Northwest Heroon: July 8-20, 2007
The anastylosis project of the Northwest Heroon, thus far sponsored by Dexia Bank and Group Arco started on June 17, under the direction of architect Ebru Torun. As the project has approached its final stages, the team consists of a smaller group of stone carvers and craftsmen than in previous years. This season, its concentrates on the final fixation of the entablature and the north pediment, as well as on a trial of positioning the central arch in place, in order to complete and fix some of the stone roof slabs, imitating a tile roof, of the naiskos.
Before the campaign, most missing pieces of the upper structure and central arch had been prepared, using the pantograph, by one of the best trained workmen of our team, Ozkan Tastekin. This way a lot of time was saved, as block repairs could start immediately in the first days of the campaign.
During the first days, besides assembling the supplemental pieces prepared during the winter, the decoration details of the tongue-pattern frieze were also carved. All missing architrave pieces were completed last year except the entirely missing T-shaped block of the east facade that connects to the central arch. The first task of our stone carver was cutting this piece out of a large new block. The back part of this architrave block functions as one of the eastern voussoirs of the central arch. Therefore its shape had to be established according to the form of the arch, which will be determined during the trial reconstruction of the coming days.
|An architrave completed during the second week
In the mean time, all original cornice blocks and stones forming the north pediment were investigated for structural cracks and material deterioration problems. Each block received the necessary interventions such as stitching and sealing, preparing them for final reconstruction on the monument. During the past weeks vertical connection holes and doweling bars were already prepared for most of the frieze and cornice blocks.
Even at this final stage of the project, we continue to discover interesting details of the monument. Two quite small cornice fragments were identified to complete the northwest and northeast corner blocks clearing out the total length of the north side on this row. The interesting discovery was that during the original construction of the monument, a small piece with dentils must have been carved to compensate a possible mistake in length on the north side. This piece, which must have measured 18 cm on the visible side, interlocks with the northwest corner cornice block. It must have been deliberately given an L-shape enlarging it, as well as providing a better connection with the rest of the row. This piece is missing and will have to be carved out of new stone according to the dimensions that will be determined during the trial construction.
Frieze blocks of the west and north sides were ready at the end of the first two weeks. They were permanently installed and the top surfaces of the supplemental pieces were levelled. Work will continue with the placement of the cornice blocks and the trial of the central arch in situ.