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The citadel conservation plan, largely supported by the 1984 Foundation, is comprised of five critical components identified during the initial planning study period: 1) the stabilization of the escarpments and restoration of the mound profile, 2) the design of the visitor circuit and associated viewing platforms, 3) the conservation and stabilization of the structures and pavements, 4) the conservation of the lifted and in situ pebble mosaics, and 5) the development of a site guidebook. This multi-year, phased program has already allowed for substantial progress in the conservation of structures and visitor circuit components.


Creating Legibility of Gordion’s Architecture

Legibility of the site plan from atop the visitor circuit has diminished in recent years. The proposed program for both visitor circuit improvements and material conservation will reinstate visibility of the archaeological features within the citadel mound. Priority has been given to exposing and treating the previously reburied Terrace Building masonry, laser scanning the walls and developing a monitoring program at the Early Phrygian gate and implementing a soft vegetative roof capping system at the gate and Terrace Building Complex. These specific projects aim to arrest stone deterioration and increase structural stability through conservation methods such as adhesive repair, micro-grouting, stone replacement and structural retrofitting. Greater comprehension of the ancient citadel and its features will be achieved with the installation of a replica of the Megaron 2 mosaic pavement. This three-year program to document, research and treat Gordion’s mosaics is supported by the J.M. Kaplan Fund.


Enhancing the Visitor Experience

In conjunction with the material conservation efforts aimed at increasing visual accessibility of the citadel features, a pilot program to enhance the site experience through improvements to the visitor circuit was implemented during the 2009 field season. The program is designed to address issues related to the ease of navigation on the paths around the excavated mound and to clarify points of interest visible from the visitor circuit. Improvements to the circuit include upgrading the perimeter railings, clearing overgrown vegetation, widening existing paths, installing new stone steps and constructing roofed viewing platforms to offer visitors temporary relief from the sun. Platform placement and the attached signage also enable visitors to form a connection between the citadel mound and its surrounding context.


Restoring the Mound Profile

Other components of the conservation program address life safety issues by identifying the need to mitigate basal erosion of the escarpments supporting the visitor circuit route. The restoration process, which requires the placement of backfill in undercut areas and the construction of several retaining walls, will stabilize the circuit and also further contribute to the visual integrity of the site by re-establishing the mound profile. The incremental changes achieved through the implementation of the phased program will lead to yearly advancements in improving Gordion’s safety and interpretation with the intention of establishing a sustainable long-term management plan.

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