A study on the building techniques and materials in the late antique and byzantine fortifications in anatolia: Ancyra and Nicaea /

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2016
Yavuzatmaca, Mercan
This research aims to investigate building techniques and materials in the Late Antique and Byzantine fortifications of Anatolia through the selected case studies of Ancyra/Ankara and Nicaea/Iznik. The majority of Late Antique and Byzantine fortifications in Anatolia are distinguished by ashlar masonry, including quantities of spolia, with alternating courses of brick. The frequent appearance of brick, in combination with more-or-less regularly cut blocks or spolia, in the buildings and fortifications of Anatolia from the Late Roman through to the Byzantine periods (particularly from the ninth century onwards) creates difficulties in offering a precise dating for these structures. The citadel of Ankara, in terms of construction technique and materials, finds one of its closest parallels in the fortifications of Iznik. The major modification to the walls of Iznik, originally built in the third century AD, is attributed to Michael III, or precisely to the year 858 by the inscriptions. The eighth and ninth century phases of the walls of Iznik are characterized by rich quantities of spolia alternating with bands of brick. Similarly, the rebuilding of the inner circuit of the Ankara fortifications, built of large blocks of spolia up to a height of eight-to-ten meters, capped above by alternating courses of brick and rubble stone, is attributed to the year 859. The rebuilding of the walls of both Ankara and Iznik were included in a large-scale program of fortification by the Emperor Michael III (842-867). A close examination of these two fortifications will help us understand the development of the variations in ashlar masonry and spolia, in combination with brick, and shed light on dating and restitution issues, assisting in determining appropriate conservation approaches, in other Late Antique and Byzantine fortifications in Anatolia.

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Citation Formats
M. Yavuzatmaca, “A study on the building techniques and materials in the late antique and byzantine fortifications in anatolia: Ancyra and Nicaea /,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2016.