Anastylosis Projects: August 7-11, 2005
The Northwest Heroon
This week, the anastylosis activities on the Northwest Heroon went on under the supervision of Ebru Torun and Piraye Haciguezeller. The Heroon team worked one day extra during the weekend, which accelerated the work throughout the rest of the week. There was an obvious progress in the stone placement around the southwest corner of the monument. Blocks of the third course of ashlars in this part of the building were completed and placed. Subsequently, all ashlars as far as the fifth row could be placed above them. The fifth and sixth course of ashlars belonging to the north and northeast cella walls were also fixed to their place quite quickly and easily, thanks to the precise vertical and horizontal connections. In addition to these permanent placements, other stones were placed on the monument for trial. The most important was the third course of ashlars belonging to the south facade east of the door. Its temporary placement was critical for studying the latter's architectural details.
|View inside the cella with the partly reconstructed north wall (right)|
Many fragmented blocks were also completed during this week. Carved pieces were attached to original stones and leveled accordingly. The most crucial of them, the complementary part of a block from the third course of ashlars, was attached and leveled. The stone was later placed on the monument, to the west of the door. Subsequently, activities in the southwestern part of the building moved on faster. Besides these, stonemason Mustafa Sir completed the missing part of another block that was crucial for the southeast corner of the building. This carved piece filled a gap between two original pieces of a large ashlar block. The three pieces were carefully joined and will be placed on the monument early next week. A small original fragment of a block belonging to the fifth course ashlars in the building's southeast corner was also precisely attached to a newly carved piece. Finally, the northeastern corner block of the seventh course was also completed.
This week, all fragmentary ashlars from the seventh course, which is the row of stones directly below the tendril frieze, were molded with gypsum for their completion. The stonemasons started carving the missing parts of the south and north walls, as well as the southwestern corner stone. Next week, the placement of the stones east of the door in the south facade will be crucial for studying the architectural details of the door. As far as this door is concerned, the team concentrated on its lintel, doorjamb, and on the tendril. As the south facade to the west of the door got higher, studying the architectural details of the door became possible. Next week, the placement of the blocks from the south facade east of the door will provide more information. The vertical connections between the tendril frieze and the seventh row of ashlars will be studied over the weekend, as the team has decided to give up once more, one of the two weekend days.
The Antonine Nymphaeum
During last week, Semih Ercan's team of four Cappadocian stone carvers and five locally trained stone specialists continued their meticulous effort to complete as much as possible of the Antonine Nymphaeum.
Work focused on three specific areas:
- The completion of the fourth aedicule from the left, which proved to be a nerve breaking task, as first of all its entablature had to fit to both the corresponding parts of the most complex part of the building, i.e. the curved central niche, and to a completely newly carved Corinthian capital. This meant numerous trial and efforts necessitating constant minor repairs and adjustments during three days in a row, with long waiting times for our crane operator Ali Koc.
- The completion of the almost completely newly carved second archivolt from the left by Eva Leplat and Mehmet Özkavak. With the help of plasticine copies were taken from the existing original voussoirs and carefully transmitted to the new stones.
- The completion of the partially preserved Corinthian capitals, which was the task of master stone carver Sinan Ilhan.
As we were expecting the visit by a sponsor of this project on Monday morning, this team decided as well to continue its work during half of the weekend. The result was astonishing as will be shown next week.