The Northwest Heroon
This week, the activities on the Northwest Heroon, supervised by Ebru Torun, Tom Verbist and Piraye Haciguzeller, included not only the placement of the next row of ashlars on the monument itself, but concentrated as well on the rebuilding of the uppermost layers of the naiskos on a trial platform.
The row of ashlars above the orthostats was fixed in its definitive position, and the third row of ashlars was placed for a final trial. These blocks have already been prepared for installation. All final touches to the additional pieces of this course and their levelling information were recorded for their definitive placement next week. Missing parts of five blocks were completed and joined to the original stone, and our stone carvers started preparing three more missing pieces of the top ashlar row. The works also included reinforcing cracks in individual blocks with fiber bars, sealing cracks and joins with lime mortar, and preparing dowel holes and fixing dowels.
A further study of the door lintel and the door cornice was made. The technique to join the magnificent door lintel was discussed with engineer Semih Ercan and will be executed next week. Meanwhile, the team focused on the restitution of the entablature (the architrave, frieze, and cornice blocks). Many blocks of these courses had been found in the past, and to most of them, a unique position in the building could be attributed. Yet, some questions remained, and the best way to answer them was to try to build up the layers on a concrete platform. In the end, after a meticulous study and trial, the evidence was clear, and each block, even the smallest, could be attributed to its unique position. At the end of this trial reconstruction, it was again clear that the heavy cornice blocks that jut out of the building would need to be supported to hold them in place. We are discussing several options to do this subtly, consistent with the rest of our minimal structural interventions on the monument.
During this reconstruction, we found more evidence of an arch in the middle of the building, functioning as a support for the roof structure. Four voussoirs, among which was a keystone, that most certainly belong to this structure were found. It will be a challenge for the next weeks to find more of them. In the best case, it might even be possible to rebuild the arch and add yet another interesting feature to the Heroon, even its roof.
The Antonine Nymphaeum on the Upper Agora
During this week, the anastylosis of the Antonine Nymphaeum went on smoothly. Many pieces of the entablature were completed and prepared for positioning. At the same time, the newly carved capital placed last week received its final touches. In order to place the third and fourth aedicule gables as well as the central shell (concha), stone carvers Sinan Ilhan and Eva Leplat worked at a frantic pace to complete the corresponding Corinthian capitals. In mid-week, Pinar Özdemir, from our first major Turkish sponsor, the Aygaz company from the Koç holding, visited the site (see Daily Life)