To begin where we left off we decided to show the V&A textile again because it is such a key piece to understand the iconography of not only certain Turkmen rugs but other types as well.
Perhaps one day RK will spend some effort to demonstrate why we believe its iconography is so important but for now let’s get down and finish what we started in this discussion.
RK trusts, after what we have written, our belief the Saryk MC and the Anatolian fragment are related, and closely so, is now shared by some, if not most, of our readers.
And although we could continue to substantiate this we believe it would be overkill for those who already accept it and a waste of our time for those who don’t.
When we began this exercise we mentioned presenting a “novel concept” concerning Turkmen gol, as well as how we felt it could reaffirm part of Moshkova’s now basically repudiated theories.
We must state before we continue what follows is only presented as well-informed opinion; it is not fact, nor are we 100 percent sure it is, in its entirety, correct.
However and that said, we do believe certain premise, if not the whole, will as time goes on prove to be valid.
The first premise* is one that can proven through proper scientific analysis while the others we list are art historical analysis and not scientifically provable.
1.* As we have already stated, we believe the Anatolian fragment above is a Turkmen rug made in Anatolia soon after Turkmen weavers arrived, circa 14th century.
2. In many respects it’s a fascinating survivor and perhaps the most remarkable is that both gol it displays have the same outline/shape, an octagon, but different interior treatments.
3. That outline/shape, an octagon, is repeated in many later Turkmen gol -- the Gulli-gol and the Tauk Naska as well as the far more rarely seen Timurchin. It is also suggested/implied in all others(more about this keep reading)
4. RK knows of no other early, pre-1800, Turkmen carpet with this type of gol setup; one with a single gol with two entirely different interiors.
5. The fact the interior of one is exactly like a Memling gol and the other has a substantial number of elements found in the Timurchin has lead us to the idea this fragment is the earliest known “Turkmen” rug ancestor.
6. Also we believe, as stated earlier, because it shares so many parallel with the Saryk Timurchin MC it is the ancient archetype.
If these premise prove correct the following conclusion, which is our novel concept, might as well.
1. Originally all Turkmen gol, which are today considered emblems of group identity, had the same octagon outline, like the Gulli-gol or the ones on the Anatolian fragment.
2. It was the interior of this universal gol that displayed each group’s specific emblem and identification, not the gol itself as we believe today.
3. It was from this scheme the multitude of historic period and later Turkmen gol and their static, rote interiors developed.
That’s the novel concept, one that is extremely logical as in almost every instance in human history we can think of it’s the center that carries the message and not the edge or outline.
It has also become apparent to us the progressive proliferation of gol, plus the myriad of ancillary motif, in later weavings was not the case in the earliest archetype examples we have identified.
What does this have to do with Moshkova and her ideas?
After reading her work it is clear the idea of live versus dead gol was an important and central part of her theorizing. Was she correct but for the wrong reasons?
Could the Anatolian fragment’s Memling iconography move, from within the interior of the octagon to become the gol we now recognize, signify it became a dead gol like those Moshkova posited?
And could the fact a gol like the Timurchin, which kept its octagonal outline and complex interior, signify it remained a live one?
Could this be the reason there are so few Timurchin gol rugs, and only in the Saryk clan? And could it explain the myriad of groups using the memling gol?
RK believes this explain why every Turkmen gol is either an octagon or suggests it developed from one? Here are several types of gol where we show the suggested octagon.
three early gol numbered to show the suggested/implied octagon outlines
This also explains why the earliest forms of each gol are rounder and get progressively less so as they continued to be woven by later weavers.
According to our novel concept this gradual compression happened because later weavers, of dead gol, did not know the original gol had octagonal outlines.
Moshkova’s concept of live and dead gol always seemed quite valid to us but we found her explanation for it wanting to say the least.
Our novel gol concept, if it is correct, adds that missing logic. And the more we analyze it, the more we believe it is correct.