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Thessaloniki Sericulture
The oldest documents on local sericulture in the Ottoman archives pertain to Rumelia. Information regarding the primitive practice of silkworm breeding which was inherited from the Byzantine period and was referred to as "purple silk" in the documents has been identified. During the Ottoman period, a great technical transformation was realized in the region of Rumelia, where Salonika is located, and cultivated sericulture was put into practice. Towards the 19th century, the silk production in the Peloponnese and Rumelia, where Salonika is located, formed the predominant part of the total production of the Ottoman Empire. The fact that such quick and high-quality silk production was achieved although the region of Rumelia, where Salonika is located, is far away from Iran in distance can be explained by the primitive sericulture infrastructure inherited from Byzantium and by the revival of traditional Central Asian Turkic sericulture in the region. The first document in the Ottoman archives concerning Salonikan sericulture is dated 1547, and this document is the earliest-dated document which has been identified regarding Ottoman sericulture. It has been observed that the sericulture in the Salonika region increased towards the end of the 18th century and rose quickly in the 19th century. With its harbor and the network of roads connecting with each other in it, the sericulture of the Salonika region presents a distinctive quality.

Silk, Thessaloniki, Ottoman Sericulture, Byzantine Sericulture

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