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Ancyra project: The survey of the Augustus' temple in Ankara
Gabriele Fangi, Gianluca Gagliardini
Ancona University, Italy
Paula Botteri, Piero Piva, Giuliano Rossi
Trieste University, Italy
Beatrice Pinna Caboni
Sovrintendenza archelogica, Roma, Italy
Following Octavian Augustus' conquest of Galatia, in central Anatolia, in about 25 BC, a marble temple was built in Ankara. This monument to Roman hegemony celebrated the glory of Augustus, the first roman Emperor; after his death the temple was adorned with coloured engraved letters to recount his res gestae, the most famous epigraph of the roman world. All that remains today of the original building (known as Monumentum Ancyranum) is the pronaos and the lateral walls of the cella, one of which is badly holed. Inside the pronaos, on the intact lateral wall of the cella, there is the Augustan text in Latin, while a Greek translation may be read outside. Alongside the still impressive remains of the temple, almost 12 metres high and 32.5 metres long, there is a 15th-century mosque with minaret. The engraved marble with its remarkable political heritage, testimony to an epoch-making change from one regime to another and from one millennium to another, is now rapidly deteriorating because of the severe atmospheric conditions and heavy pollution. The last known measurements are in Der Tempel in Ankara by M. Schede and D. Krencker, published in Berlin in 1936. In September 1997 the photogrammetric survey of all the engraved walls was carried out, an area of approximately 46 square metres in total. In year 2000 a complete topographic and photogrammetric survey of the whole complex was carried out in view of the restoration project. The used surveying technique took advantage of the new reflectorless theodolites; the benefits are in terms of required equipment and time. Here the results of the survey are shown. The geometric reconstruction of the monument is only a part of a more complex and interdisciplinary study, going from town planning, history, epigraphy, petrography, statics, and architecture. On the basis of the survey, some restoration projects have to be prepared. The virtual reality techniques enable the restoration projects to be observed and monitored before their realisation.
The importance of the Augustus temple in Ankara derives from the epigraph engraved of the wall, the so-called Res Restae, the most important and famous of the roman world. The University of Trieste - Italy- conceived the so-called Ankyra Project, for the safeguard of the epigraph and the temple. The Ancyra Project mostly concentrates on the Monumentum Ancyranum. This is the definition commonly given by scholars of the ancient world to indicate the bilingual text engraved on the walls of the famous temple of Caesar Octavian Augustus, built in Ancyra (today's Ankara). This political celebration of Augustus' achievements was copied from the original one, no more existing, engraved on two bronze pillars at the entrance to his mausoleum, in Rome. The temple in the Medial Age was transformed in a byzantine church, and afterwards it was used as a dwelling house. The last known measurements are in Der Tempel in Ankara by M. Schede and D. Krencker, published in Berlin in 1936. The general conditions of the remains of the temple are indeed very poor, from the static and general point of view, because of the very hard environmental state, produced by the severe atmospheric conditions and mainly the terrible air pollution. In September 1997 a scientific mission carried out the photogrammetric survey of all the engraved walls, an area of approximately 46 square metres in total (Fangi et al. Olinda, 1999). The photogrammetric survey provided a virtual cast of the complex, obtained by non-aggressive and non-intrusive techniques. Photogrammetry proved again to be a very efficient technique, enabling a virtual cast to be obtained in very short time compared to six months period needed to the ancient archaeologists to get at real cast. In August 2000 a complete topographic and photogrammetric survey of the whole complex was carried out in view of the restoration project following the steps:
In this paper the first results of the project are shown and discussed.
preserve the inscription.
conduct a detailed petrographic survey to establish the criteria needed to put an end to the process of dilapidation and decay of the epigraphic surface.
study the possibility to restore the epigraphs.
- prepare a proposal for intervention to safeguard the precarious condition of the monument, which supports the epigraphs.
Description of The Temple
The plan of the temple is a rectangular shape, the axis directed north-west, the main entrance facing the large square in front of the Haci Bayram mosque. Alongside the still impressive
Fig. 1 - The entrance of the temple in an ancient print
Fig. 2 - Aerial view of the remains of the Augustus temple seen from the minaret of the Haci Bayram Camii
remains of the temple, almost 12 metres high and 32.5 metres long, there is a 15th-century mosque with minaret, the Haci Bayram Camii, perhaps the Turkish capital's most important Islamic centre. Only the walls of the cella, the inner part of the temple, are still standing; the roof is still covering the temple, thus worsening the conditions of the walls. Large scaffolding surrounds the wall. A colonnade originally bordered the temple. No one column is still there. As concerns the original peristyle, what remains is located below the present road level. In the fig.2 the temple as seen form the minaret of the near mosque. Little can be perceved as modern urban development has drastically altered the original setting: a wide pavement surrounds the mosque and parts of the temple whilst a road open to traffic runs parallel to the lateral side of Roman monument. Only the two longitudinal walls together, with the entrance door, can be seen. In the rear part, the remains of the abse, build when the temple was transformed in a byzantine church. The transversal wall was then destroyed, producing weakening of the whole structure. Below the abse there is a crypt.