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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The completed third arch of the nymphaeum's back wall
Broken column parts are completed using newly cut elements.
Eric Risser and Arzu Özmen remove the stucco from the curved recess in the Domestic Area's room XXXIX.

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

Restoration & Conservation: July 20-26, 2003

All restoration activities focused on the Antonine nymphaeum in the Upper Agora, the work being supervised by engineer Semih Ercan (Middle Eastern Technical University Ankara and KULeuven), assisted by architect Özge Baaç (METU Ankara) and architecture students Emrah Kögerolu (METU Ankara) and Berran Sözer (Yildiz Technical University Istanbul). A contingent of Istanbul University (Koruma-Onarim) conservators (Sebahattin Küçük, Emre Basol, and Eftal Kiraz) and a master's in restoration student Serpil Uyar (METU Ankara) were also involved. Activities included completing the bases and columns of the structure and rearranging the arch of the third niche from the west of the monument's back wall. We started preparations for placing the arch of the fourth niche. For that reason, the bottom of the architraves above it were drawn at actual size on plastic sheets and placed on top of the supporting pilasters flanking the niche, in order to check the position of the latter.

We also constructed a smooth, horizontal temporary platform in front of the building. Starting next week, we'll place the architraves of the four aediculae and of the central niche of the building on it, in order to see to what extent differences between their upper levels and the corresponding level of the back wall were corrected in this part of the entablature. Everybody is profiting from skills of our crane operators, Ali Koç (Antalya Museum) and Süleyman Ayan.

On-site conservation activities got a major boost this week with the arrival of new, specially designed scaffolds. These facilitated pointing brick and rubble walls, mainly those in the Domestic Area. Directing these interventions is architect Paola Pesaresi, assisted by architects Soner Belliba (Istanbul Technical University) and Michal Stup (Tel Aviv University & KULeuven) and architecture student Esin Tekin (Istanbul Technical University). Engineer Paul Hostyn supervises the gluing of broken fragments.

Another major conservation intervention was carried out by conservator Erik Risser (Getty Museum) assisted by conservation student Arzu Özmen (Istanbul University, Koruma-Onarim). It involved the complete removal of the much fractured red stucco paint in the curved recess of room XXXIX in the Domestic Area, which was on the point of falling apart as plant roots had separated it from the tuffo blocks which it covered. The stucco was first treated with tissue in situ, then covered with aluminium and plastic foil, and finally coated with foam and a wooden board. It could then be removed as such and be taken to the conservation lab for further treatment. We'll replace it later.

The conservation lab, which treats all artifacts stored in our depots, is now running at full speed. The work is supervised by Nerina De Silva, assisted by conservators Emine Koçak (Ankara University, Ba'kent Yüksek Okulu), Katleen Vandenbranden (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp & City of Maastricht), Abdulaziz al-Duweesh (al-Sabbah Collection, Kuwait), and conservation students Ines Vandewoestijne (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp) and Melih Ekinci (Istanbul University, Koruma Onarim).

The work of all teams on the site has profited enormously from the efforts of our safety managers Roland Van den Borre (Dexia Bank), Johan Van Neck (KULeuven), Koen Thomas (Lucina, Leuven), who have left us already, and currently from the supervision of engineer Etienne Landuyt.

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