Lee Jones, then of course, the ultimate confirmation by Ariel in his discovery and positive identification to the Laz group.
It seems more than dozens of these have now entered collections, most associated with those found in regions described near Trans-Caucasian regions including Trebizon, Erlikan and the Caucusus.
I was also present at the forementioned talk given by Mr. Tirri in Baltimore, which was indeed very well presented. My only question was...if this sword form originated in North Africa....why was there only one left.....with all the others migrating to the regions near the Black Sea?
While the evidence supporting North African origin is admittedly compelling since it does resemble a flyssa, I am more drawn to the evidence that I discovered in the years I have researched these. I think that with the movement of Ottoman mercenaries from these regions to North Africa, an example of these being subsequently decorated there with flyssa type motif is quite plausible.

Yet the debate will undoubtedly continue.
Best regards,
Jim
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Old 3rd September 2006, 07:30 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
It is amazing how long this discussion of these 'Black Sea' yataghans has continued, especially the 'controversy' over thier origins. The evidence for origin in North Africa consists of the single example presented in Mr. Tirri's book, which as mentioned, was discussed at the talk presented by him several years ago. This theory was supported by a caption in a Michael German catalog from London, which had suggested a North African origin without corroborating support, as well as an entry from I believe a Russian book suggesting the same.

I began studying these curious yataghans in 1996 when I acquired my first example. Back then these were actually considered relatively rare, and there was considerable speculation about them. I discovered that they had been shown in the equally rare German publication "Schwert Degen Sabel" by Gerhard Seifert, a prominant German arms scholar, in 1962. They were identified there as Kurdish-Armenian yataghans, and in subsequent communications with the author I found that his attribution had derived from a scholarly article written in 1941 and presented by the Danish Arms and Armour Society. References for this article derived further from a Hungarian arms scholar who had travelled in regions of the Black Sea, Caucusus etc. in the latter 19th century. These weapons were provenanced from Turkish regions c.1850's, and I did confirm thier presence and dates collected in the museum listed in communications with that museum.
After several years of confirming this data, communications with various authors and scholars, in later years these weapons were confirmed in museums in Istanbul by Lee Jones, then of course, the ultimate confirmation by Ariel in his discovery and positive identification to the Laz group.
It seems more than dozens of these have now entered collections, most associated with those found in regions described near Trans-Caucasian regions including Trebizon, Erlikan and the Caucusus.
I was also present at the forementioned talk given by Mr. Tirri in Baltimore, which was indeed very well presented. My only question was...if this sword form originated in North Africa....why was there only one left.....with all the others migrating to the regions near the Black Sea?
While the evidence supporting North African origin is admittedly compelling since it does resemble a flyssa, I am more drawn to the evidence that I discovered in the years I have researched these. I think that with the movement of Ottoman mercenaries from these regions to North Africa, an example of these being subsequently decorated there with flyssa type motif is quite plausible.

Yet the debate will undoubtedly continue.
Best regards,
Jim


Thank you Jim,

Sorry about my slow response, I did try to respond a couple times before taking off to the islands for the last month where we have no internet. I was able to get some much required reading done and unfortunetly was unable to find much on the Rumi calendar. I was able to find that the Ottoman calendar based on the sun cycle was called the Maliye calendar and that the later part of 1303 Maliye was infact 1888 Gregorian.
I think my recent yataghan therefore supports your and the other's conclusion to the Ottoman Black Sea origin for these weapons. The Ottomans were pretty much out of North Africa by this time.

Thanks again for the references
Jeff
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Old 3rd September 2006, 08:37 PM   #39
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Hi Jeff,
Nicely done, thanks very much for the additional information and support!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 21st September 2006, 10:20 PM   #40
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Here is a little more on this topic. This just ended on e-bay. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...y0%3D%26fvi%3D1
Anybody recognize the style of dress?

I will post the card below for posterity.

All the best
Jeff
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Old 21st September 2006, 11:43 PM   #41
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I think you got it!
The boy on the left is holding BSY (Laz Bicagi) vertically and the one in the middle seems to have the same one stuck under the belt: only handle is visible).
Too bad the pic is small! Perhaps, we can contact the buyer and offer him a deal: he will send us larger views and we shall tell him where it is from . Not a bad deal for him, I think
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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:41 AM   #42
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Is this any improvement ?
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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:27 PM   #43
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I looks to me that all of that central group are holding laz bicagi, except the fellow whose crotch is bisected by the upright one. They seem to be children, in fact. This might explain the "baby" laz bicagi that one sees.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 02:26 PM   #44
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The dresses and the music instrument of the musicians and dancers group it is Pontic, a Greek minority of Turkey. But maybe it could be worn from another ethnic group too.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 03:37 PM   #45
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Here are Ajarians: next-door neighbours of Minghrelians ( Georgian Laz)
http://www.answers.com/topic/ajarians
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Old 22nd September 2006, 07:41 PM   #46
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Old 22nd September 2006, 07:50 PM   #47
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And here is another one..
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Old 22nd September 2006, 07:51 PM   #48
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I just add 2 pictures of Pontic or Pontian people to see the similarities. But I have never heard that this yataghan was their weapon. They used bitsaqs and kinjals
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Old 22nd September 2006, 07:59 PM   #49
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Well, after all these years that we are looking for clues about Black Sea yataghan, I feel quit stupid I didnít look closer to my culture!
The pictures of Zifir are very clear. If they lived in Trabzon (Trebizond or Trapezus) they must be Pontians. Or Lazs, but no Ajarians.
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Old 23rd September 2006, 03:46 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zifir
And here is another one..

This is the best one.
But, honestly, we are seeing 3 variants of the same picture!
The color one was heavily photoshopped, though.
Trabzon is clearly indicated as the locality.
Laz!
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Old 23rd September 2006, 05:20 AM   #51
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Well Done Guys!!

I think we can clearly place the Laz with this weapon.


Jeff
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Old 23rd September 2006, 05:02 PM   #52
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The dress and musical instruments are common to Western Georgians and all other Pontic nations, including Greeks; I would guess these can be Greeks, but I would think Laz is a more likely option. Finally, the border between Georgia and Turkey, which separates Laz and Adjari was established in bloody wars, therefore there is really nothing historic about "adjarian/laz" boundaries - the language they speak is similar and belongs to the western georgian family, however Laz are typically identifying themselves as Turks and nothing else, and Ajarians are identifying themselves mostly as "muslim georgians". There are also some "georgian" colonists in Trabzon, who speak mainstream georgian and came there relatively recently, but their dress is quite different.
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Old 6th July 2007, 05:29 PM   #53
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Default new pfoto

I have a new nice photo on the subject, a photo of three Pontic Greek guerillas, and one of them has a black sea yataghan.
The problem is that the photo is on a book, i scanned it, but cannot ommit the text arround the photo, so that the photo will be with little enough pixel to post it and be visible.
If someone more technologically advanged can help, i can send him the photo to make it the appropriate size.
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Old 6th July 2007, 06:03 PM   #54
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Eftihis:

You have a PM

Ian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
I have a new nice photo on the subject, a photo of three Pontic Greek guerillas, and one of them has a black sea yataghan.
The problem is that the photo is on a book, i scanned it, but cannot ommit the text arround the photo, so that the photo will be with little enough pixel to post it and be visible.
If someone more technologically advanged can help, i can send him the photo to make it the appropriate size.
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Old 7th July 2007, 02:33 PM   #55
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I am adding another thread on Black Sea yataghans ( Laz Bicagi, Karadeniz Yataghan.
Andrew wanted to pool them for a "Classic" some time ago.
Andrew, here they are, ready to be pooled.
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002625.html
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Old 8th July 2007, 09:07 PM   #56
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Default Picture ...

Here is the picture from eftihis.


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Old 8th July 2007, 09:39 PM   #57
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Interesting picture. Is it something like a theatrical composition or a real warrior group ? I wonder ,because the guy on right has a Caucassian style flintlock pistol and a flintlock rifle(the guy on left as well),but the sitting guy holds a later model rifle and is equipped with its ammunitions. If it is a 1880s, 1890s or 1900s picture, I wonder if flintlocks of such an old technology, even older than percussions really continued to be functional so late in some parts of Turkey.

The long Trabzon kindjal the sitting guy wears is very nice. Meanwhile the guy on his right holds a b.s.y. hilt, but I think the scabbard form shows that its blade is not a classical b.s.y but a different form?

Last edited by erlikhan : 9th July 2007 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 9th July 2007, 10:09 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I am adding another thread on Black Sea yataghans ( Laz Bicagi, Karadeniz Yataghan.
Andrew wanted to pool them for a "Classic" some time ago.
Andrew, here they are, ready to be pooled.
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002625.html


Thanks, Ariel. Got your PM, also.

I'll link this to the "Classics".
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Old 10th July 2007, 01:57 PM   #59
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Speaking of classic threads, I nominate "Shaver Kool" I & II, and "Ultimate Kampilan (aka 'Look out, Charlie!')."
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Old 10th July 2007, 07:16 PM   #60
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This thread, or for that matter the research and discussion, on these most esoteric edged weapon examples, is indeed classic! I know that I have researched them intermittantly since I acquired my first example in 1996. I had seen them illustrated many years before in the 1962 reference "Schwert Degen Sabel" by Gerhard Seifert, captioned as Kurdish-Armenian yataghans. Later, I found another reference to these in a 1941 article published in Denmark which listed these as Kurdish-Armenian and illustrated examples in a Danish museum provenanced c.1857 to Trebizond.

Years later Mr.Seifert told me he once had one of these with strange markings but no longer had it. I wish I could have seen those markings!!

The Danish article had noted that these were no longer used and seem to have become obsolete for many years, many being found in out buildings etc.
It seems they had a working life from around mid 19th c. to the early 20th at the latest. With what has been discovered since the important examples Ariel reported in Istanbul is most revealing. I must admit that the complexities involving in understanding the ethnic groups and minorities in these regions are perplexing, but extremely fascinating. The history involved in these regions representing so much cultural diffusion is extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, for anyone not deeply involved in ethnic study. It is not hard to understand how specific attribution to a particular group would be difficult at best, however it does seem these weapons were indeed from the Black Sea region.It is rewarding to see that the Trebizond attribution is well placed, and corroborates the provenance found in the early research (the data for the 1941 article seems to derive from that of a Hungarian narrative c.1896).

In research I also discovered that examples of these swords were among holdings in museums in Tblisi, Georgia and it would seem that the Laz associations with Georgia and the Minghrelians would well substantiate such presence. The evidence of these weapons being used by the Pontic Greeks substantiates the Trebizond provenance since this is the region, on the Black Sea coast of Turkey occupied by these people. Since the Laz also occupy these regions the use of the form by both groups seems clear.

It would be interesting since we have discovered the proper provenance of these swords/yataghans/knives (whichever) that we return to studying the curious 'horned' pommel, its meaning? purpose? It has been suggested that of course the Turkish crescent was symbolized; that it was a fertility symbol deriving from early tribal symbolism; even that it was to serve as a gunrest in firing for accuracy. Not all of these interesting examples have the 'horned hilt' and some vary in degree....with this, the study of variants would be interesting, but as we know, speculative.

As for the blades, the distinctive needle point remains in question, and its similarity to that of the flyssa draws significant attention ( as seen in the North African associations). Seifert in his book does show the flyssa parallel to one of these, and the parallel is seen elsewhere as well. While the similarity in the bellied blades and needle point is clear, the association is not. These weapons are both latecomers in their forms, and neither provenance much before the 19th century (the flyssa well established by 1827, the BSY uncertain but likely c.1840's).

It is worthy of note that Erlikan has described these Black Sea swords as associated with the Tatars of the Crimea...this feature on Crimean sabres has been well established...the Greek colonies in Crimea are also well established...and the connection between those colonies and the Pontic Greeks in Trebizon seems given. Perhaps the point of the Tatar sabres influenced the point of these recurved sabres of Trebizond.

It would be interesting to discover more on the association between the BSY, flyssa and Tatar sabres and these distinct points.

Also the symbolism or purpose of the horned hilt.

We have discovered a lot on these! Lets learn more !!

All the best,
Jim


P.S. Shaver Kool, you're goin' down

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 10th July 2007 at 07:39 PM.
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