The Northwest Heroon
Work on the Northwest Heroon continues almost without any break in order to get as much ready as possible for our sponsor's visit (Group Arco) on August 27. This week, activities at Heroon took place between Saturday (August 13) and Thursday (August 18). The extra working day at the weekend accelerated the work and helped to obtain fruitful results by Thursday.
The Heroon team, directed by Ebru Torun assisted by Piraye Hacigüzeler, kept on working very efficiently during the week. Toward the end of the campaign, the team is even more motivated to complete the placement of all blocks of the Heroon for the first time in their original position. One of our local workmen from Aglasun, Özkan Tastekin, proved that he was also quite good in carving stones with the pantograph and joined the hectic process of completing the missing pieces. He thus started to carve the missing part of a stone to be placed in the seventh course of the north facade of the naiskos.
Last week, it was decided to place the last two rows of the cella walls as well as the entablature pieces of the naiskos only temporarily instead of fixing them immediately in order to avoid any misplacement that could affect the precise installation of the door lintel. At the end of the week all ashlars belonging to the sixth and seventh courses of the cella walls had been placed except for those of the south facade. During the last hours of the week, our two stonemasons were still trying to finalize their work on two incomplete corner blocks. All ashlars will presumably be ready by the beginning of next week, thanks to the fact that once again one will work throughout the weekend of August 19-20. During those days, the broken door lintel and the nicely carved cornice above it, both broken in several pieces, will be joined for placement early in the week.
The Antonine Nymphaeum
Last week, work of the Antonine Nymhaeum under the supervision of Semih Ercan proceeded within the planned schedule. The works were mainly concentrated on the placement of the fourth aedicula or tabernacle, directly east of the central curved niche with its water flow. After many trials for positioning correctly the three architrave blocks of the aedicula, we could finally complete its entablature. This allowed placing the three curved gable blocks with a centrally positioned beautiful Medusa head, as well as the cassettes (the lower part of the tabernacle's ceiling) decorated with a nice head of Poseidon, upon it. Trials for the placement of the third aedicula, which will be our main task next week, also started.
Stone carvers Eva Leplat and Mustafa Özkavak are constantly busy with carving the decoration of the almost completely new second archivolt, which was positioned a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Sinan Ilhan, assisted by other stone carvers continues the completion of the missing parts of the Corinthian capitals by adding new stone patches. This week the carving of missing voussoirs or archivolt blocks belonging to the first arch of the back wall started as well. In order to consolidate and protect the stone surfaces against harsh winter conditions, the surface treatment of the back wall by ethyl silicate continued.