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Old 30th June 2022, 08:36 PM   #1
DaveF
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Default Another Black Sea Yataghan out of Africa

I acquired this a couple of days ago from a guy who does house clearances. It was part of a bunch of African weapons and artifacts that had been collected in Africa by the parent of one of the elderly couple who had had them for many years at the bottom of a chest. I couldn't help noticing that the decorative binding on the scabbard and the binding on the hilt are very similar to the example identified by Anthony Tirri as African.
The scabbard is partly covered by faux leather (Rexine?), so I'm assuming the scabbard must date from some time after the early 20's.

So, another Laz Bicagi with a link to Africa. Needless to say, I'm very pleased to have it in my collection!
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Old 30th June 2022, 09:07 PM   #2
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I acquired this a couple of days ago from a guy who does house clearances. It was part of a bunch of African weapons and artifacts that had been collected in Africa by the parent of one of the elderly couple who had had them for many years at the bottom of a chest. I couldn't help noticing that the decorative binding on the scabbard and the binding on the hilt are very similar to the example identified by Anthony Tirri as African.
The scabbard is partly covered by faux leather (Rexine?), so I'm assuming the scabbard must date from some time after the early 20's.

So, another Laz Bicagi with a link to Africa. Needless to say, I'm very pleased to have it in my collection!
Hello. Great sword.

Unfortunately Terry was wrong. Today it is known that Laz Bichak is a weapon used in Lazistan. Lazistan is a Georgian historical region inhabited by the Laz people. Today it is part of Turkey and is divided into the provinces of Rize, Artvin, Trabzon.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:36 PM   #3
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Tirry was wrong attributing Laz Bicagi to N.Africa, no doubt.

But we still do not know whence the inspiration for this weapon came.
Tirry based his attribution mainly on two factors: straighten the blade and you will see Algerian Flissa with the needle-point tip and the part of the blade adhering to the handle being virtually identical between the two.
In other words, it is easy to imagine that Lazes serving in North Africa ( and there are evidences that they did) just double-bent the Flissa and got their yataghan-like national weapon. Not for nothing another local name for it is Yataghan Karadeniz, the Black Sea Yataghan.

So Tirri, who was not a dummy, might have had something right about the
“ primeval” Laz Bicagi.
Quite some years ago I visited Askeri Muze and saw several of these strange creations. I asked to speak with the curator, and a young woman named Gozde Yasar casually told me their name and the locality. She was surprised that foreigners never asked these questions. I posted it here and within literally several days Turkish and Greek Forumites posted old photographs from the Trabzon area. That’s how it all started:-) But Tirry’s analysis was never disproved. So, snarky remarks about him are inappropriate. Certain things are more complex than we think and quite stubborn.

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Old 1st July 2022, 12:22 AM   #4
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That is an interesting twist on the possible origins of these, and I agree, Mr, Tirri was notably knowledgeable. Knowing that the Laz, while not involved with the Janissaries and such Ottoman forces, it does seem that they were involved in naval service, and by this same token, did have some reputation in piracy just as many of these ethnic groups who were often involved in outlaw activity. With this being the case, they certainly could have developed the form as a version of the Kabyle 'flyssa' with its needle point and bellied blade. However this is a bit of a tenuous assumption given the well established presence of these through Black Sea regions, into the Caucusus, and only a single example seen from North Africa. The reference to these being versions of the Egyptian khopesh Tirri noted were 'interesting'.

I first acquired one of these about 1996, and these were remarkably obscure, but I found them described in a then not well known article by Jacobsen & Triikman in Denmark in 1941, "Origins of the Shashka". In this it is termed a Kurdish-Armenian yataghan, and was presumably included with its forked pommel compared to the cleft in the shashka hilt. It was noted the example was from Danish collection with provenance to Trebizon c. 1857.

I then found an example shown in "Schwert Degen Sabel" (Gerhard Seifert, 1962) also classified as a Kurdish-Armenian yataghan. ..interestingly he showed the example alongside a flyssa, thereby implying an association but with no further elaboration. When I contacted him and asked how he arrived at the attribution, he told me, from Holger Jacobsen, his mentor.

I found the 1986 Hungarian reference that Jacobsen had used showing a number of these kinds of dramatically recurved blade and cleft pommel swords from regions from the Transcaucusus into the Caucasian regions (where these are also found as per persons I reached in Georgia).

Discussions, research and debates that went on from 1996 and up to the publishing of Tirri's book in 2004 consistently showed these from 'Black Sea regions' as well as Caucasian, but with a single example from North Africa, that attribution faltered for the form overall. That a single anomaly existed with what were said to be possible African letters was however interesting.

When Lee Jones saw these in Istanbul listed as 'Laz bichagi' confirmed some time after by Ariel in his trip to Istanbul well secured these as Laz weapons.
Other posts in threads included photos of these worn by Laz individuals, and in Pontic (Greek founded) areas in Turkey near Black Sea, which accounts for numerous examples in museum in Athens (pictured).

Artzi had examples of weapons from Caucasian regions which apparently had similar leatherwork (even green) and it was noted (in other discussions, not by Artzi) that this argument for these being North African was not necessarily viable.

So it would seem that these were somewhat widely diffused in accord with Laz and perhaps others who might have used them, but the origins remain unclear. What is known is that like the flyssa, it was a relative latecomer to the ethnographic edged weapons group, and as was suggested by a writer here then (as Ham) likely evolved from the Ottoman yataghan independently.

Other versions of these have similar recurved blades without needle point, some have a shallow cleft only rather than the horned forks, so we might wonder if these examples which seem to have evolved in Transcaucasian regions were part of a larger development in form alongside these.As mentioned, Jacobsen included these in his discussion on the shashka, with an apparent focus in part on the 'cleft pommel'. This feature was of course present on Ottoman yataghans but not something that seemed to be popular in North Africa, as seen with the flyssa, with the blade likely evolved from them but clearly not the hilt. So then what in the world did these 'horns' signify?
Could it have been the horns on some Persian maces ? These Black Sea yataghans seem to have Persian influence in the types of fuller or channel patterns and the often chiseled blade backs.
I will try to find the pages of the 1896 Hungarian paper that show some of these.
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Old 1st July 2022, 08:18 AM   #5
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DaveF,
Unfortunately, Tirri wrote his book (not fundamental research, but a pre-sale catalog of his collection) when access to information was limited compared to today. Hence some errors.
Someone can fantasize as much as he like about straightening and bending blades, but facts are stubborn - there are many photos confirming the use of Laz Bichaks in "Turkish Georgia" and not one photo from North Africa. At the same time, French and German ethnographers since the 1800s have written many scientific works with good illustrations on the ethnography of the African population. But you won't find Laz Bichak in them.
So it is worth considering the books of such authors of the recent past as Tirri, Lebedinsky and Jacob (undoubtedly respecting them their work), who wrote their books in the years of limited access to information , with a certain skepticism.
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Old 1st July 2022, 01:14 PM   #6
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Jim,
Thanks for your detailed ( as usual) exposition tracing the development of our knowledge about those peculiar Trabzon swords.
As we see, even well before Tirri Danish authors mulled over their peculiar similarities with Flissa. Nothing definitive, but just a placement into the same illustration….

Tirri was the first to openly advance his hypothesis and present salient points of their similarities. He exercised an imaginative “what if” approach to suggest a transition from the straight blade of Flissa to a peculiar yataghan-like blade of Laz Bichagi. I remember seeing the latter with non-forked pommel, but the Laz lived between the Turks and the Georgians with the idea of a split pommel being organic to them, and they created an exaggerated form of it, something akin to the Zelbek creation of T-pommeled yataghan. The resultant Pontic weapon was fascinating and peculiarly beautiful, but practically it was a dud. Whether its short life span was due to the latter or just to simple fact that it appeared on the scene when swords were on their way out is also not certain.
One can only admire Tirri’s idiosyncratic and imaginative approach. Yes, he was wrong in claiming this weapon’s active life to North Africa but his hypothesis of its origin had not been disproved till now. I am afraid we shall never learn the final truth, but that is not a peculiar occasion in the study of weapons coming late in history in small isolates such as Sardinian Leppa or the so-called Bedouin pseudo-shashka.
Let’s give Tirri his final due.
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Old 1st July 2022, 06:19 PM   #7
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Thanks Ariel,
Its funny to think back then in those late 1990s and all the research. I must admit, then, as always, I have been obsessive about finding out as much as I could on every weapon form I encountered. In fact, Tirri himself in his talk in Baltimore derided my obsessive manner in researching, which was of course because I openly challenged his North African attribution on these intriguing and unusual swords. As I mentioned, by that time I had been deeply researching these for nearly 8 years, and yes, there was limited data on them.

However despite our disagreement I have never put down his efforts and actually commended his book, which is a wonderful book for what it is. It is a great handbook for the grade of weapons which collectors could use for identification by comparing the photos so generously included.

It is true, as with the other authors mentioned, they worked with what they had and published. As Lebedynsky once told me, it takes courage to publish with the prospect of inevitable critics, and said basically, ignore them, just tell people what they need to know. I have always believed that authors place information they have to date, and know full well that rebuttals and new evidence will become known and expect (even encourage) these results.

In Tirri's book I must admit I do not recall that hypothesis being presented (at least in the book), though I'm sure he did have such theories. In the book the only two references were the Russian museum catalog (the khopesh entry) and a sales catalog from a London arms dealer. Actually that dealer, when I asked about the attribution noted openly that his descriptions of course were not always entirely accurate, in a perfectly gentlemanly and bold response.
That, to the best of my knowledge, was the entirety of the description and cited sources for this sword in his book. It has been well known that cites and sources were notably wanting in the book itself, and though not a 'scholarly' work, it serves well as an identification handbook.
I know also that he had several outstanding arms scholars consulting as he compiled the book, and often took exception to their opinions, following instead his own.

As noted, the similarities of these to the flyssa was known some time ago, and by Danish scholars (who seldom get 'their due' as mentioned, in the western theater of arms study). It was likely included in the interesting study by the Hungarian scholar (1896) of these unusual weapons through these Caucasian into Transcaucasian regions.
Like the flyssa itself, the life span of these was short (the earliest known reference to these is 1827) and the earliest known example with provenance I found was 1857. Jacobsen (1941) noted that these were often found in years relatively shortly later in out buildings etc.It seems likely they remained in some degree as traditionally recognized weapons, much as forms in many ethnological settings.

As I earlier noted, my thought is that these evolved in 'Black Sea' regions among the other variations with recurved blades and cleft pommels, and the horned effect had more to do with Persian influences (as with the blade character). As for the needle point, I have always wondered what the origin of this feature was with the flyssa, and I suspect that it may have more to do with Tatar influence. As per Zygulski, Lebedynsky, Ostrowski et al, the saber known as 'ordynka' often carried this feature. Again, the Ottoman tapestry probably brought diffusion of this notable feature.

I'm glad you noted the Zeibek 'T pommel' yataghans which bring to the fore the seeming affinity of these Pontic groups for variation of cleft or unusually shaped pommels, which again supports the regions of origin for this form being as noted, the Black Sea sphere.

Tony Tirri deserves credit for the reference he provided us, which as noted, is great for identification of weapons collectors often encounter, despite the few errors which are inevitable in any published work (including my own posts which are thankfully challenged and corrected).
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Old 1st July 2022, 08:12 PM   #8
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mahratt, ariel, Jim,

Thanks for your comments and for your thorough summary of the work behind the proper identification of the source of these swords, Jim.

When I first saw this sword it reminded me of something I'd seen on the Africanarms.com website: http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?2...tagan-84-cm-gr This included a link to a sword in the British Museum that was collected in Morocco and presented to the museum in 1892: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collec...ct/E_Af-5986-a.

It was only when I saw discussions on here from years ago, proving the sword's home to be in the Trabzon region that I understood why African Arms called it a Black Sea Yataghan.

Is it unusual that a weapon native to the eastern Black Sea should have a few examples emerging out of North Africa? Is it possible that some copies of the original design were made in North Africa, or is my imagination getting the better of me?
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Old 1st July 2022, 08:25 PM   #9
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I found the title of the Hungarian work I referred to, but as yet have not found the illustrations, which show these Transcaucasian forms with cleft pommel but with wide range of blades. It is "A Magyar Faji Vandor Pa'sa" by J. Zichy of Budapest in 1897. In this there are various hilts (I do not recall if forked is present) but the recurved blades are seen on some.

In about 2009, this dramatically recurved and sickle like (recalling the Abyssinian shotel) turned up at auction. It was well appointed with iconography of Armenian theme and termed of course Armenian. The similarity of course is compelling.

I added an example of the Zeibeck type yataghan for illustration in accord with the discussion.

Next is an example of the style hilt with cleft pommel and hilt resemblances to these Laz bichagi. This one was posted several years ago.

Next is my example of these type hilts, but the blade is notable austere and straight (note Caucasian type motif). These hilts seem to have ended up with quite a number of blade variations, including the recurved form of the Laz bichagi.

Early in my own research, perhaps being too imaginitive, I thought the blade looks somewhat like a version of the ancient Assyrian 'sapara' (this is I believe where the knopesh association was from). Further, I had thought the forked (horned) pommel might be a dramatically exaggerated version of the cleft or T style pommels recalling the horns on the Persian 'gorz' (mace) with demon head (and horns). Considering there is an element of Persian influence as always in these areas, it seemed viable somewhat, even if tenuous.
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Old 1st July 2022, 10:33 PM   #10
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mahratt, ariel, Jim,

Thanks for your comments and for your thorough summary of the work behind the proper identification of the source of these swords, Jim.

When I first saw this sword it reminded me of something I'd seen on the Africanarms.com website: http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?2...tagan-84-cm-gr This included a link to a sword in the British Museum that was collected in Morocco and presented to the museum in 1892: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collec...ct/E_Af-5986-a.

It was only when I saw discussions on here from years ago, proving the sword's home to be in the Trabzon region that I understood why African Arms called it a Black Sea Yataghan.

Is it unusual that a weapon native to the eastern Black Sea should have a few examples emerging out of North Africa? Is it possible that some copies of the original design were made in North Africa, or is my imagination getting the better of me?
To paraphrase the famous Latin expression "Viae Domini imperceptae sunt", we can say: "the ways of the swords are inscrutable". Weapons have always been actively moving around the world. So it is not surprising that the sword of Lazes, who, as mentioned above, were sailors, ended up in Morocco. It is also logical that the one who bought Laz Bichak in Morocco (and naturally did not see such a weapon before) decided that this sword was from North Africa.
As an example of unusual "journeys of swords", I suggest looking at this sword in the photo. It is kept in the collection of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg (Russia). We see a Georgian handle and an Indian blade. An unimaginable combination. But nevertheless it exists. And if an Indian blade could have ended up in the Caucasus in the 18th - early 19th centuries, it is not surprising that Laz Bichak ended up in North Africa in the late 19th century
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Old 2nd July 2022, 03:07 AM   #11
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A very wise arms writer once told me, 'ethnographic weapons have no geographic boundaries', as Mahratt has very well explained.
When Mr. Seifert spoke to me regarding the Black Sea yataghan he had (illustrated in his 1962 book "Schwert Degen Sabel" he told me it had 'strange' writing on it. I of course have no idea what that might have been, but it may have been Georgian (some have been seen with this).

The one Tirri had is claimed to have 'African' script on it (if I recall correctly), which was the foundation of his North African attribution for the form.

As has been noted, the Laz were quite 'mobile' and known in numerous regions where these have been found. This does not mean that these were made there, but transported there and possibly inscribed as per its owner. Often these kinds of situations were in diplomatic kinds of matters.
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Old 2nd July 2022, 03:55 AM   #12
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There is nothing “ unimaginable” about the khanda with Caucasian handle. Mindboggling yes, but one should also remember that Tiflis or Gurian kindjals of hign quality have pattern-welded damascus within their fullers closely reminiscent of Indian design.
Indian wootz “ ingots” were imported by Georgian masters, and I have an 18th century Georgian wootz saber blade . There were wootz masters in Georgia well before famous Geurk Elisarashvili who is known to us as the “greatet” Georgian swordsmith simply because he was a purveyor of the royal family. There were others before him.
Georgians fought in Abbas I and Nader Shah’s armies in Afghanistan and India.
Kirill Rivkin in his books about Caucasian arms and the history of Eastern sword mentions presence of Indian blacksmiths in Tiflis.
The exchange went in the opposite direction as well: Daghestani masters supplied their kindjal and shashka blades to Aravia and India in the second half of the 19 century.
Globalization was not invented 10-20 years ago:-)
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Old 2nd July 2022, 04:08 AM   #13
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Jim,
Re. Your mention of a Laz Bichagi thought to be of Kurdish-Armenian origin, in the generally execrable album of weapons from the Russian Ethnographic Museum, #191 is an example of a sword with a typical Laz blade and yataghan-ish “eared” handle, bought in Tashkent ( Uzbekistan) in 1934 and allegedy called “Shoi”. The museum attributed it as “ Front Asia” ( that’s how Central Asia is often called in the Russian literature).
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Old 2nd July 2022, 05:59 PM   #14
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Jim,
Re. Your mention of a Laz Bichagi thought to be of Kurdish-Armenian origin, in the generally execrable album of weapons from the Russian Ethnographic Museum, #191 is an example of a sword with a typical Laz blade and yataghan-ish “eared” handle, bought in Tashkent ( Uzbekistan) in 1934 and allegedy called “Shoi”. The museum attributed it as “ Front Asia” ( that’s how Central Asia is often called in the Russian literature).
Great example. Thank you for remembering. Another proof of how the lack of information limits researchers.
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Old 3rd July 2022, 05:59 AM   #15
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The " Front Asian", allegedly Kazakh, example from Tashkent from the Russian Ethnographic Muzeum was not the only bizarre item from that album.

Items #162 and 163 both with Laz configuration of their blades and eared pommels beat the " Kazakh" one in their astonishing attribution.
One was brought to the muzeum in 1925, another was registered there in 1954. Both were attributed as " Iranians, Kurds", although #163 had yet another potential place of birth: Turkey.

Both blades look suspiciously like reworked Chassepot bayonets. The original Chassepot was slightly yataghan-ish, but both creations exaggerated their double curvatures to caricature-ish proportion. The blade of Chassepot was 57.2 cm, but as the results of extensive "plastic surgery" their lengths ( from base to tip) were shortened to 49 and 55 cm respectively.
Both were given museum labels defining them as " Khopesh". The local weapons gurus in Leningrad never asked themselves a question, how and why Egyptian Khopesh existing as bronze and, later, as iron variant between ~2500 BCE to ~1300 BCE and never appearing anywhere from there on, was reborn 3-4 millennia later out of the blue in Iran or Kurdistan of all places...

The rest of that book was predictably just as illiterate, and the authors expained away their nonsense by : a). not enough time; and b). bureaucratic problems of changing the existing muzeum labels.

Anyone objecting to my use of word "execrable" as an evaluation of that book, might better change his opinion :-((((

Few scientific books and even articles are immediately accepted as 100% correct ( Watson and Crick's paper on the double helix of DNA is a rare exception). But as a minimum, almost any really good academic book will still contain 5% of it as some arguable points. That is how science works.
But publishing a book in which what is new is not right and what is right is not new is simply an exercise in shameless graphomania.
The above book is a stark example of it.

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Old 3rd July 2022, 09:35 AM   #16
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The topic about Laz Bichak imperceptibly turn out the discussion of the Russian catalog "Edged weapons in the collection of the Russian Ethnographic Museum". Surely, there are a lot of errors. But it's very funny that the even bigger mistakes of Tirri', Lebedinsky' and Jacob' books are downplayed, and we have to "pay tribute" to their authors )))) While the Russian catalog is called "execrable")))) It would be fair to create a new topic dedicated to the errors in the catalog of museum and the errors in Tirri's book. We would collectively analyze the errors, compare these errors in percentage terms, and only then make a decision about which of the books is more "execrable")))
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Old 3rd July 2022, 01:05 PM   #17
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Obviously, earlier researchers did commit attributional errors when there was no ironclad information about the objects.

The correct attribution of Laz Bicagi appeared on this Forum in 2004 with several iconographic examples testifying to it.

Tirri's book was already published in 2004, and E. G. Astvatsaturian called high-class Laz Bicagi simply " yataghan of unusual form" in her book on Ottoman weapons published in 2002. They just did not and could not have correct information. They were plainly not informed but definitely not careless.

However, the Ethnographic Muzeum album came out in 2006, when the information was already widely available. Its authors' complaints of insufficient time for careful research and/or muzeum policies betrays their wish to publish obviously slapdash information as soon as possible without even researching ( or ignoring?) the objects. This is a different kettle of fish. Their repeat attributions of Sudanese Kaskara to Arabs ( with a "?" mark), Qajar Revival swords to Kurds and Algerian Flissas as "Chopping weapon. Ethnicity unknown" are even worse: they could have at least consulted the 1934 book by G.C. Stone.
Bad book is worse than no book at all. In the best possible case it is a source of illustrations confusing, rather than educating, the reader.

But let's stop here and go back to the Laz Bicagi.
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Old 3rd July 2022, 01:46 PM   #18
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Go back to the topic it is much better then offtop as usual. But, in fairness, let's before finish discussing. The lack of information hindered researchers of the past, limited them and led to rather naive mistakes. And there is no difference if the authors wrote the book in 2004 in Europe, where the Internet appeared earlier, or in 2006 in Russia, where the Internet appeared later. The common problem of these books is the lack of information and the use of old unverified data. So let's respect the authors of the recent past, no matter if they worked in Europe, Russia or the USA. We need just recognize their mistakes which were made due to lack of information.
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Old 3rd July 2022, 02:20 PM   #19
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Exclamation Be careful please ...

We are again entering contentious areas where there is a high likelihood of heated exchanges that can turn unpleasant.

Errors in earlier texts, even some relatively recent examples, are common in the field of ethnographic arms and armor. If we were to catalog all of the mistakes in every book on the subject, then we would have a substantial series of errata lists. But I doubt that such lists would be very helpful. Forums such as this one are much better vehicles for discussing what is correct, without dwelling on the errors of other sources unduly.

I doubt there are many authors who deliberately publish false information in this field, although there are certainly some who do little research and simply cite the mistakes of others. Some authors lack the resources to do very much research themselves, while others may be lazy or sloppy. It is neither lazy nor sloppy if an author has searched the available literature on a subject, reports a considered opinion based on the available literature, and cites the sources that were consulted in arriving at that opinion. If such a considered opinion is later shown to be wrong, then the author can be excused for making a mistake because it was based on the best information available at the time the opinion was expressed.

Let's not get into whose scholarship is the best. In discussing mistakes made in publications, please address the errors themselves, not the efforts of the authors. Better yet, let's focus on what information is correct going forward!
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Old 4th July 2022, 05:54 PM   #20
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Ian,
There are no contentions regarding collective, country-wise, quality of authorship. I was talking about a particular book written by a particular group of authors.

This book was mercilessly criticized on at least 2 Russian Fora for exactly the same reasons that were mentioned by me, plus some I have omitted, plus some I know little about. The only explanations offered in response were that they did not have enough time to research, and the objections from the muzeum to alter contexts of the existing labels.

Certainly, the authors did not engage in any malicious behavior such as willful falsification.

Please note that I have excluded books of Tirri and Astvatsaturian: their books were published before correct information became available. This is inevitable in any scientific endeavor and the authors, albeit mistaken, are blameless.

As to the access to Internet, both in the US and Russia it became available in the mid-1990’s ( see Wikipedia “Internet history in[country]”). I know it personally, since I communicated with American, European and Russian colleagues and searched their respective auctions and Fora for more than 20 years.

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Old 4th July 2022, 06:15 PM   #21
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some more on the Black Sea Yataghan / Laz Bichaq

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DI6HH9iVxI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeLiqM_jZPc&t=10s

concerning the latter:
The caption below the clip is:
OSMANLI DÖNEMİNE AİT KESİNLİKLE GERÇEK ORJİNAL BİR KILIÇ 1800 LÜ YILLARDA ÜRETİLEN BİR SUİKAST SİLAHIDIR TARİHİ ESERDİR NADİR BULUNAN BİR KILIÇTIR DOĞU KARADENİZ BÖLGESİNDE KULLANILMIŞTIR.

Translation: A REAL ORIGINAL SWORD OF THE OTTOMAN PERIOD IS AN ASSASSINATION WEAPON PRODUCED IN THE YEARS 1800 THE HISTORICAL MONUMENT IS A RARE SWORD USED IN THE EASTERN BLACK SEA REGION.

source : Mr. Gene Wilkinson

and on its people(s): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUT-QYYkXMQ&t=35s
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Last edited by gp; 4th July 2022 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 5th July 2022, 07:53 AM   #22
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I apologize that this post does not contribute to the development of the topic of Laz Bichak, but I take an example from more experienced forum members.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
Ian,
There are no contentions regarding collective, country-wise, quality of authorship. I was talking about a particular book written by a particular group of authors.

This book was mercilessly criticized on at least 2 Russian Fora for exactly the same reasons that were mentioned by me, plus some I have omitted, plus some I know little about. The only explanations offered in response were that they did not have enough time to research, and the objections from the muzeum to alter contexts of the existing labels.

Certainly, the authors did not engage in any malicious behavior such as willful falsification.

Please note that I have excluded books of Tirri and Astvatsaturian: their books were published before correct information became available. This is inevitable in any scientific endeavor and the authors, albeit mistaken, are blameless.

As to the access to Internet, both in the US and Russia it became available in the mid-1990’s ( see Wikipedia “Internet history in[country]”). I know it personally, since I communicated with American, European and Russian colleagues and searched their respective auctions and Fora for more than 20 years.
It looks very funny when the author of a book written in 2004 is forgiven for his mistakes, and a book written 2 years later but in a much larger "information vacuum" is sharply criticized.
If the moderators do not object, I still propose to compare the number of errors in Tirri's book and the catalog of the Ethnographic Museum in order to close this topic once and for all.

When using Wikipedia data, you should be very careful. Information from Wikipedia and reality are very often far apart.



And on topic - beautiful Laz Bichak from the collection of the Historical Museum (Moscow, Russia). Published in the book Astvatsaturyan:
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Last edited by mahratt; 5th July 2022 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 6th July 2022, 12:17 AM   #23
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That is the very same “yataghan of original form” I have mentioned earlier.
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Old 6th July 2022, 07:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
That is the very same “yataghan of original form” I have mentioned earlier.
It is reasonable to name an unfamiliar object with a name that is understandable to everyone that suits it and not invent its origin.
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Old 6th July 2022, 08:06 AM   #25
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Please see my post #20: that was exactly the reason why I hold Astvatsaturian blameless.

Last edited by Ian; 6th July 2022 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 6th July 2022, 10:27 AM   #26
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Astvatsaturian simply did not have any information about this item. So she used such an evasive formulation.
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Old 6th July 2022, 11:29 AM   #27
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some more background pics on the people and their history

Lazistan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMiMxHQroJM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUT-QYYkXMQ
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Old 6th July 2022, 12:29 PM   #28
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Exclamation Thread closed ...

Persistent bickering on issues peripheral to this topic indicates that thoughtful discussion has been exhausted. The thread is now closed.
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