Site Conservation: July 8-12, 2007
Site conservation at Sagalassos has always been a complicated job because of the area's harsh weather conditions. Weathering degrades building materials as well as the structural integrity of architectural elements we have uncovered previously. Every year our site conservation team has to carry out interventions necessary for the survival of the cultural and archaeological heritage of Sagalassos.
This year, site conservation team started working a week earlier than the excavations under the supervision of Semih Ercan (METU Ankara and KULeuven), Ebru Torun (METU Ankara and K.U. Leuven) assisted by Göze Üner (METU Ankara and ITU Istanbul). Zilan Özcan joined the team working on the careful documentation of site conservation interventions throughout the 2007 campaign.
The team began to work in the Northeast Gate Building of the Upper Agora. There are many surfaces, wall segments and even huge collapses that require pointing, reinforcing, reconstructing, and capping. These interventions have to be carried out according to safety requirements, because of many instability and collapse problems.
On the first week of July, the conservation team consisted of three experienced builders and one workman experienced on mixing our special lime mortar from previous years. Our work started with the cleaning of the extra soil and debris over the walls of the Northeast Gate (NEG) Building. The finds coming from the debris and wall inner cores were handed off to archaeologists for dating the walls. Capping of the walls of Room 5 was finished during the first week, as well as the reconstruction of the partially collapsed west wall of Room 7 and repair of the south face of the south wall of Room 7.
On the second week, 4 other workmen, 3 returning from last year, joined our team and we also started the repair of the damage on the walls of Macellum and continued to work on the walls of the Upper Agora NEG Building. The dialogue between the conservation team and our safety manager was very important for dealing with the unstable ruins of the east wall of Room 6. We placed a high scaffold in the area of intervention and one of our experienced builders is continuing the repair of the highest remaining brick arch fragment of the Northeast Gate Building.
We are also controlling each trench on daily basis in order to protect the recently excavated walls and discuss their situation and timing for conservation with the site supervisors.