Stratigraphy and Conservation of Cultural Heritage: the Example of Rupestrian Churches of Cappadocia (Turkey)
The conservation of cultural heritage needs a multidisciplinary approach to identify the most suitable and durable methods of intervention regarding phisical and chemical decay of materials. In particular this approach is essential to preserve outdoor heritage affected by climatic and environmental changes; in regard to it, Cappadocian region is a unique ignimbrite landscape created by neogenic volcanic activity shaped by phenomena as erosion and freeze–thaw cycles. The tabular stratigraphic trend of the ignimbritic sequence influenced the geomorphological evolution, promoting typical earth pyramids called “fairy chimneys”. These structures were carved and transformed during the centuries, especially by Byzantine population, into urban centres and churches with precious frescoes; for this reason some Cappadocia sites have been in World Heritage List since 1985. The present work belongs to a greater research project about cave churches conservation coordinated by Prof.ssa Andaloro from Tuscia University (Italy). The aim is to focus the relationships between geological features and the conservation in Şahinefendi village, already known for the site of Sobesos, a city dating to the late Roman and early Christian period (mid-4th century to 5th century A.D.).
KeywordsCappadocia Degradation Earth pyramids Rock hewn churches
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