Conservation and restoration of the türbe in the Artemision of Ephesos

The plan is to conserve and restore the türbe which was extensively studied archaeologically and building archaeologically from 2009 to 2011 as part of a multi-year project. The building is located in the immediate vicinity of the temple of Artemis and with the help of a sustainable conservation concept it is intended to repair it so that it can be opened to the public. 

Starting point


During the restoration season 2015 several structural issues were identified as the main hazard as part of a status and condition analysis. Particularly missing bricks in the dome mean that the vault thrust is not neatly directed into the walls below. But also the formerly wooden building elements such as the horizontal ring and most of the lintels of the windows posed constructional-structural problems, especially since these parts have already weathered away. Therefore by inserting a new ring of metal as well as by adding the missing window lintels and by securing the dome these hazards will be corrected as part of a sustainable concept.

Conservation and restoration 2015


The main focus of the conservation season was placed on the structural evaluation and the conservation of the interior enclosing walls. All surfaces were dry and wet cleaned and considerable importance was attached to preserving the accumulated appearance. Following the cleaning, the plasterwork and bubbles in the area of large hollow layers were reconnected with the masonry by injecting a calcareous filling compound. In order to secure protruding plaster and plasterwork in danger of falling off batterings were mounted with lime mortar. In preparation of the planned repair of the dome from the outside all open joints visible from inside were closed with expandable lime mortar. As a result of these measures the extensively preserved plaster areas in the interior were secured while retaining an appearance according to its age. 

Conservation and restoration 2016


The aim of the second conservation season was to structurally secure and repair the dome while the most important measure was the installation of a ring of construction steel. Following the positioning and connection of the steel bars, the remaining defects were closed and the ring was plastered according to the remains from the construction period. The defects in the dome were closed with hand cast bricks after a thorough dry and wet cleaning. The varying size of bricks were adjusted to the original elements and were plastered with hydraulic lime mortar with the addition of brick chippings. Additionally, fragments of bricks or stones were inserted into wider butt and horizontal joints and then all joints were closed. Particular focus was placed on the careful filling of all cavities in order to create a complete contact between the old and new material and in order to ensure a connection between the inner and outer dome shell. 

Outlook


In a third season finally all work on the exterior walls will be completed and the floor and tombs in the interior will be treated.