Robert W. Edwards

Volume 1:

A Descriptive Catalogue with the Collected Photographs and Plans of Armenian, Byzantine, Crusader, and Georgian Fortifications, Churches, and Monasteries in Cilicia and Eastern Turkey from the Archives of Robert W. Edwards


Compiled and Described by Robert W. Edwards


© 2019, Robert W. Edwards


All rights are reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright conventions.

Robert W. Edwards, the owner, creator and copyright holder, authorizes without his written permission all scholars to use and reproduce the photographs and plans herein for their research and publications as long as they cite the creator and years created.

Robert W. Edwards can be reached via the Contact page.


All photographs, plans, and maps were scanned into high-resolution digital images at Mike’s Camera, Inc., in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A., under the direction of Jirair Christianian, whose voluntary efforts made this project a reality.



Table of Contents




Abbreviations for Frequently Cited Bibliographical References
Sites by Robert W. Edwards




My contribution to this Website is made to publicize the plight of monuments endangered by neglect and intentional abuse.  On several occasions, I have witnessed Byzantine churches and Crusader fortifications dismantled for their masonry as well as the deliberate destruction of Armenian inscriptions and frescoes.  The Crypt of the Patriarchs in the Basilica of St. James at Saimbeyli recently served as the receptacle for a latrine.  The reader is invited to compare my photographs of the magnificent Georgian cathedral at Penek with recent images posted on the World Wide Web.  Future generations will hold us responsible for the loss of this heritage.

I hope that Volume One of The Christian Architecture of the Levant will provide a basic model for other contributors to submit their work, whether they focus on one Christian civilization or several.  Although my primary focus is Armenia, many fine examples of Byzantine, Crusader, and Georgian architecture are included because those sites were either repaired by Armenians or in close proximity to Armenian settlements.  Brief descriptions for the 118 medieval (A.D. 7th– 15th century) fortifications, churches, and monasteries accompany the digital scans of over 2,800 photos, 4 maps, and 111 surveyed plans.  Sites are catalogued by their present Turkish names.  Pre-modern toponyms are listed in square brackets when securely known and all are searchable.  Publications on the architectural features in the plans and photos are provided in the references (“Ref:”) given for each site.  This catalogue does not include remains from the late antique period (A.D. 3rd– 7th century) unless those sites were later rebuilt or occupied by the Armenians, Byzantines, Crusaders, or Georgians.  This material, which was collected between 1973 and 1983, is divided into two general categories: Cilicia and Eastern Turkey.  The 84 locations in Cilicia and its environs are organized alphabetically.  The 34 sites in Eastern Turkey are divided into three geographical zones: the Marchlands, the Pontos, and the core area of Historic Armenia.  In the last group there are only five settlements.  The choice of sites is eclectic, often dependent on circumstances ranging from weather, finances, accessibility, and the interference by local authorities.

Regarding the photographs, the sequence of catalogue numbers is interrupted by “Missing” images in only a few cases, due primarily to borrowers failing to return the negative or positives to me.  In some cases, especially for the Pontos, photographs that appear in my publications are not reproduced here because the copyright was transferred to a publisher.  To give some sense of the scale for the architectural features, I have occasionally included unnamed local visitors in the photographs as well as my co-surveyors and even myself.  The maps preceding most sections will provide a geographical context for the vast majority of places in this catalogue.  The latitude and longitude given for each site are derived from the Google maps platform, but there may be minor errors in the reported locations.

By allowing unrestricted access to my archives I hope to encourage others to explore these subjects.  My expectation is that researchers will reevaluate this material, discover features that I missed, and correct my errors.  With the directions provided in my references, improved sanitary conditions in Turkey, and access via new paved roads, on site investigation is now easier and will yield significantly more information.  My work was at times done rapidly and mistakes were unavoidably made.  Some of the more adventurous scholars may find the inspiration to locate unpublished medieval sites (e.g., Ref: Settlements, pp. 232-243).  Recently, the explorer Régis Crozat published in his study of southern Turkey a brief description with photos of five hitherto unsurveyed medieval fortresses in Cilicia (Châteaux oubliés et cités disparues, Paris, 2016).  Jirair Christianian continues with his systematic reevaluation and publication of many new sites in Cilicia (e.g., “The Inscription at Tamrut Castle: The Case for a Revision of Armenian History,” Le Muséon 132 (1-2), 2019).

I am extremely impressed with the quality of the photographic reproductions on this Website. However, some of the color images were scanned from transparencies, which were themselves duplicated reproductions, leading to an unavoidable lack of quality. They are included because they still provide valuable information.

Robert W. Edwards

March, 2019


Robert W. Edwards (1949 - ), a California native and Vietnam-era veteran, completed his M.A. in Classics and Ancient History at San Francisco State University in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Late Antique Archaeology and Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. That year he relocated to Washington, D.C., where he was elected a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University's Center for Byzantine Studies. Two years later Edwards was appointed an Associate Scholar by the Center's Trustees. He has been a Visiting Professor in the History Department of the Catholic University of America and in the Department of Art at the University of Chicago. He has authored dozens of publications, including the monographs: The Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia (Washington, D.C. 1987); Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies (hardcopy: Oakland 2012; reprinted online: 2016); and Pedro de Lemos - Lasting Impressions: Works on Paper, 1910-1945 (Worcester, Mass. 2015). He was a frequent contributor to the Dumbarton Oaks Papers and to the Paris-based Revue des Études Arméniennes. He composed thirty articles on Armenia, Eastern Turkey, and Cilicia for the Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology (Grand Rapids, Michigan 2018). Institutions that have funded his travel, research, and publications include the: J. Paul Getty Trust; British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Université Catholique de Louvain; Trustees for Harvard University; and Università di Bologna. After he retired from active field work in Turkey he turned his attention to the study of the art colonies in northern California. He was the curator for the exhibition Lasting Impressions - Pedro de Lemos at the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California (April - September 2015) and at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University, Palo Alto (September - December 2017).

Abbreviations for Cited Bibliographical References


Aghtʽamar = Sirarpie Der Nersessian, Aghtʽamar, Church of the Holy Cross, Cambridge, Mass., 1965


Akkale = Robert W. Edwards, “The Domed Mausoleum at Akkale in Cilicia,” Byzantinoslavica: Revue Internationale des Études Byzantines 50, 1989


Alahan = Mary Gough, ed., Alahan: An Early Christian Monastery in Southern Turkey, Toronto, 1985


Amida = Christina Maranci, “The Art and Architecture of Amida (Diarbekir) and Edessa (Urfa),” in Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., Armenian Tigranakert/Diarbekir and Edessa/Urfa, Costa Mesa, California, 2006


Anazarbos = R. Posamentir, “Anazarbos in Late Antiquity,” Archaeology and the Cities of Asia Minor in Late Antiquity, eds., O. Dally and C. Ratté, Ann Arbor, 2011


Anazarbus = M. Gough, “Anazarbus,” Anatolian Studies 2, 1952


Antioche =  P. Jacquot, Antioche, vol. 1, Antakya, 1931


Armenia = Nicholas Adontz, Armenia in the Period of Justinian: The Political Conditions based on the Naxarar System, trans. with partial revisions, a bibliographical note and appendices by Nina Garsoïan, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Press, Lisbon, 1970


Bağras = Robert W. Edwards, “Bağras and Armenian Cilicia: A Reassessment,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 17, 1983


Basilique = S. Eyice, “La basilique de Canbazli en Cilicie,” Zograf 10, 1979


Burgen = Hansgerd Hellenkemper, Burgen der Kreuzritterzeit in der Grafschaft Edessa und im Königreich Kleinarmenien, Rudolf Habelt Verlag GMBH, Bonn, 1976


Burgruine = W. Heffening, “Eine Burgruine im Taurus,” Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 45, 1925


Byzantine = Anthony Bryer and David Winfield, The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos, 2 vols., Dumbarton Oaks Studies Twenty, Dumbarton Oaks: Trustees for Harvard University, Washington D.C., 1985


Canbazlı = O. Feld, “Die Kirche in Canbazli in Rauhen Kilikien,” Festschrift für J. Langner, eds., K. Bauckers and A. Jaeggi, Münster, 1997


Castles = Wolfgang Muller-Wiener, Castles of the Crusaders, trans. J. Maxwell Brownjohn, Thames and Hudson Publishers, London, 1966


Châteaux = Régis Crozat, Châteaux oubliés et cités disparues: Sur les routes de l’Orient, Paris, 2016


Churches = Robert W. Edwards, “Two New Byzantine Churches in Cilicia,” Anatolian Studies 32, 1982


Cilician = The Cilician Kingdom of Armenia, ed., T. S. R. Boase, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1978


Cilicie  = D. Feissel, “Deux grandes familles isauriennes du Ve siècle d’après des inscriptions de Cilicie Trachée,” Mitteilungen zur christlichen Archäologie 5, 1999


Commonality = James Petre, “Commonality in Crusader Construction in Armenian Cilicia and Cyprus: The Case for Kantara and the Catalyst of Korykos,” Crusader Landscapes in the Medieval Levant: The Archaeology and History of the Latin East, eds. M. Sinibaldi et al., University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 2016


Constantin =  Maxime Goepp, Claude Mutafian, et Agnès Ouzounian, “L’Inscription du Régent Constantin de Papeṙōn (1241),” Revue des Études Arméniennes 34, 2012


Crusader = Robin Fedden and John Thomson, Crusader Castles, John Murray Publishers, London, 1957


Doğubeyazit = Robert W. Edwards, “The Fortress at Doğubeyazit (Daroynk‘),” Revue des Études Arméniennes 18, 1984


Donjon = Robert W. Edwards, “The Crusader Donjon at Anavarza,” Abstracts of the 10thAnnual Byzantine Studies Conference, Cincinnati, 1984


Drazark = Jirair Christianian, “The Discovery of the Medieval Armenian Monastery of Drazark in Kıbrıslar, Cilicia”, Revue des Etudes Arméniennes 39, 2020


Ecclesiastical 1 = Robert W. Edwards, “Ecclesiastical Architecture in the Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia: First Report,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 36, 1982


Ecclesiastical 2 = Robert W. Edwards, “Ecclesiastical Architecture in the Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia: Second Report,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 37, 1983


Eerdmans = The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology, 3 vols., ed., Paul C. Finney, William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2017


Erzurum = Rahmi Unal, Les Monuments islamiques anciens de la ville d’ Erzurum et de sa région, Paris, 1963


Expedition = Robert W. Edwards, The Uncensored Account of the Perilous 1979 Expedition to Save Armenian Monuments in Cilicia, Turkey, Kindle Edition (Amazon Online), 2016


Fortifications = Robert W. Edwards, The Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia, Dumbarton Oaks Studies Twenty-Three, Dumbarton Oaks: Trustees for Harvard University, Washington D.C., 1987


Fortificazioni = F. De’Maffie, “Fortificazioni di Giustiniano sul limes orientale. Monumente e fonti,” The 17th International Byzantine Congress, Major Papers, Washington D.C., 1986


Geography = W. M. Ramsay, The Historical Geography of Asia Minor, Royal Geographical Society, London, 1890, reprint: New York, 1972


Hierapolis= M. Sayar et al., Inschriften aus Hierapolis-Kastabala, Vienna, 1989


Iranica =  Encyclopaedia Iranica, 45 vols., eds. E. Yarshater and Elton Danielr, Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, New York, 1985-2019 


Isauria = S. Hill, The Early Byzantine Churches of Cilicia and Isauria, Aldershot, 1966


Islam = Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed., 4 vols., eds. M. Th. Houtsma et al., 1954-2005


Karatepe = Helmut T. Bossert and U. Bahadır Alkım, Karatepe: Kadirli ve dolayları, Pulhan Basimevi, Istanbul, 1947


Karin = Christina Maranci, “The Architecture of the Karin/Erzerum Region,” in Richard G. Hovannisian, ed.,  Armenian Karin/Erzerum, Costa Mesa, California, 2003


Kars = Jean Michel Thierry, La Cathédrale des Saints-Apôtres de Kars, Louvain, 1963


Kilikien = J. Gottwald, “Burgen und Kirchen im mittleren Kilikien,” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 41, 1941


Korykos = E. Herzfeld and S. Guyer, Meriamlik und Korykos, vol. 2, Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua, Manchester, 1930


Lampron = F. C. R. Robinson and P. C. Hughes, “Lampron – Castle of Armenian Cilicia,” Anatolian Studies 19, 1969


Legacy = David Kertmenjian, “Armenian City Quarters and the Architectural Legacy of the Pontus,” in Richard G. Hovannisian, ed.,  Armenian Pontus: The Trebizond-Black Sea Communities, Costa Mesa, California, 2009


Lewon = Samvel Grigoryan, “Named for Lewon the Young: The Medieval Name and Date of Construction of Yılankale,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 37, 2016-2017


Mamluks = Angus Donal Stewart, The Armenian Kingdom and the Mamluks: War and Diplomacy during the Reigns of Het’um II (1289-1307), Brill: Leiden, 2001


Marchlands 1 = Robert W. Edwards, “Medieval Architecture in the Oltu-Penek Valley: A Preliminary Report on the Marchlands of Northeast Turkey,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 39, 1985


Marchlands 2 = Robert W. Edwards, “The Fortifications of Artvin: A Second Preliminary Report on the Marchlands of Northeast Turkey,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 40, 1986


Marchlands 3 = Robert W. Edwards, “The Vale of Kola: A Final Preliminary Report on the Marchlands of Northeast Turkey,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 42, 1988


Paintings = G. Millet and Talbot Rice, Byzantine Paintings in Trabzon, London, 1938


Pontos = Robert W. Edwards, “The Garrison Forts of the Pontos: The Case for the Diffusion of the Armenian Paradigm,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 19, 1985


Reallexikon  = Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst, 7 vols., eds., Klaus Wessel and Marcell Restle, Anton Hiersemann Publishers, Stuttgart, 1966-2019


Reise = Theodor Kotschy, Reise in der cilicischen Taurus, Gotha, 1858


Şebinkarahisar = Robert W. Edwards, “The Fortress of Şebinkarahisar,” Corso di Cultura sull’Arte Ravennate e Bizantina 32, 1985


Séléfké = J. Langendorf and G. Zimmermann, “La forteresse de Séléfké (Turquie),” Genava 12, 1964


Servantikar = Paul Deschamps, “Le chateau de Servantikar en Cilicie,” Syria 18, 1937


Settlements = Robert W. Edwards, “Settlements and Toponymy in Armenian Cilicia,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 24, 1993


Sissouan = Fr. Ghevond Alishan, Sissouan ou l’Arméno-Cilicie. Description géographique et historique, Venice, 1899


Studien = S. Eyice, “Akkale,” Studien zur spätantiken und byzantinischen Kunst, eds. O. Feld and U. Peschlow, vol. 1, Bonn, 1986


Tamrut = Jirair Christianian, “The Inscription at Tamrut Castle: The Case for a Revision of Armenian History,” Le Muséon 132 (1-2), 2019


Three = G. R. Youngs, “Three Cilician Castles,” Anatolian Studies 15, 1965


Tao= Nicole Thierry, “Les peintures historiques d’Oškʼi (Tʼao),” Revue des Études Géorgiennes et Caucasiennes 2, 1986


Til = J. Gottwald, “Die Burg Til im südöstlichen Kilikien,” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 40, 1940


Trabzon = Robert W. Edwards, “Armenian and Byzantine Religious Practices in Early Fifteenth-Century Trabzon,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 23, 1992


Vahga = J. G. Dunbar and W. W. M. Boal, “The Castle at Vahga,” Anatolian Studies 14, 1964


Yılan = Robert W. Edwards, “On the Supposed Date of Yılan Kalesi,” Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, 1, 1984