SARIHAN Date SARIHAN CAPPADOCIA
SARIHAN A new asphalt road from Avanos will take the visitor to the ruins of this caravanseray, built in 1217 by the order of the Seljuk ruler, Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat to provide overnight shelter for travelers between Kayseri and Nevşehir, or Aksaray. The caravanseray is a fine example of Seljuk Turk architecture. The main entrance is richly ornamented. The yellow building blocks were cut and assembled with great precision. The spacious inner courts, one of them open, the others roofed, feature sleeping quarters and covered stalls for pack animals. One of the square-shaped pillars of the inner court is decorated with a fresco, depicting dark-complexioned, fierce-looking horsemen, painted by an unknown artist of the distant past, who had, perhaps, encountered the dreaded Saracen raiders during one of his travels.
Like many ancient monuments in Turkey, the Sarihan, too, has been used by the local villagers as a convenient quarry where already shaped stones and marble could be excavated for building houses. It has been recently restored to its former magnificence.
Along the same road, but closer to Avanos, a dirt road across the fields toward the river, leads to the site of a Macedonian sarcophagus now in the Kayseri Museum but in order to find it the interested visitor should ask for a guide, whom the “Belediye” — the town hall — would readily provide at no cost. The road, however, is not negotiable for heavily laden, or lowswung vehicles.
The exterior of the sarcophagus, which belongs to a Macedonian general, is decorated with reliefs — ten lion’s heads and loops of grape hanging from pillars. The discovery of this sarcophagus suggests a burial site in the neighborhood, not yet found. Traces of walls and rooms with wine-presses indicate the presence of a buried village.