The placing of a turban on top of the grave of the deceased is a practice which is best known from the Ottoman period. Many of the interior cenotaphs have a cloth turban placed on the highpoint, while exterior Ottoman cemeteries have carved turbans surmounting a number of the gravestones. The cemetery at Bursa, for example, contains numerous examples, the earliest of which date back to the early fifteenth century (Ertug, Ahmet et al.: Reflections of Paradise, Silks and Tiles from Ottoman Bursa, Istanbul, 1995, pp.174-5 and 178-80).
In style however the present turban is unlike any Ottoman example. Its low centre and the prominent encircling flat band are both elements which are found in miniatures dating from a century earlier than the Bursa examples. These features are for example seen on the most common turban types in the World History of Rashid al-Din (Blair, Sheila S.: A Compendium of Chronicles, London, 1995, fig.49 for example among many others). Even clearer depictions are to be found in sketches in a late Abbasid manuscript of Hariri in the British Museum and in fully worked paintings in a Mongol copy of the same work in the National Library in Vienna (Martin, F.R.: The Miniature Paintings and Painters of Perisa, India and Turkey, London, 1912, pls.8 and 15). The first of these works is dateable to around 1250 AD while the second is dated AH 733/1334-5 AD. One of the figures in the earlier drawings clearly shows a central structure within the turban as found here; the central figure in the second manuscript not only shows that, but also the loose end of the turban protruding, as here, from the centre of the top of the turban.