A preliminary study for the characterization of Kultepe's adobe soils with the purpose of providing data for conservation and archaeology

Uguryol M. F., Kulakoglu F.

JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, vol.14, no.3, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.culher.2012.12.008
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Soil characterization, Adobe soil, Mud-brick, Adobe conservation, Kultepe-Kanesh-Karum
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Kultepe (Kayseri) became an important trade and cultural center between Anatolia, Northern Syria and Mesopotamia starting with the end of the third millennium B. C. Kultepe structures, consisting of mudbrick walls on stone foundations and wood pillars to carry the roof, formed the basis of the typical Hittite architecture. The area excavated in Kultepe so far is only a part of this grand settlement; however, it is quite a large area compared to many other sites covered by protective constructions. So, it is very important to develop active conservation methods for Kultepe's unsheltered adobe ruins that are under thread of erosion. In this study, a laboratory characterization was made for future experimental preservation studies, in which the physical, mineralogical and chemical properties of the in situ soil remains from a collapsed structure in Kultepe were measured. Initially, color classification, grain specific gravity and specific surface area were identified. Grain size distribution, consistency limits, volumetric and linear shrinkage ratios of the material were determined by mechanical analyses, and the soil was classified based on its granulometry and plasticity characteristics. Clay minerals were identified by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDS) analyses, and sand grains were studied under binocular microscope and polarization microscope for mineralogical analyses. As for the chemicals analyses, soil pH was measured, soluble salt content was examined by simple spot tests and conductivity measurements, and organic matter, calcium carbonate contents were approximately determined according to weight loss on ignition. (C) 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.