The City and Brooch
In Evliya Çelebi`s travelbook "...The vineyards and gardens of Şehr-i Uşşak (The City of the Ballads) are many loved and be loved because of the beauty of the air and water. Those who stay in this city for two days fall in love on the third day..." Uşak, which ancient name is "Temenothyrea", is located in the region connecting Western and Central Anatolia in the Inner Aegean Region. It is understood that Uşak and his surroundings were opened for settlement since 4000 BC. Especially in the Bronze age, it is seen that settlement is becoming more common. In 2000 BC, the Hittites formed the first political union in Anatolia, and in 1000 BC, Uşak and its surroundings, which formed the western border of the Phrygians, were under the influence of Ionia culture rather than these cultures. With the capture of the Lydian Empire by King Gyges in the 7th century BC, Uşak, which most of its lands remained in Lydia, was completely entered into the domination of the Lydia in 620 BC. In 546 BC, as a result of the deletion of Lydia from the history, the region came under the rule of the Persians.
Persian domination continued until 334 BC. At this time as a result of Alexander the Great’s campaign to Anatolia, the region was dominated by Alexander the Great like all of Anatolia, and after Alexander’s death, the region was given a share of Antigonos, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Later, Uşak and its surroundings which was became affiliated with the kingdom of Bergama for a while came under Roman rule in 189 BC, and as a result of the of the Roman Empire went into division, Uşak remained within the borders of Eastern Rome, it remained under Byzantine rule until the 12th century.
After 1071, the region changed hands between the Seljuks and the Byzantines from time to time, and in 1176 it passed to the Seljuks as a result of the Miryakefalon (Kumdanlı) War between The Seljuk Sultan Kilicarslan II and the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos. Uşak and its surroundings, which were put under the command of Germiyans during the period of principalities, were included in the Ottomans in 1391 when Yıldırım Bayezid ended the rule of Germiyans. During the Interregnum, principalities were revived, and in 1429, it was left to the Ottoman Empire by the will of the last ruler of the Germiyans, Yakup Bey II. According to the administrative division made after Uşak came under Ottoman domination, it became a district of Kütahya Sanjak, which is connected to the Anatolian Province. Uşak, which was occupied by Greek forces on 29th of August 1920 was saved from occupation on 1st of September 1922 by the Great Offensive led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Uşak remained as a district of Kütahya province in the administrative arrangement made with the constitution the law no. 491 of the Republic of Turkey dated 20th of April 1924 and it became a province with the law no. 6129 dated 9th of July 1953.
The city, which is also known as “The City of Firsts” with its first use of money and the first volleyball competition, the first electricity use, the first sugar factory, the first javelin competition, the first childre`s library, the first railroad, the first television and the first cadew factory titles which is the pioneer in the Anatolia and The Republic of Turkey. And the city has a reputation that has crossed the border of the country throughout history with its Uşak Carpets and Uşak Houses. The city is also surrounded by the Taşyaran Valley, which draws attention with its natural riches and uniqueness of its pastoral aesthetics, especially the Ulubey Canyon, which is among the largest canyons in the world.
Among the cultural riches of the city adorned with Clandras Bridge, Blandous Ruins, Roman Baths and mosques, especially Burma Mosque, the world-famous Karun Treasures is undoubtedly one step ahead. The Winged Seahorse Brooch, that is the rarest piece of the Karun Treasures in Uşak, which is the starting point of the discourse “As Rich as Karun” has become a universal expression. And it is literally “peerless” and “unique”.
The compilations about the Winged Seahorse Brooch, which is the most famous and enriching object of the Karun Treasures and named our festival and our awards and exhibited in the Uşak Archeology Museum today, are like an evocatory call;What the Winged Seahorse (Hippocampus) Brooch Tells:
The hippocampus is a sea creature, depicted with or without wings, consisting of half a horse and half a fish. There is no myth of its own specific birth in Grec mythology. It serves Poseidon with other sea creatures. Originally, the creature with a body consisting of horse and fish tail is not found in eastern arts. However, creatures consisting of fish and human fusion are figures placed in Mesopotamian art in Neo Assyrian and Neo Babylonian periods to create protective magic as statues or reliefs at the entrances of temples and palaces.
This figure, which is the first example for Triton (Son of Poseidon and Amphitrite) and similar mermans seen in Greek Art, is described as “kukullu” (the fish man) in Assyrian Art. Probably, Hippokampus should have been developed inspired by the Triton figure. However, the mythology developed for the Triton was not developed for the Hippocampus and similar creatures. Hippocampus never took a place with Gods such as Triton, but only served as a mount. It is especially seen as a mount of Poseidon, Nereids, Nereus and Eros. Like Hippocampus, Pegasus also served Zeus. While creatures that contain human beings such as Hippocampus, Triton and Skylla are sometimes considered equal with Gods and portrayed together, creatures that do not contain a human factor have not gone beyond the tools used by Gods or heroes. Thus, creatures like Hippocampus must have served as a bridge between humans and Gods.Ömer Aşçı
A unique brooch in the form of a Hippocampus (mythological creature with a horse in the front of the body and a fish in the back of the body) takes us to the mythologies of Ancient Greece and challenges our imagination. It adorned with conical pomegranate fruit pendulum groups which is covered with colored glass.Reference: Lydia - Uşak Karun Treasure and Tumulus They Were Found / page: 90-91
One of the most beautiful works we have found was a badge. It was like a matchbox size which made of gold, with a horse head on the front, a fish tail on the back, also it had wings. There were three pendulums at the bottom, and three more pendulums attached to them. It was embossed on one side and had a long needle to be attached to the dress on the back. Between the melted and powdered bones of the dead, there were small nail sized gold flakes mixed together. I swept them all over the bed and stuffed into my boot.Reference: Uşak in the Light of Surface Explorationand and Excavations - 2017 Page: 56
The Winged Sea Horse (Hippocampus) brooch must have been produced by an Ionian master at the gold workshops in the ancient city of Sardis (The Capital of Lydia). The brooch was shaped with the repousse technique. Its mane, wing feathers and fins of the fish part and the tail were concretized with lines processed with the scraping technique. Pendants in the form of pomegranate fruit are attached to the ends of the three groups of pendulums under the brooch and stone parts of pomegranates are adorned with conical glass stones. The number and quality of workmanship of this magnificent brooch and other gold artifacts which was found in the Toptepe Tumulus are considered to be an indicator that the grave belongs to an elite woman.Height with pendant: 3.4 cm Width: 2 cm Weight: 14.3 g Reference: Lydia - Uşak Karun Treasure and Tumulus They Were Found 2010, page: 90-92