Home | Archaeology Magazine | More Digs | AIA
Archaeology's Interactive Dig
July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The fifth tabernacle, after its completion
Trial of the architrave of the second tabernacle
View of the nymphaeum after the placement of the second tabernacle
The nymphaeum at the end of the fourth week of July
One of the last architraves of the first tabernacle to be completed

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Antonine Nymphaeum: July 9-August 6, 2006

During the second week of July, besides continuing to complete the missing parts of architraves and some of the Corinthian capitals, the stone carvers focused on carving two new voussoirs for the first (western) arch of the back wall. Their exact dimensions were obtained by studying the arch on a model at a scale of 1:1, onto which the existing elements had been drawn. We began a trial with the new blocks on the ground.

However, the main activity at the Antonine nymphaeum was the re-erection of the fifth aedicule, or tabernacle, and the fourth niche in their correct positions, so that the architraves could be placed on top.

During the rest of the week, we concentrated on re-erecting of the second tabernacle and the first arch. The missing parts of the second tabernacle's architraves were completed at the beginning of the campaign. We began to conduct trials, to define their exact position.

[image] Left, the second tabernacle's right capital receives its first shape, while being held in its final position to give it the right dimensions. Right, a partially preserved capital in the first stages of completion [image]

Over the course of the third week of July, the large crane leased from the Antalya Museum and skilfully operated by Ali Koc was moved to the left side of the building, in order to complete the trials of the building elements of the first and second fountain aedicula. The trials to determine the exact position of the second tabernacle's architraves lasted the entire week. After levelling the new stone patches on the architraves, it was possible to completely rebuild the second aedicula. The central third and fourth tabernacles had curved gables decorated with Medusa heads--used as apotropaic symbols--and the second and fourth gables were triangular, and also decorated with Medusa heads. It is apparent that none of the four heads were made by the same sculptor. Yet, they all have such close parallels with the Medusa heads on Docimian sarcophagi that they must have been carved by sculptors from that quarry and its related workshops, who are known to have been active for many years of Sagalassos' existence.

In order to complete the first arch, the stone carvers focused on the missing voussoirs of its archivolt. They had already completed the missing parts of the remaining architraves from the first and sixth tabernacles, which will be put into place next year. They also worked on the missing parts of some capitals.

[image] [image] [image] [image]
Left to right: The triangular gable of the second aedicule, and the third, fourth, and fifth gables with their Medusa heads

During the last week of July, after the placement of the second tabernacle, the position of the architraves and cornices above the second niche had to be corrected. This was due to the new final position of the architraves and cornices of the second tabernacle. After this, most of our attention went to the re-erection of the first arch's archivolt in the back wall. Of the nine voussoirs, two had to be re-carved completely, while the others just needed patches of new stone. The missing voussoirs were carved, repeating their dimensions on the model. After four trials, we came very close to rebuilding the archivolt of the arch. Yet, the trials showed that some small adjustments still had to be made to the two new voussoir blocks, which will hopefully be completed next week.

[image] [image] [image]
Left to right: The carving of one of the missing voussoirs of the first archivolt, a completed capital of the second tabernacle, and the completed second archivolt

During the first week of August, we were able to rebuild the archivolt of the first arch, and after five trials we corrected the position of the fourth arch. The two new voussoirs of the first arch are now being completed on site. Two new triangular pieces, to rest on both sides of the arch, are being carved, in order to support the architraves of the first niche. Other stone carvers completed the last missing patches of capitals, cornices, and gables.

[image] The new voussoirs of the first archivolt being completed

Previous pageNext page

InteractiveDig is produced by ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine
© 2010 Archaeological Institute of America

Home | Archaeology Magazine | More Digs | AIA