The work of each team came to a culmination as we cleaned up the site and sealed up the schoolhouse with tools and artifacts until next year.
The Clark students worked hard finishing up drawings and block field maps to be taken back to the United States for studying, inking (which is the process of turning their pencil drawings into inked drawings), and collaboration.
The UNL students arrived at stopping points in their trenches, which will be continued next year. The two trenches on top of the temple found the marble floor of the temple. One trench had a man-hole size portion missing from the marble slab, reavealing what are believed to be fill rocks that distribute the weight of the upper level of the temple onto a vaulted chamber below. Unfortunately, no entry into a lower level was found in this season of work. Examples of similar temple architecture suggests that the entryway will be on one of the temple sides or from the upper level. The trench at the rear (North side) of the temple was continued approximately three meters below the where the level of dirt originally was. This trench revealed an exterior wall of a lower level. The wall appears to go down further, but we will have to wait until next year to see exactly how much. Theoretically, the coursework shown on the rear lower wall will continue around the temple, and we hope that this is preserved.
The work of the Engineering team continued with all its diversity:
We continued to excavate the temple mound and relocate the blocks to block fields. Block field D was created this season for column drums, bases, and capitals. This will helps us organize these imporatant block types. Block field C was filled with marble wall blocks, architraves, geisons, friezes, other Roman temple pieces. Approximately 50 blocks and small pieces were moved this season alone.
We continued structural analysis of the blocks, completing block fields A and B. Analysis of block fields C and D is partially complete. The information gathered from this analysis will be placed in the block database that is currently being compiled.
The temple rendering project was given a hearty start this season. After gathering as much information about the dimensions and architecture of the temple, we rendered the information in autoCAD as a 3D file. The file will be refined as our knowledge of the temple grows. As another facet of this overall project, we were given instructions from the Clark University students on how to interpret the pencil drawings they have completed. We then draw each block in 3D. The block drawings include information about worked surfaces (shown as "hatches" in autoCAD) and broken edges (which are given a different line color in autoCAD). These two autuCAD projects are intened to be combined. The individual blocks may eventually be inserted into the temple rendering; this will allow the reconstruction team to better determine the position the block should occupy when the temple is rebuilt.
Since the archeology students working on the trenches on top of the temple cleared a path for us on the marble slab they revealed, we brought up the GPR system and took scans. We carefully placed a rebar piece in a lower crack inbetween two wall blocks resting on the marble floor at the rear of the temple. Then we scanned on top of the wall blocks. The results from this scan were processed using Radan software, which allows us to view how deep the rebar appeared based on the dielectric used. We compared this depth to the actual depth of the rebar, which we measured directly. This allowed us to calibrate the GPR machine's dielectric when taking scans over the marble slab. The results showed some interesting things: 1)the marble slab was visible as a clear line on the scan 2)below this were various parabola reflections 3)then the scan revealed a "dead space" where the dielectric did not change 4)at the bottom of the scan, a flat layer was observed. We believe that this does not dispute the assertion that there is a lower chamber to the temple.
Overall, the 2009 season was very successful; however, we were left with many questions. As always, the end of the work season serves as a cliff-hanger which will not be resolved until the next exciting installment. We all became close as we slowly graduated from "maggots" to "goats", which is how Professor Hoff likes to refer to us students as. We sadly said our goodbyes to the temple site, beautiful Turkey, and each other, and we look forward to seeing what next year will reveal for the project.