THE AYVALIK MOSAIC – Gaziantep fifth and last week

This week is my final week in Gaziantep. From Aug 24 onwards I have an internship at the archeological site of Pergamon. The modern city of Bergama with its archeological site of Pergamon is 50 km away from Ayvalik. In order to get there, set the mosaic studio up in Ayvalik and be ready for work on Monday early morning, I have to leave Gaziantep on Thursday Aug 20.

It is so absolutely crazy to try and do everything at the same time.  But I really want to work in Pergamon and  so I will try to do the crazy thing to work there and on the mosaic in Ayvalik. Not sure how this will work out.

Here in Nusret’s atelier we have finished almost all figures for the floor. It took 4 weeks of two full time workers and one part timer to set up the workshop, build the frames, collect some of the stone material and produce 5 mosaic designs.

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Only one big fish is not finished yet. He seems to be sad and angry to be left behind as the others are already shipped to Ayvalik. But Nusret and Tahir agree to finish it and send him to Ayvalik in early September.

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I also would like to get the rocks that we collected at the bank of the dam to be cut into discs at the marble workshop that helped us before. But unfortunately the workshop has a holiday and is not open until Wednesday. I really tremble with fear that we don’t get this done anymore and I make plans for shipping the rocks as they are which seems a bit silly.

On Tuesday we are invited by the Zeugma excavation team to take part in an excursion to see the new mosaics that were found in the past years. This is such a great opportunity! So of course we go, also there is urgent work to finish in the atelier. Nusret, Tahir and I travel together with the team of conservators from the conservation lab. It is absolutely stunning to see these fine extremely well preserved works in situ.

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Mosaic of the muses, Zeugma Excavation Site

When we are back on Wednesday morning, the marble workshop is open again. Puh! The master agrees to cut the stones in the evening. It is the evening before the Kargo will leave the atelier with all ready mosaics and the tools and material to Ayvalik!

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In the last light of this Wednesday we manage to have all Euphrates rocks cut into 1 cm discs and ready to ship. What a run with the time!

On Thursday morning we pack the boards with the mosaics and the stones carefully into bubble wrap and styrofoam and I board the afternoon flight back to Ankara!

It is a run with the time, so no time for tears!

In Ankara my good friend Miriam picks me up from the airport and I crush into her arms.

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