Tarık Baykara



Unrivaled Turkish Sword With A Unique Design: “Υataghan”

pdf PDF



“Yataghan”, a unique and unparalleled sword design with its inverse curved or concave shape blade could be traced through the history back to the kurgan culture of the Central Asian steppes dating to 2000-3000 BCE. Widely used during the Ottoman period in the Anatolian penninsula and in the Balkans, it was a traditional weapon used by janissaries-Ottoman infantry soldiers, levents-Ottoman marines and zeibecks-chivalrous gangs of the Aegean Region. The typical inverse curved shape was found in the Northern Ordos bronze blades of the Hunnic-Turkic heritage and evolution of the form can be traced through the ages into the final destination into the town of Yatagan located in southwest Turkey, greater city of Denizli and the town is still very famous for its blacksmithing. Therefore, the 5000 years old tradition could be followed for yataghans based on archeological excavations in the Northern Ordos Region, the Syberian steppes and the Inner Mongolia. A detailed investigation on the geometrical shapes and forms of both “yataghan” and “kinglu” blades (The Northern Ordos bronze blades) could reveal the evolutionary progress of these swords during the ages.



Yataghan, swords, yataghan blade, inverse blade



[1]. Ali Vehbi Aykota “Acıpayam: Garbikaraağaç halkının asırlık tarihçesi; Köylerimize serpilen maarif ışığının temeli Yüreğil’de nasıl kuruldu, 1915” Avrasya Etnografya Yayınları, Bursa/Orhangazi 2011-2. Baskı (in Turkish)

[2]. Tuncer Baykara, “Yatağan: Her şeyi ile tarihi yaşatma denemesi” Inst. For the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Japan, 1984 (in Turkish)

[3]. “Synopsis of Zhou (Chou) Story” eds.: M. Loeuwe, E.L. Shaughnessy, “The Cambridge History of Ancient China:From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC” © Cambridge University Press 1999, ISBN 9780521470308 The Northern Frontier in Pre-Imperial China (1,500 - 221 BC) by Nicola Di Cosmo, Harvard University

[4]. F. Hirth, “The Ancient History of China”, New York 1911, s.67

[5]. Talat Tekin, “Hunların Dili” Doruk Yayınları, 1993 (in Turkish)

[6]. Bahaeddin Ögel “Türk Kılıncının Menşe ve Tekamülü Hakkında” Ankara Üniversitesi Tarih Dergisi, VI, p. 431- 460, Ankara 1948 (in Turkish)

[7]. Robert Bagley, Shang Archaeology (in China, 1600 - 1145 BC) Early Bronze Age Archaeology. The Northern Zone (South Siberia) , Princeton University, “Synopsis of Zhou (Chou) story” eds.: M. Loeuwe, E.L. Shaughnessy, “The Cambridge History of Ancient China:From the Origins of Civilization to 221BC” © Cambridge University Press 1999

[8]. A. Zeki Velidi Togan “Umumi Türk Tarihine Giriş” Edebiyat Fakültesi Basımevi, İstanbul 1970 (in Turkish)

[9]. “THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF NORTH EAST CHINA: Beyond the Great Wall” Edited by Sarah Milledge Nelson, London and New York

[10]. Barbara SEYOCK “Jeju Island as a Case Study in Ancient Island-Mainland Interaction” The Beijing 2008 papers, Panel: Island Archaeology in East Asia – Interaction and Isolation (Barbara SEYOCK) Bulletin of the Society for East Asian Archeology, vol 2 (2008)

[11]. Bahaettin Ögel “Türk Mitolojisi-I” Türk Tarih Kurumu (in Turkish)

[12]. Mehmet Fahri Furat “A Brief Sudy on Swords” Şarkiyat Mecmuası, 1998, sayı: VIII, s 319

[13]. Esat Ulumay “Gerçek Türk Kılıcı: Yatağan” Yatağan Dergisi, Haziran- Temmuz 1992 (in Turkish)

Cite this paper

Tarık Baykara. (2017) Unrivaled Turkish Sword With A Unique Design: “Υataghan”. International Journal of Cultural Heritage, 2, 149-163


Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0