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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Northwest Heroon in its current state
Completion of one of the missing socle mouldings of the naiskos
The current condition of the Antonine Nymphaeum
A completely finished new Corinthian capital by Sinan Ilhan

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Anastylosis Projects: June 26-July 14, 2005

The Northwest Heroon

Group Arco (Belgium) is sponsoring this operation.

One of the finest monuments in Sagalassos, the middle Augustan NW Heroon, dedicated to an unknown historical figure of the city is being rebuilt following the principles of architectural anastylosis (see reports 2003 and 2004) under the supervision of E.Torun (METU Ankara and KULeuven) assisted by architects Tom Verbist (KULeuven) and Piraye Hacigüzeller (METU Ankara and EMA, KULeuven) and by crane operator Süleyman Ayan (Burdur).

Toward the end of last year, nearly 10 m of the 15 m high monument had been put back into place. Yet, the section above the famous frieze with the dancing girls had only temporarily been rebuilt. During the last weeks, this part was taken down again in order to complete structurally necessary missing parts. In the mean time, the socle of the temple like structure or naiskos that crowns the whole structure, as well as most of the row of large blocks (orthostats) above it, have been put back into their final position. All blocks have been linked to each other by means of clamps made of fiber, whereas the vertical connections (hidden dowel holes accessible by means of pouring channels, see reports 2004) composed of fiber glass rods, will be fixed by means of epoxy, once the whole structure is standing.

In the course of these activities, it has become clear that the nearly four m tall white marble statue of the 'hero' to whom the structure was dedicated could not have stood inside the naiskos, just behind the door, as this would have made the movement of the door panels impossible, which was certainly not the case as evidenced by the curved channels carved into the pavement, in which their inner extremities could move. Unfortunately the row of slabs in front of the door is completely missing, but the only possibility seems to have been that the colossal statue stood inside the pronaos (porch made of four columns) of the building, in front of the door.

The Antonine Nymphaeum on the Upper Agora

In the past, this anastylosis was exclusively sponsored by Belgian companies (KBC Bank and Insurances; Renier Natuursteen, Aarschot) and the L.Baert-Hofman Fund. Starting from this year, new sponsors include the Flemish family L. Lamberts Van Assche and his children, who also support the excavations of the Roman Baths. We are also very glad that, for the first time since the excavations at Sagalassos started, we now have a main Turkish sponsor: Aygaz, one of the companies of the Koç Family (Istanbul).

One of the most impressive and most colorful buildings of Sagalassos, was the large nymphaeum probably built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius by Aelia Oulpiana Noe, widow of Ti. Flavius Severianus Neon (builder of the Library) along the north side of the Upper Agora. It, too, is being rebuilt following the principles of the anastylosis (see reports 2003 and 2004). Engineer Semih Ercan (METU Ankara and KULeuven) supervises the reconstruction. In this work, he is assisted by conservator Sebahattin Küçük, crane operator Ali Koç (Antalya Museum), eng. Paul Hostyn (Resiplast, Belgium) and master stone carvers Sinan Ilhan (Izmir) and Eva Leplat (Belgium).

At the beginning of the campaign, two columns, of which the existing fragments were to brittle to be reused, had to be completely replaced by black and white limestone columns made at an Eskisehir quarry. This year we will try to complete the two largely missing arches in the western part of the back wall. As all columns are finished now, the stone carvers are focused on the completion of the fragmentary preserved or on the carving of new column and pilaster capitals. This work is being done by our master stone carvers mentioned above, and by a team of Cappadocian craftsmen, who complete missing pieces by using a pantograph (see report 2004).

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