Turkey, Culture

Expert team carefully preserves artifacts at Turkish museum

Sanliurfa Archeology Museum offers visitors opportunity to view adventure of humanity from early ages to present day

Eşber Ayaydın   | 13.09.2021
Expert team carefully preserves artifacts at Turkish museum


Unique historical artifacts and mosaics are being carefully cleaned and preserved by a team of experts for future generations at the Sanliurfa Archeology Museum in southeastern Turkey.

The museum, which was opened to visitors in 2015 by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, offers visitors the opportunity to view the adventure of humanity from the early ages to the present day with exhibited historical artifacts, animations and imitations.

The restoration experts are meticulously examining the unique mosaics depicting Amazon women and other artifacts which were unearthed in ongoing excavations at the Gobeklitepe site -- known as the "world's oldest temple" -- as well as in many parts of Sanliurfa province.

Gobeklitepe has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List since 2011. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in June 2018.

The famed ancient site was discovered in 1963 by researchers from Istanbul and Chicago universities.

- Museum laboratories

Celal Uludag, director of the Sanliurfa Museum and head of excavation at the Gobeklitepe site, told Anadolu Agency that the artifacts are being periodically checked and sensitively processed in laboratories within the museum by experts in the field.

He said there are three laboratories within the museum and the artifacts obtained during the excavations are being first photographed and documented in these special laboratories.

"Sanliurfa Archeology Museum’s laboratories are adequately equipped both in terms of equipment and personnel. The incoming works are subjected to restoration in these laboratories according to their type and characteristics," he said.

Uludag underlined that there are also "on-site interventions" outside the laboratories.

"Particularly, interventions at archaeological excavation sites are very important. Mosaics, which are immovable cultural assets, are subject to restoration, conservation and cleaning, especially in the field," he said.

He emphasized that the expert team carries out the restoration-conservation process within the laboratory for all kinds of materials such as stone, terracotta, bronze, iron, silver, gold, bone and glass.

Uludag stressed that the first in the world mosaic samples of the warrior Amazon women are located in the Haleplibahce Mosaic Museum, which has an area of ​​5,000 square meters (53,820 square feet) in the museum complex.

"Our mosaic museum is constantly checked by our restorer friends, and any deterioration, contamination or dusting is cleaned," he added.

- Avoiding irreversible errors

Aysenur Comlekci, a restorer at the museum, said they use materials and tools according to the required kind of intervention based on the type and characteristics of the work they carry out.

"We need to be very patient in this work because we may encounter something that is difficult to reverse due to an intervention we have made. So we act very slowly and sensitively," she said.

Restorer Tanju Yıldırım said their goal is "minimum intervention and maximum protection."

"There may be irreversible errors in the smallest detail that may be overlooked. For this reason, we approach the work with the same sensitivity as a mother approaches her baby," he said.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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