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Cappadocia'S Rock-Cut Courtyard Complexes: A Case Study For Domestic Architecture In Byzantium

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Chapter Summary

Of all the rock-cut courtyard dwellings recorded thus far from Byzantine Cappadocia, the double-courtyard mansion known as Selime Kalesi presents the largest and most elaborate example in design and decoration. Within its two separate courtyards and associated rooms, we can come to a better understanding of Byzantine domestic architecture and secular use of space. Selime Kalesi, moreover, is only one among fifteen similarly designed residences newly surveyed in the Peristrema Valley, around the modern Turkish villages of Selime and Yaprakhisar in western Cappadocia. These houses are contemporary with one another and together form an entire Middle Byzantine settlement dating from the 10th to 11th centuries. They provide a rare glimpse into the material culture and daily life of Byzantium's famous Anatolian aristocracy.

Keywords: Anatolian aristocracy; Byzantine domestic architecture; Cappadocia; rock-cut courtyard dwellings; Selime Kalesi; Yaprakhisar



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