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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Preparations for rebuilding the vault above room XXVIII
The half-completed new vault above room XXVIII

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

On Site Conservation: June 26-30, 2005

Most of the ruins of Sagalassos are still standing despite the harsh weather to which they have been exposed since they were excavated. However, every year, the weathering factors dreadfully damage the buildings, especially those containing mortared rubble or brick sections, so there are lots of surfaces, wall segments and even huge gaps that require pointing, reinforcing, reconstructing and capping.

The site conservation team started under the supervision of Semih Ercan (METU Ankara and KULeuven), Ebru Torun (METU Ankara and KULeuven) assisted by Mehmet Koyutuerk (METU Ankara). A team from Ankara University, Baskent Yueksek Okulu, Conservation Department led by Y. Selçuk Sener, Bekir Eskici and Cengiz Çetin visited the site for a day to identify the priorities of the program and identify the most urgent areas for interventions, as well as the basic conservation principles and materials. Based on this site survey, an "Intervention Program Map" was prepared as a guide for the 2005 campaign. As for the different types of interventions, it was obvious that the main volume of work had to be lime mortar based structural consolidations. For this purpose, we decided to apply use the mortar composition developed by the geologist of the team (P. Degryse) that had been successfully applied at the Northwest Heroon.

According to the program, one of the most urgent interventions was reconstruction of the vault above room XXVIII in Domestic Area, probably a winter oecus (salon) located along the north side of private courtyard XXV. The vault had been covered with earth just after its excavation as a temporary protection against environmental conditions. We cleaned off the earth and studied the condition of the brick and stone elements. As a result, we decided to reconstruct the severely deteriorated parts of the vaulted room with the materials available on site. Since the vault is 2.4 m wide at its springing line and 2.6 m in depth, a scaffold and a timber frame were mounted for safety and accessibility reasons. We then repointed the sidewalls that support the vault. In the mean time, the reinforcement of a gap on the north wall of courtyard XXV in Domestic Area has been carried out.

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