Antonine Nymphaeum: June 12-29, 2006
The anastylosis of the Antonine Nymphaeum resumed on June 12 under the masterful supervision of engineer-architect Semih Ercan. The restoration team is composed of Ercan, one conservator, Sebahattin Küçük, three sculptors, Sinan Ilhan, Eva Leplat and Muzaffer Dogan, four stone carvers from Cappadocia, one crane operator, Ali Koç, and five specialized local workmen. The restoration team began by re-erecting the scaffolding and preparing the necessary workshop area for all activities. In 2005, the re-erection of the entablature began. Last year, thanks to the use of mock capitals, we were able to re-erect the concha (shell) of the central niche and the two aediculae on either side of it, known as the third and fourth aediculae. The aim of the 2006 campaign is to re-erect the second and third back wall niches, as well as the second and fifth aediculae of the building. We are also planning to build the first arched niche in the back wall, the only niche of the monument that is still incomplete.
During the first few weeks, we concentrated on the second and fourth back wall niches, which alternate with the re-erected third and fourth aediculae. After carving two triangular blocks to rest on top of the second arch, the arches and the cornices of the second niche were successfully placed into position. Based on trials carried out on the fifth aedicula, the architraves of the fourth niche could also be posed. After replacing the missing parts of these architraves, the cornices of the fourth niche were put into place. In the meantime, the stone carvers were busy preparing the missing parts of the architraves and the Corinthian capitals.
Three new Corinthian capitals were carved during the winter season by Sinan Ilhan. One was posed on the fifth aedicula and another on the second one, so that they can be leveled on their tops by trials with the position of the real architraves. Next week's work will concentrate on the re-erection of the fifth aediculae.