ARCHAEOLOGY

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TURKISH TUGHS

Turkish horsetail standard originated among the nomads of central Asia and was common to the Mongols and the Turks and closely connected with the totemic cult of the horse and yak, without which life in the steppes might have become impossible. Its substantial element consisted of a bundle of horse or yak hair (black, white, red, green, or blue) fixed on a wooden staff, topped with a metal final.

Along with the flags, the Turkish tugh reached its final form in the fourteenth century. They represented authority, especially of the military. The declaration of war was manifested by setting the Sultan's tughs in front of their saray. On the march, they would be sent ahead to mark camp sites. In some engravings, seven tughs were planted in front of the Sultan's tent, five in front of the grand vizier's, and three marked the place of a pasha's tent. In battle they marked the place of leaders as a rallying point for dispersed soldiers.

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