Welcome to the official web site of Dr Peter Alford Andrews


Nogay trellis tents, cart tents and bow-top vans in the Volga Steppe
Nogay trellis tents, cart tents and bow-top vans in the Volga Steppe, late eighteenth century, by Geissler

Curriculum vitae

Dr Peter Alford Andrews, Institut für Völkerkunde
Universität zu Köln D-50923 Köln, Deutschland

Born Lyme Regis, Dorset, England 31.10.1936, married to Mügül (Ataç) Andrews 28.09.1967.


  • Ph.D. University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of the Near and Middle East, Faculty of Arts.
  • Reg. Arch. Architects’ Registration Council of the United Kingdom.
  • M.A. Cambridge University, School of Architecture.
  • Dipl. Arch. Regent Street Polytechnic, Department of Architecture, London.

back to top


  • 1950-55 Stowe School, Buckingham: Medical side: Science: 1st M.B.
  • 1955-58 School of Architecture, Cambridge University (St John's College): B.A.
  • 1958-61 Department of Architecture, Regent Street Polytechnic: Dipl.Arch.
  • 1960 Department of Tropical Architecture, Architectural Association, London.
  • 1960-61 Thesis on low cost housing in Ahmedabad, India: 80%.
  • 1964 Cambridge University: M.A.
  • 1965 Royal Institute of British Architects: Professional Practice examination.
  • 1966 Royal Institute of British Architects: Charter.
  • 1969-80 Postgraduate study at Department of the Near and Middle East, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, under Prof. Mary Boyce, supervised by Dr. (now Prof.) A.D.H.Bivar. Studied Turkish, Ottoman, Persian and Art History.
  • 1971 Central Polytechnic, London. Reading course in Russian.
  • 1980 Ph.D. thesis examined by Dr.R.L.Tapper, Dept. of Anthropology, University of London, and Dr.R.Hillenbrand, Dept. of Fine arts, University of Edinburgh: described by the latter as "Nothing short of magisterial".26.6.1980.
  • 1982-83 Universität zu Köln: Deutsch als Fremdsprache. Kursus I, II-III, IV-V to university entrance level.

back to top

Languages, in order of fluency:

  • Speak and read: French, Turkish, German, Persian.
  • Read: Spanish, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Latin, Ottoman.
  • Familiar with: Türkmen, Azäri.
  • Have worked with: Chaghatay, Qazaq, Qirg|iz, Old Mongolian.
  • Studying: Qazaq and Mongolian (Xalxa)

back to top

1970-1980 The Felt tent in Middle Asia. The Nomadic Tradition and its Interpenetration with Princely Tentage. Two volumes, 1059 pages text and 187 plates. Presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of London, Faculty of Arts, School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of the Near and Middle East: Art and Archaeology. Accepted for publication in the series Kölner Ethnologische Mitteilungen, by Prof. U.Johansen, series editor, in 1981. Publication financed by J.Paul Getty Trust. Published 1999 by Fox Publications (Melisende), London, as Felt tents and Pavilions. The Nomadic Tradition and its Interpenetration with Princely Tentage

back to top

Field work and Museum work

For technical reasons no diacritical marks and few special letters are used here

  • 1954-66 Extensive architectural tours of Europe and the USA.
  • 1960 India: architectural tour of traditional and modern buildings. 3 months.
  • 1962 Sweden: first ethnographical work among Sami (Lapps). 1 week.
  • 1966 Morocco: pilot study of nomadic architecture and tour of Islamic buildings. 6 weeks.
  • 1967-68 Turkey: study of Selçük and Ottoman buildings and tilework. Developed special interest in wooden houses. 9 months.
  • 1967 Turkey: nomadic architecture of Central Anatolia and Western Toros. 2 months.
  • 1968 Morocco: complete survey of nomadic architecture. 6 months.
  • 1969 Turkey: nomadic architecture of Eastern Anatolia: Kurds and Arabs. 6 weeks.
  • 1969 South European museums: studied Turkish collections in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
  • 1970 Turkey: nomadic architecture of Central Anatolia, and work in museums. 3 weeks.
  • 1970 Iran: general survey of nomadic architecture. 10 months. Visited major Islamic monuments.
  • 1972 Turkey: nomadic architecture of Central Toros. 1 month.
  • 1973 North European museums: studied Central Asian collections at Hamburg, Lübeck, Copenhagen and Stockholm. 6 weeks.
  • 1974 Iran: resumed general survey of nomadic architecture. 6 months.
  • 1976 Turkey: architectural tour with 50 students, Istanbul and Bursa. 10 days.
  • 1980-81 Northern India: studied surviving court tents, Moghul and Rajput, on invitation of Calico Museum, Ahmedabad, at Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Jodhpur, with reference to frescos at Udaipur and Burhanpur. Studied fittings for tents on palace buildings. Studied Islamic buildings of Malwa, Gujarat, Agra and Delhi; also Rajput buildings at Chitorgarh, Gwalior, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, and Jodhpur. 3 months.
  • 1982 Turkey: library work for TAVO at Istanbul and Ankara. Studied nomadic architecture and buildings in Western Anatolia. 3 months.
  • 1985 Turkey: nomadic architecture in Central Anatolia. 1 month.
  • 1986 Turkey: nomadic architecture in Western, Central, and Eastern Anatolia: Yörük, Türkmen and Kurds. 6 weeks.
  • 1987 Pakistan: detailed survey of Sazîn Kot, Indus Kuhistan, and general survey of village architecture in Pâlus, Sêo, Harban, Thor, Tangîr, Darel, Ghor, Astor, Yasîn, Pûnyal, and Hûnza. 5 months. Visited Islamic buildings in Lahore and Peshawar.
  • 1988 Mongolia: nomadic architecture and derivatives in Ulan Bator and neighbourhood. Extensive interviews with Mongolian scholars. 3 weeks.
  • 1988 Turkey: survey of traditional guest rooms, lantern roof dwellings, and also flatweaves in Sivas, Erzurum, Gümüşhane and Muş provinces. Nomadic architecture of Kurds in Erzurum. 5 weeks.
  • 1989 Turkey: resumed survey of village architecture and flatweaves in Zonguldak, Samsun, Cankırı, Kırıkkale and Kırşehır provinces. 3 weeks.
  • 1990 Denmark: studied Central Asian collections at Moesgaard and Copenhagen. 1 week
  • 1993 Russia: studied Central Asian collections in museums at St Petersburg. 1 month.
  • 1993-94 Germany: Qırġız tents at Köln and Bochum.
  • 1993 European museums. Studied Central Asian and Middle Eastern collections in Budapest, Karcsag, Vienna, Moesgaard, Copenhagen, and Lübeck. 4 weeks.
  • 1994 German museums: studied Central Asian collections at Dresden and Berlin: 1 week.
  • 1995 Germany: studied Ersârı Türkmen collection at Stuttgart. 1 day.
  • 1999 Germany: studied Ottoman tent from Berlin at Helmstedt restoration workshops. 2 days.
  • 1999 Turkey: studied carpets and flatweaves, Muğla and Tokat, 1 week.
  • 2001 Germany: Ottoman tent, Helmstedt restoration workshops. 2 days further research.
  • 2001 Germany: Ottoman tent, Schloß Friedrichstein,  Bad-Wildungen, 2 days.
  • 2002 Qırghızstan: studied museum collections at Bishkek, and tent-making techniques in Issıq Köl province, 2 weeks.
  • 2003 Turkey: manufacture of reed-screens, Isparta and Bolvadin, Yörük tents and flatweaves, 1 week.
  • 2004  Turkey: nomad tents and weaving Kürtün Yaylası, Pontic Mountains, Turkey, 3 days.

back to top

Professional experience as architect:

  • 1962-63 Architectural assistant with Robert Matthew, Johnson Marshall & Ptners, London: work on National Library and National Museum, Islamabad.
  • 1963 Six month architectural tour of Scandinavia.
  • 1963 Architectural assistant at Thurfjells Arkitektkontor, Kiruna, Sweden: work on Arctic housing.
  • 1964-66 Architectural assistant with Architects' Co-Partnership, London: work on design of schools at Gafsa and Sfax in Tunisia. Work on constructional details for Maudsley Hospital, London, and Hull University.
  • Job architect for Simpson, Piccadilly Ltd., and Child's Bank, London.
  • 1964-66 Own architectural practice: domestic extensions and conversions.
  • 1967 Architect at Ministry of Works: design of airport in Akrotiri, Cyprus, and technical details for R.A.F. hostel at Brize Norton.
  • 1967 Domestic architectural work at Istanbul.

back to top  

Architectural teaching experience

  • 1969-80 Department of Architecture, Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). Studio supervisor and tutor in architectural design to students of second and third years, with occasional duties and assessments in fifth and sixth years. Usually responsible for 10-15 students. Particular responsibility for students specialising in the Third World and Japan. Regular supervision of historical studies in these subjects. Introductory lecture course on Islamic Architecture. Occasional lectures each year on my own research. In 1976 took 50 students on architectural tour of Istanbul and Bursa for ten days.
  • 1977 Made Deputy Director of Historical Studies: I was offered full responsibility in this position, but refused it as I wished to have time to complete my own thesis. Accepted responsibility for measured drawing projects and history theses. Leave taken for field work in Iran in 1970-71 and 1974.

back to top

Seminars and lecture courses in Germany
University of Cologne, Institute of Ethnology

  • 1980 Invited to join the team working for the Tübingen Atlas of the Middle East at the Institut für Völkerkunde (Institute of Ethnology), Universität zu Köln.
  • 1980-84 Seminar "House Form in Comparative Cultures", Cologne.
  • 1988-90 Seminar "Camp and Settlement in Comparative Cultures, I-II".
  • 1989 Seminar: practical course on ethno-architecture and surveying.
  • 1989-90 Seminar "Settlement and dwelling: concepts and practice".
  • 1990 Seminar "Ethnic minorities in Turkey".
  • 1991 Seminar "Symbolism in ethno-architecture, I".
  • 1991-92 Seminar "Symbolism in ethno-architecture, II".
  • 1992 Seminar "Ethnic groups in Turkey".
  • 1993 Seminar "Material culture in the Middle East".
  • 1994 Seminar "Aspects of symbolism in the Middle East and Central Asia".
  • 1995 Seminar "Symbolism in ethno-architecture, III".
  • 1996 Seminar "Ethnological aspects of symbolism".
  • 1997 Seminar "Recent ethnological approaches to material culture".
  • 1998 Seminar "Recent ethnological approaches to material culture".
  • 1999 Seminar "Ethnicity in the Middle East".
  • 2000 Seminar "Ethnic groups in the Middle East".
  • 2001 Seminar "Symbolism in the Middle East and Central Asia".
  • 2002 Seminar "Nomads in the Middle East".
  • 2003 Seminar "Ethnological aspects of symbolism in the Islamic world".
  • 2004 Seminar "Symbolic aspects of architecture from an ethnological viewpoint".
  • 2005 Seminar "Aspects of nomadic life in the Middle East and North Africa".

 University of Bamberg,

1991-92 Endowed Professorship for Islamic Art and Archaeology, grade C4:

  • Timurid Architecture
  • Islamic Architecture in India
  • Dwellings in the Islamic World
  • Textiles of the Nomads in the Islamic World: offered as block-seminar.
  • Public lecture on "The Context of Flatweaves in Anatolia".

back to top

Research positions in German universities

  • 1981-86 Wissenschaftlicher Angestellter (Research fellow), grade BAT IIa at the Institut für Völkerkunde, Universität zu Köln, to work on the Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients (TAVO), SFB 19, compiling a series of ethnic maps under contract to the University of Tübingen.
  • Given personal responsibility under the direction of Prof. U.Johansen for maps of:
    a) Ethnic groups in Turkey, A.VIII 14a-b: draft completed Oct. 1985. Accompanying book, Beiheft B 60 completed Nov. 1986.
    b) Labour migration in the Persian Gulf countries, A.VIII 17: draft completed Mar. 1985.
    c) Distribution of nomad tent types in the Middle East: draft completed Dec. 1986. Accompanying book, Beiheft B 74: vol.1 text completed 1994; vol.2, drawings and photographs completed October 1995; vols. 3-4 in progress.
    d) Contributions on Turkey and Saudi Arabia to the general ethnic map, A.VIII 13: completed Dec. 1984.
  • 1982- Advisory member of SFB 230, "Natürliche Konstruktionen" at Prof. Frei Otto’s Institut für Leichte Flächentragwerke (IL), Universität Stuttgart.
  • 1987-89 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Research Collaborator) to Prof. K.Jettmar, Südasien-Institut, Universität Heidelberg, with sole responsibility for a survey of village architecture in Indus-Kuhistan and Northern Areas, Pakistan, focussed on a complete record of the fortified village of Sazîn, but extending from Pâlus to Hûnza and Yasîn. Five months field work in 1987, followed by drafting of plans and collating notes into publishable form. Supervision of draftsmen in completing further plans of individual buildings and redrafting of wax rubbings of wood-carving. Contract renewed Feb. 1989 for nine months.
  • 1989-90 Renewal of contract with University of Tübingen, as recommended by the Assessors of SFB 19, for a further six months to allow the completion of the book on Nomad Tent Types.
  • 1990-91 Stiftungsprofessur für Islamische Kunst und Archäologie (Endowed Guest Professorship in Islamic Art and Archaeology), grade C 4, at the University of Bamberg for six months, until the end of March 1991.
  • 1992-93 Wissenschaftlicher Angestellter (research fellow) at the Seminar für Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft Zentralasiens (Seminar for the Languages and Culture of Central Asia), Universität Bonn, under Prof. K.Sagaster, for book on the nomadic tent forms of Central Asia in their cultural context.
  • 1994-97 Contract renewed for continuation of project with emphasis on the reasons for variations within this clearly defined regional dwelling type. In progress. Universität Bonn until 2.8.97, thereafter transferred to the Lehrstuhl für Türkische Sprache und Kultur, Universität Bamberg, under Prof. K.Kreiser. Upgraded to BAT Ib from 1.4.97 at Bonn, confirmed Bamberg. Work in progress.
  • 1990-01 Project part II as comparative study of Central Asian tent vocabularies, University of Bamberg, from 30.3.99 for two years.
  • 2001 Operation and convalescence, 27.6. - 17.8.01. Studied Qazaq for vocabulary work. Continued project while unemployed.
  • 2002-3 Renewal of project on Central Asian tents: typology, comparison and formal relationships, for University of Bamberg, from 1.06.02 for 18 months under Prof. K.Kreiser (Turcology) and Prof. M.Schuller (Building Researrch and Building History), with continuing support from Prof. K.Sagaster, University of Bonn (Central Asia).
  • 2004-5 Renewal of project on Central Asian tents: typology, comparison and formal relationships, for University of Bamberg, from 1.09.04 for 6 months.
  • 2005-6 Continued work on this project unpaid. Resume work on Nomad tent Types in the Middle East, part II, velum tents, with support from the Barakat Trust, Oxford, from 01.04.05 for 1 year.
  • 1980-97 Continued specialisation in Islamic architecture with a series of articles on India and Pakistan, with reference to influences from Iran and central Asia; also with work on symbolism in seminars.

back to top

Exhibitions and Public displays

  • The Turcoman of Iran: travelling exhibition, collected by P.A.A. and Mrs M.Andrews in Iran, 1970 and shown at Kendal, Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle, Lewes, and London, 1971.
  • Bedouin Tent, scale model 1 : 10 as centrepiece for National Museum, Qatar, loom and heddles devised by P.A.A., woven by Mrs M.Andrews.
  • Horniman Museum, London: slide sequence for tent exhibition.
  • Architekturmuseum, Zurich: slide sequence with text.
  • Nederlandstextielmuseum, Tilburg: photographs with text, poster, 1994
  • Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld: glossary of Türkmen terms, placards, photographs 1994.

back to top


  • Sotheby's, London, on tribal jewellery.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London, on tent of Tipu Sahib.
  • Kattan-Gibb, London, on Arabian tents.
  • Deutsche Stiftung für Internationale Entwicklung, Bad Honnef, on Pashtun.tent.
  • Österreichische Nationalbank on Dr.Ebba Koch’s work on Moghul architecture.
  • J.Paul Getty Trust on Prof. Labelle Prussin’s work on nomadic architecture in North Africa.
  • Dansk Nomadeforskning on Central Asian tents.
  • BBC on Turkish minorities.
  • WDR on Kurds and Zazas.
  • numerous testimonies for Landesverwaltungsgerichte (Provincial administrative courts) on asylum applicants.
  • Bundeskriminalamt, Wiesbaden.

back to top

 Collections made

  • 1966 British Museum: Morocco: Tekna tent and accessories.
  • 1967 British Museum: Turkey: Yörük tent from Aydın and accessories; Ottoman costumes from Kütahya.
  • 1967 Own collection: Turkey: Türkmen trellis tent and accessories from Emirdağ.
  • 1967ff. Own collection: Turkey: Ottoman costume from Kütahya and Istanbul, embroidery, oya and kese.
  • 1968 British Museum: Morocco: Zaiane tent and accessories from the Middle Atlas.
  • 1970 British Museum: Iran: Yomut Türkmen tent and accessories from Yolme near Pahlavî Dež.
  • 1970 Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal: Iran: Yomut Türkmen collection for travelling exhibition in 1971. Now dispersed to the British Museum (Museum of Mankind), the Horniman Museum, and the City Art Gallery, Manchester.
  • 1970 Horniman Museum: Iran: Geyiklü Şahsevän tent and accessories, with costume from Miškinšahr and Ärdäbîl.
  • 1970ff. Own collection: Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan: tent bands.
  • 1974 Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh: Iran: Kurdish costume from Mâhâbâd; Härkî Kurdish flatweaves; Därreşuri Qaşqay costume.

back to top


  • 1982-3 Academic Committee of IVth International Conference on Oriental Carpets, (ICOC), London.
  • 1992-6 Academic Committee of VIIth ICOC, Hamburg.
  • 1995ff. Standing Publications Committee of ICOC.
  • 1995ff. Editorial Committee of Nomadic Peoples, with responsibility for articles on material culture.
  • 1997 International Academic Committee of IXth ICOC, Turin.

back to top


  • 1967 R.I.B.A. Research Award for fieldwork in Morocco.
  • 1967 S.S.R.C. Grant for fieldwork in Morocco.
  • 1968 R.I.B.A. Research Award for writing up fieldwork.
  • 1969 British Institute of Persian Studies (B.I.P.S.) Research Fellowship (1) for fieldwork in Iran.
  • 1971 Central research Fund (C.R.F.), University of London, Research Grant (1) for fieldwork in Iran.
  • 1972 B.I.P.S. Research fellowship (2) for fieldwork in Iran. Relinquished for family reasons.
  • 1972 C.R.F. Research Grant (2) for work in European Museum collections.
  • 1973 B.I.P.S. Research Fellowship (3) for fieldwork in Iran.
  • 1973 C.R.F. Research Grant (3) for fieldwork in Iran.
  • 1974 C.R.F. Research Grant (4) for fieldwork in Iran.
  • 1978 B.I.P.S. Research Fellowship (4) for writing up fieldwork done in Iran.
  • 1980 Aga Khan Program grant towards preparing material on nomadic architecture for publication.
  • 1980 Calico Museum, Ahmedabad, invitation to India to study princely tents in Indian collections and write monograph.
  • 1980 British Academy Research Grant for Indian project.
  • 1984 J.Paul Getty Trust grant to cover publication costs of Ph.D. dissertation at Cologne.
  • 1985 B.I.P.S. Grant towards costs of computerising text of dissertation.
  • 1987 British Council Specialist Tours Exchange Award for field work in Mongolian People's Republic.
  • 1993 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, academic exchange award for research in Russian museum collections.
  • 2005 Barakat Trust, Oxford, grant for continued work on publication of fieldwork on black tents.

back to top


copyright © 2006 - Peter Alford Andrews