The Northwest Heroon
The Heroon-team, supervised by Ebru Torun and Tom Verbist, continued slowly but steadily with the rebuilding of the naiskos (the temple-like structure) atop the Heroon. The week started with an unpleasant surprise, when both of our stone carvers from Kayseri had chosen to stay in their hometown, but after some searching a replacement was found and activities could continue again at full speed. Those activities included the final levelling of the lowest courses of the naiskos. To achieve this, each stone itself and the relationship in between adjacent stones was carefully controlled with a water level, and the level of the southern blocks, on either side of the door, was taken with a water tube. It turned out that the long and careful effort taken to build up the socle in the most precise way paid off well, as only minor corrections were needed. After all these meticulous measurements, the team could proceed with the final horizontal placement of the orthostats by means of glass fibers, embedded in epoxy, and with the finishing of the eroded and broken parts of their upper surface with a very fine and resistant mortar composed of lime, sand, and brick dust, to prevent further erosion by infiltrating water. Meanwhile, the position of the next layer, composed of 30 cm high blocks, was determined and most of it was placed in a definitive matter as well.
Finally, further investigation started on the monument's highest courses (architrave, frieze, and cornice blocks). Each block is placed by a crane onto a concrete trial platform, where its final position will be determined. We do this by trying to put them in the way they should finally appear in the building, and by a thoroughly studying particular profiles, clamp holes (horizontal connections), dowel holes (vertical connections), and spike (or push-) holes. These investigations will continue during the next week(s), and will provide the team with all information needed to complete those particularly important and beautiful layers in the most precise way.
The Antonine Nymphaeum on the Upper Agora
Work on this building continued under the supervision of Semih Ercan. This week, the second archivolt of the building consisting of six new voussoirs and three original ones was rebuilt in a preliminary way. The final carving of the new voussoirs which will be done in situ started as well. Meanwhile, the construction of the first arch has taken off. After the reinstatement of all 16 columns of the building, we continued to complete the missing parts of the Corinthian capitals. Stone carvers Sinan Ilhan and Eva Leplat carry out this last job with enormous enthusiasm. Eva has been adopted by our crane operator Ali Koc as bizim birisi, which means "one of us," the best compliment she could ever get. The new patches of the missing parts of the capitals are prepared using a pantograph device and then joined to the original capitals with an epoxy glue and fiberglass rods. The main aim of this year is to complete the third and fourth aediculae (projecting tabernacles carried by columns) of the building. Trials of the architraves belonging to the third aedicula were done in situ and afterward it was necessary to complete some parts of these architraves for structural reasons. Meanwhile, new patches completed the architraves of the third aedicula. The two capitals of the fourth aedicula, one of them completely new and carved by Sinan Ilhan, were positioned in place so that the trials of the architraves belonging to the fourth aedicula could start. While the reinstatement of the blocks continue, the restoration of other blocks, including the cornices and cassettes, progresses as well.