Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



A THESIS in Historic Preservation Presented to the Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Ful llment of the Requirements of the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION 2009


The archaeological site at Gordion, Turkey is located in a region of high seismic activity, which threatens the standing masonry structures—particularly the dry laid limestone walls—of the ancient Phrygian capital. First excavated in the 1950s, the citadel gate is composed of an ashlar limestone veneer encasing a rubble core. Although the gate has been the focus of several conservation efforts, the unreinforced masonry structure requires study and possible stabilization to mitigate and prevent further bulging or even collapse. The gate’s current conditions include extensive cracking, spalls, split faces, missing chinking stones, open joints and bulges, which partially result from the complex history of the site. Constructed around 900 BC, the Early Phrygian Gate only briefly served as the main entryway to the citadel; it was then affected by fire and burial and used as a foundational support for later structures. Partial excavation has largely exposed the North and South Courts of the gate complex. However, several courses of the later building stone remain in localized areas of the gate walls, and the interior of South Court still contains the almost 3,000 year old clay construction fill. These factors have contributed to displacement of the multiple leaf system by exerting lateral force and causing compression and shear cracks. This thesis synthesizes existing knowledge of the behavior of masonry during seismic events, properties of dry stone structures and site-specific characteristics as a basis for constructing recommendations for future monitoring and stabilization efforts.



Date Posted: 20 October 2009