Ancient ornamentations being restored in Van
VAN – Anadolu AgencyPieces that have fallen from ornaments carved on big stones 2,700 years ago in the Ayanis Castle, built by the Urartian King Rusa II on a hill overlooking the Lake Van, are being attached to their original places with special materials.
The places of the pieces have been determined by restorers and sculptors after a two-year work.
An important and special Urartian temple with its stone and adobe workmanship as well as the adornments on its walls, Ayanis Castle has been undergoing excavation works headed by Erzurum Atatürk University’s archaeology department’s Professor Mehmet Işıklı. A team of 25 people from Erzurum Atatürk, Dokuz Eylül, Van Yüzüncü Yıl, Batman, Eskişehir, Anadolu and Ordu universities are working in the field.
New structures and artifacts unearthed during excavations carried out in the castle in the past 28 years give important clues about life 2,700 years ago.
Işıklı said this year they focused on preservation and restoration works in the castle and around, and that the Haldi Temple and sella structure that were unearthed in the castle 20 years ago are the most special parts of the Urartian castles.
Stating that the detailed restoration works on ornamentations and decorated stones in the temple field were continuing, Işıklı noted that it was a very troublesome and demanding work.
“Our experts have been busy with finding the places of pieces falling from the big ornamented stones for two seasons. Once they find the original place, they attach the pieces with restoration materials,” he said.
Işıklı said finding the places of the pieces one by one was a very difficult task.
“Now we attach these small pieces to their places. The same work will be carried out in the other parts, but at first we have to complete the missing parts with drawings. It is very hard to restore the whole temple like this. We will finish one field this year with our own efforts. Then with the support of some institutions, we will finish the restoration inside and open the temple to visitors. The temple will have a healthier environment,” he added.
He said 28 years have passed since the start of the excavations, in which they obtained important information about the temple.
“A roof was made for better preservation. When the roof is completed, we accelerated the restoration works. When the project is finished, people will be able to visit the temple and the walls. We also have the second stage of the project, approved by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Board. We will construct a partial walking route. We will propose to the ministry to make the Ayanis Castle an archaeological site,” he added.