Preservation of historical structures is a must for the survival of history and culture, and it is also a challenging process. In order to make preservation easier, many novel and varied methods are being attempted in archaeology. Recently, a new technique was developed at Kayseri University in the form of a solution that protects historical buildings from corrosive external factors, such as wind and rain, that has yielded positive results in trial applications.
The liquid solution, developed by professor Osman Özsoy and his two colleagues from Kayseri University as a result of seven months work, ensures that structures made of stone, concrete and adobe are protected from external factors, including snow, rain, sun and wind.
Özsoy said they developed the solution to help in the preservation of natural and historical artifacts, and noted that restoration is a critical task.
"Our biggest disadvantage in terms of protection are factors such as geography and climate. In our country, which has beauties such as Kültepe Mound and Koramaz Valley, we realized that the biggest problem was the protection of adobe buildings, and we conducted a study on what we can do about it," Özsoy told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Özsoy explained that the solution they developed was a result of the study, and it could also be used in the protection of the "fairy chimneys" in Cappadocia. He emphasized that the work they were conducting on the application areas of the solution is pioneering.
"We applied the solution to the surface of adobe, despite macro cracks (being present),” Özsoy said as he explained the results. “The solution did not remain above like a varnish, and went down, below the surface. It formed a wall along the entire surface (and) formed a molecular structure while establishing the wall. However, it also caused a hydrophobic structure.”
“After we applied the solution, the adobe material we applied was left in the rain, snow and winter. Normally, in this time, staying in these weather conditions accelerates the damage of adobe," he said and noted that the solution instead decreased the damage.
Özsoy added that test studies on the effects of the solution on materials would continue to be carried out in cooperation with an architecture faculty in the city that has made a proposal to work with the team.
Professor Fikri Kulakoğlu, head of the Kültepe excavation team, shared his colleagues' sentiment in saying that the biggest problem archaeological excavations face is protection.
"If you suddenly expose a cultural property that has been under the ground for three, four or 10 thousand years, it is very likely to be destroyed. Our duty as archaeologists is to protect what remains. We evaluate them, work and analyze them,” Kulakoğlu said.
“On the other hand, we need to ensure that these cultural assets and artifacts that we have unearthed reach beyond us in some way," he said as he underlined the importance of preserving cultural assets to present them to visitors.
Kulakoğlu noted that they employ several methods to protect unearthed structures. "We benefited from nanotechnology for a while. (But) we could not get rid of the degradation in any way,” he said. “Now, there is a liquid developed by professor Osman and his team.”
“We wanted to do small applications in a few places. We have been experimenting on adobe for a while to see if it protects it. As a preliminary study, we kept it over a month in conditions exposed to the outdoors – wind, rain, snow and sun.”
“The actual work will start in the next excavation period and we will systematically use this solution in certain places during that excavation period. We will determine the upsides and downsides of it,” he said and added, “In studies and work we have done so far, we see that out of all the techniques we apply, it is both a cheaper and more effective solution."
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