Mama Hatun Kümbedi
Tercan, Türkiye

The tomb is located at the city center of Tercan, across from the caravanserai of Mama Hatun. It is thought to belong to Mama Hatun, a daughter of Izz al-din Saltuk II who headed the Erzurum-based Saltukid Emirate between 1191 and 1201. There are no inscriptive plaques to confirm this attribution, and the tomb has been otherwise dated to the mid or late thirteenth century. The architect's name, Ebu'n-Nema bin Mufaadalü'l-Ahvel of Ahlat, is inscribed on either side of the portal recess. It has been thoroughly restored by the General Directorate of Religious Endowments (Vakiflar Genel Müdürlügü).

The tomb consists of a cylindrical tower enveloped by a circular fortification that is 4.60 meters tall and 17.35 meters in diameter. Its west-facing portal rises 2.40 meters above the fortifications. The shallow doorway of the portal is crowned by a tall muqarnas hood and flanked by embedded columns. Its arched frame is inscribed in kufic style with a verse from the Ihlas sura. A second Quranic plaque is set above the doorway, while the names of the prophet and four caliphs adorn the capitals of the flanking columns. The elaborate geometric carvings of the portal frame have only survived in sections.

A series of steps lead down from the portal into the stone-paved tomb courtyard. The courtyard walls are carved with eleven deep niches, one of which holds a carved stone sarcophagus from 1247. Two narrower niches flank the portal; the one to the right has a fountain while the other contains the staircase leading to the top of the four-and-a-half-meter-thick fortifications.

The cylindrical tomb tower is centered inside the courtyard and raised on an octagonal base enclosing a square crypt. Seven steps lead up to the southwest-facing tomb portal while a second staircase under the portal landing leads down into the crypt. Its exterior is braced by eight semi-circular buttresses, giving it an undulating profile emphasized with a thick cornice. The interior, which is dimly lit with three windows, is carved with eight semi-circular niches that correspond to the projecting buttresses. It is covered with an umbrella vault with eight ribs, capped by conical crown on the exterior at ten and a half meters. The surface of the lead-covered crown undulates with the tower's walls. The crypt is covered with a cross-vault.


Bayrak, M. Orhan. Türkiye Tarihi Yerler Kilavuzu, 211-212. Istanbul, Turkey: Inkilap Kitabevi, 1994.

Önkal Hakki. Anadolu Selçuklu Türbeleri, 437-442. Ankara, Turkey: Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu, 1996.

City center, Tercan, Türkiye
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Associated Names
Associated Collections
mid or late 13th c./8th c. AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Mama Hatun Tomb
Mama Hatun Kumbedi
Building Usages