Deterioration Problems of Basalts in Diyarbakır City Walls

Dursun, Felat
Diyarbakir province comprises characteristic examples of a geographical region that carries the traces of many civilizations from prehistoric to modern times. The remains and artifacts of civilizations reigned in Diyarbakir can be found all around the city. The Diyarbakir City Walls are one of the unique remains that surround throughout the city. Diyarbakir Fortress, as an important structural design of common mankind product, has saved its importance till the XXI. Century. The fortress is located on a basalt plateau which spreads at a 70 m altitude of the western side of the Tigris River to Karacadağ and it consists of two parts, namely interior and exterior fortresses. The interior fortress was constructed by Hurrian on 3000 B.C. The Diyarbakir City Walls consist of 82 towers; the height of walls, partly reach to 8-22 m and thickness of walls to 0,8-5.25 m, extended almost 6 km around the city. As a historical and cultural property, the Diyarbakir City Walls were constructed by using natural stones (basalt). Although the City Walls were subjected to numerous past interventions and scientific studies, the behavior of the material used in the structure, origin and deterioration mechanism of the stones, unfortunately, have not been comprehensively studied. The interventions carried out without identifying the long-term performance of materials in their natural conditions, cause new and irreversible damages on the structure. This undesirable situation can be observed on the Diyarbakir City Walls as well. Hence, some structural and deterioration problems have emerged as a result of improper conservation interventions. In this study, the physical properties such as effective porosity, unit weight, water absorption, saturation coefficient of basalts used in the City Walls and the weathering forms such as detachments, discoloring, scaling, fissuring, efflorescence, microbiological colonization and material loss developed in the City Walls were investigated.
Citation Formats
F. Dursun, “Deterioration Problems of Basalts in Diyarbakır City Walls,” 2017. Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: