Reflexive Conservation Research at Çatalhöyük

Author(s): Ashley Lingle

Year: 2017


Çatalhöyük, like many earthen sites, is a complex exercise in preservation. Since it was first excavated in the 1960s there have been efforts to preserve the archaeological substrate. A significant part of this program was the application of aqueous polymer systems applied as a consolidant to the plaster and mud brick surfaces. This practice of attempting to strength walls by polymerization was reviewed by means of laboratory testing in the 1990s, and continued to some extent unchallenged for the following 20 years. In recent years, however, it became necessary to revise the suitability of this polymer system. As the aims for stabilization shifted from temporary to long term-display, and site monitoring improved, specific deterioration patterns emerged which correlated with failure of the polymer rather than deterioration of the archaeological substrate. This dilemma provided an interesting opportunity to review the practice, and challenge the adequacy of a methodology that is not unique to Çatalhöyük. To achieve this Fourier Transform Infrared microspectroscopy was coupled with a holistic study of the environment at the site. As a result, a new interpretation of the performance of polymer systems within the archaeological substrate allows for a more informed conservation practice in the future.

Cite this Record

Reflexive Conservation Research at Çatalhöyük. Ashley Lingle. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431488)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16268