Two Little-known Funerary Monuments in the Province of Gümüşhane
Keywords: Gümüşhane, Funerary Monument, Pir Ahmed Tomb, Çağırgan Baba Tomb, Bayburt
One of the two little-known funerary monuments in the province of Gümüşhane is the tomb (kümbet) of Pir Ahmed, located in the village of Pirahmet, and the other is the tomb of Çağırgan Baba found in the municipality of Tekke. Up to the present, the tomb in the village of Pirahmet has been identified as the resting place of one Pir Ahmed, a member of the Karamanoğulları dynasty, and which, according to the inscription on the interior, was contructed in A.D. 1550/H. 957. Research findings and observation now reveal not only that it is impossible for this funerary monument to be attributed as belonging to Karamanoğlu Pir Ahmed, but also that he was unrelated to the Akkoyunlu dynasty and, further, that the relation of the inscription to the funerary monument is restricted to the coincidence of its location alone. Taking into consideration factors of historical geography and its architectural features, the tomb-whose proposed commemoration should be "The Unknown Tomb"-may be ascribed to the second half of the twelfth century or the early thirteenth century. The circumstance that the entrance to the tomb and the burial chamber leads from the mosque and stands directly before the entrance to the mosque constitutes the third known such example in Turkic art and the second such specimen appearing in Anatolian Turkish art. In the light of its inscription, the construction of the tomb of Çağırgan Baba located in the municipality of Tekke may be dated to A.D. 1582/H. 990. This tomb, to which an addition was subsequently built adjacent to the entrance, exhibits vernacular features very remote from those characteristic of Ottoman architecture of the period. Both funerary monuments are simple and lack ornamentation.