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    Increasingly, architecture is becoming a discipline that tells only its self-born story and feels obliged to establish a new narrative that attracts constant attention. However, in order to establish a new story, perhaps it is necessary to read, listen and experience hundreds of previously written stories.

    It has been nearly twenty years since we started working on and designing in, cultural heritage sites, especially archaeological context. Over the course of these twenty years, we have increasingly learned to search for the natural elements, social context and historical data of the “places” in which we work. Procuring all of the surviving traces and creating design criteria on these traces became our objective. The more we learned, the more we started seeing the layers we didn’t pay attention to at the beginning or didn’t think that could be used as design data. Thus, we learned to read a “place”, a “scene” as a whole with all of its layers.

    At first, we thought that designing on these detailed readings and complex information were unique to archaeological sites; since it was normal for an archaeological site to be made up of layered historical data, and there were many intervening-parties from relevant administrations to experts. However, as we became accustomed to reading a place, a scene, nature, history, people and structures as a whole, we began to understand that this was not uniquely limited to archaeological sites. Even the areas that were easily assumed to be “empty” actually existed on complex natural, historical and social topography. For us architecture was more about increasing our ability to see and process these complex data as design data. As our ability to make holistic interpretations of a given “place” with specific background knowledge grew, we were able to see and consider the inconspicuous data even more.

    Briefly; after a while, we began to realize that each “place” actually had its own archeology. Architecture has thus gone beyond the creation of the beautiful, the interesting and new forms or finding solutions to a selected few problems of those possessors of the “place” at that given moment in time. We realized that natural and social cycles have a temporality that far exceeds the individual perception of time, and that the built environment inevitably belongs to such a temporality with every element. This led us to an effort to understand the natural and social cycles, the relations of the built environment along with them, beyond the stylistic reductionism such as traditionalism and contextualism. Architecture has become a business of making sense, making visible and gathering of the data uncovered through an archaeological excavation like research. We have seen that, given enough effort to understand, it is possible to construct a unique narrative within these broad cycles without becoming cheesy and destructive. Of course, this has brought the necessity of more comprehensive and long-term reflection, discussion and questioning on the meaning, necessity and consequences of whatever was planned for the “place”. Building, deciding how to shape a building could only be related to architecture after this thought and understanding process was completed, or carried out together. Otherwise, these structures often remain as lonely and destructive objects.

    Halicarnassus Mausoleum Landscaping and Exhibition Project (G00) is a project we prepared for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Muğla Directorate of Survey and Monuments in 2018 in line with these experiences. Our subject is Halicarnassus Mausoleum, located 200 meters north of Bodrum Port center. The mausoleum takes its name from the local Persian Satrap who built the building for himself; Mausolus.

    Today, at first glance, there are few traces of the ancient Halicarnassus Mausoleum. However, due to its international reputation, it is an area that has been the subject of archaeological excavations for more than a century. The complete demolition of the mausoleum, even its absence, is a title in itself. This ambiguity, its complete obscurity, is actually part of its reputation. Somewhat, this state of absence and uncertainty constitutes the source of the extreme touristic expectations that are tried to be imposed on it today, threatening the remnants of the mausoleum and its historical integrity. (G01)


    The story of the mausoleum begins in ancient Caria in the 4th century BC. In terms of its wars, gigantic stone structures, construction techniques and social acceptance, it is a quite different period from today. In some respects, there are many human and social similarities that are still valid today.

    Mausolus, who gave his name to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and consequently the mausoleums after him, lived in the 4th century BC. 1A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. After his father Hecatomnus, he is the second ruler of the Carian Satrap Dynasty Hecatomnids. Persians, who occupied Anatolia from the 6th century BC, ruled every administrative region under their rule through tyrants, whom they appointed from the center and named Satrap. The satrap they assigned to Caria at the beginning of the 4th century BC is Hecatomnus, who was unusually chosen from a family from Caria in order to maintain political balances. The Hecatomnid Dynasty, consisting of Hecatomnus and his children, ruled Caria for about a hundred years. 2Olivier Henry,4rt Century Karia, İstanbul, IFEA, 2013, p: 5-7

    During this period, Caria grew and developed, and great construction activities were initiated (G02). However, the Carians were accused of treason by other Ionian peoples to whom they were culturally attached, for collaborating with the invading Persian forces. In fact, Vitruvius tells in his Ten Books on Architecture, written in the 1st century BC, that the columns in the form of a woman figure were built to symbolically punish the people of Caria and were called Caryatite.3Vitruvius, De Architectura, ~ 30 BC, Ten Books on Architecture, Şevki Vanlı Foundation Publications, 1993, Translated by: Suna Güven, 1.book, 5. title, page 4-6 Although it does not seem chronologically correct, this opinion becomes quite common afterwards.

    When Hecatomnus died in 377 BC, Mausolus, his eldest son and second member of the dynasty, became the Satrap of Caria. Mausolus pursued an aggressive policy aimed at enlarging Caria; moved the capital from Milas to the coastal city of Halicarnassus. This also meant a major construction move, especially the reconstruction of Halicarnassus. Besides the wide walls and many structures of Halicarnassus, many buildings in Labraunda (the nearby sanctuary) were built during the Mausolus period, and the city was decorated with great monuments and statues.

    This great construction period leads to the emergence of a distinctive style, called “Ionian Renaissance”, which brought together Doric, Ionian and Persian styles, especially in sculpture and architecture (G03).4Poul Pedersen, Hekatomnid Caria and the Ionian Renaissance, Odense, Odense University Press, 1991, p:11-13 With all these advances, the dynasty became politically overpowered and the taxes gradually increased. Mausolus has become a feared and unpopular figure by both the Carians and neighboring cities. He was assassinated several times, but survived all.

    Mausolus is also known as the first tyrant who brought the “cult of personality” to the western world by having many buildings and statues built in his name, which was unique to eastern cultures like the Persians.5Olivier Henry, Quel(s) portrait(s) pour les Hécatomnides?, Bilder der Macht, Paderborn, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2017, p: 101-120 Mausoleum is a founding political move aiming to place the Hecatomnid dynasty at the level of “holy kingdom” by raising it from the human plane, as well as being the tomb of Mausolus.6Anne Marie Cartens, Divine Kingship at the City Centre”, “Olivier Henry,Le Mort dans la Ville” içinde bölüm, IFEA, İstanbul,2013, s: 175-183 It is also interpreted as one of the messengers of the empires period that will soon develop in the west after the Alexander invasion.

    The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the masterpiece of this period and the great construction move, is his own monumental tomb, which was started to be built by Mausolus as a symbol of himself and his dynasty, immortality and holiness.


    It is known that the construction of the building was not completed before the death of King Mausolus in 353 BC. After his death, it is known from written sources that Artemisia II., who was his wife and sister, continued the construction for two more years, until her death. It is not exactly known how much of it was completed after 351 BC. However, in the following years, it became an important building with its size and unusual architectural style, as well as its many ornaments, and it was accepted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (as described in a poem composed about 140 BC by Antipater of Sidon). In the eyes of a traveler who entered the harbor during the time it was built, it can be guessed that both the main building and the terrace on which it sits was a structure that arouses admiration and a kind of fear with its immediately noticeable grandeur.(G04)

    The mausoleum, which commemorates King Mausolus, has become the symbol of the cosmopolitan structure of the rulership, beyond its grandeur with its representation of two different cultures belonging to the Mediterranean geography incorporating Athenian and Persian motifs. The mausoleum has impressive architectural variety; The fact that it is located in a large Persian garden, Lycian-style terraces, its columnar upper structure resembling an Ionic Greek temple and its stepped roof reminiscent of the Egyptian pyramids can be given as examples of this diversity. The origins of this diversity, which also affected the structures after it, and their role in creating the unique identity of Lycia at that time, are still discussed extensively by archaeologists who study the period.7B.F.Cook, Relief Sculpture of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, New York, Oxford Uni.Press, 2005 It is known that the four facades of the building are decorated with sculptures, styles and scales. These decorations on 4 facades were made by 4 different Greek sculptors Scopas, Bryaxis, Timotheus and Leochares, according to the writings of Latin writers Pliny the Elder and Vitruvius.

    Demolition of the Mausoleum

    Like many other buildings on the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the mausoleum was also destroyed and even its ruins have almost disappeared. The rediscovery of this structure, which was buried in darkness from the Ancient Age to the Middle Ages, was made by the Knights of St. Jean in the 1490s. It is believed that at the time it was found by the Knights, it was already destroyed by damage from earthquakes. The mausoleum was then systematically dismantled for the next 20 years and the building blocks were used for the construction of the St. Peter Castle (today referred to as Bodrum Castle). It is known that many sculptures that remained in the period between the 16th and 19th centuries were stolen by robbers.

    Today, it is possible to see that stones and ornaments from various parts of the mausoleum were used as materials on the walls of the castle or some 18th- 19th century buildings in the city. It is thought that other parts of the mausoleum that could not be found were burned to obtain the necessary lime during the construction of the castle. Although there was no important study about the mausoleum, which was buried in darkness again until the 19th century, information about the used parts of the mausoleum was obtained from the reports kept by the western visitors who came to Bodrum from time to time and had permission to enter the Castle. After long efforts, a group of British researchers got permission8The Mausoleum of Halikarnassos to disassemble some of the pieces in the castle and take them to England for exhibition, and the process of moving the pieces of the mausoleum to the British Museum started.

    Archaeological Excavations on Site

    Scientific research and excavations in the mausoleum site begin with the arrival of C.T. Newton to Bodrum representing the British Museum in 1848. Newton, who originally came to take a few friezes and lion sculptures from the castle, started archaeological excavations by exploring the mausoleum site. He bought and demolished 8 buildings built on the mausoleum site and continued archaeological excavations for 10 years (G05). 1738 pieces, large and small, extracted from this area were taken to England for exhibition and research. Among them, the 25-meter long Amazon Frieze, two statues thought to be Mausolus and Artemisa II., the lion statue and the head of one of the horses in the Quadriga (thought to be at the top of the structure) are the most famous ones.

    After the first excavations initiated by Newton in the 19th century, the second archaeological excavation project was carried out between 1966-1977 by the Aarhus University team led by Kristian Jeppesen. During these excavations, important discoveries were made, traces of the terraces of the mausoleum, the burial chamber and the ancient stairs were discovered. The Aarhus team led by K. Jeppesen has translated the results of the excavations and research into a very comprehensive seven-volume publication.9Kristian Jeppesen, The Maussolleion at Halikarnassos,Volume1-6, Aarhus, Aarhus Uni.Press, 1981-2004

    Archeological research which extended over many years has also provided information about the context of the mausoleum. The mausoleum sits on a huge terrace of approximately 105m by 240m on the main street of ancient Halicarnassus, which elongates from the Mylasa Gate to Myndos Gate. This terrace, which is called the temenos (sanctuary area) and estimated to be a paradeisos (Persian firdevs; a heavenly wooded garden), is surrounded by large retaining walls called peribolos and this area is entered by passing through the entrance structure called propylon. The main structure of the mausoleum, which has a plan mark of approximately 32m by 38m and is 48m high, sits on a slightly elevated second smaller (thought to be compacted soil) terrace of approximately 52m by 104m (G06-07). The main structure of the mausoleum is a massive stone-filled mass with columns, reliefs and sculptures on all four facades. The burial chamber is underground in this full mass. This room is only accessed by a staircase that was thought to have been used during burial and later buried under the ground. The mausoleum site on Turgut Reis Street was arranged in 1982 after the Danish team completed the excavations and was opened to the public.

    Other important data that helped to understand the physical characteristics of the mausoleum came from archaeological excavations held at the site known as Uzunyuva in Milas. The survey carried out in 1994-95 and the archaeological excavations started in 2000 revealed that this area was very similar to the Halicarnassus Mausoleum and was an unfinished monumental tomb of an earlier date. Uzunyuva is a precursor of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum, which was started before the capital of Caria was moved to the shore (G08).

    Various Reconstruction Drawings of the Mausoleum

    Despite its reputation throughout history, precise historical depictions of the solid structure of the mausoleum are scarce. The most basic depictions are those from Pliny the Elder and Vitruvius who lived in the 1st century AD. The common feature of these depictions is that they only state the general features of the building and they lean towards the description of the sculptures and reliefs to which the mausoleum owes its fame to a great extent. Also, neither author has seen the Mausoleum itself. Almost all the descriptions that follow are based on these two main sources. As yet, we do not have a record of the mausoleum visually depicted while it was standing.

    One of the first surviving drawn depictions was made by Cesare Cesariano in 1521. The fact that the mausoleum has so many different depictions and attempts at reconstructions throughout history is due to the absence of actual material traces. Some of the visual depictions that were made reflects the creator’s imagination rather than the mausoleum itself (G09). However, with the archaeological excavations at the mausoleum site, more concrete data begin to emerge.

    Newton also made reconstruction trials showing certain characteristics of the mausoleum based on the findings obtained from the excavations. However, due to the scarcity of sufficient and robust findings, the reconstruction of the mausoleum has been studied and published by many academics and scientists, but it has always remained a topic of discussion and has not been concluded (G10). The most prevalent of the drawn depictions of the Mausoleum today is the version drawn by Kristian Jeppesen in 1989. Although it is based on the excavation results, this is not certain either.

    Nevertheless, studies on the Mausoleum did not cease at that time, and it continues to be studied by different academics. A different reconstruction and interpretation of the mausoleum can be seen in Wolfram Hoepfner’s latest book titled “Halikarnassos und das Maussolleion”.10Wolfram Hoepfner, Halikarnassos und das Maussolleion, Darmstadt, Phillip von Zabern Verlag, 2013 After detailed excavations and researches, the architectural depictions of the mausoleum increasingly converging have been made, but variations in details and various reconstruction trials are still ongoing.

    One of the most impressive aspects of the mausoleum today is that, despite all its fame and the desire to leave a mark on history, almost the most important data that has survived to this day is a void consisting only of the foundation excavation pit. Its legendary reputation is based somewhat on its complete ambiguity and on the different research, conjecture and speculation that has been conducted about it; that is, actually to its tangible nonexistence.


    In almost every period and culture, archaeological sites, ruins and traces of past civilizations have attracted attention, for different purposes such as treasure hunting or finding and establishing peoples ideological and cultural roots.11Nur Altınyıldız Artun, Muhafaza/Mimarlık,İstanbul, İletişim Yayınları,Der.:Bilge Bal,2019,p:125-160 Since the 19th century, activities in archaeological areas turn into systematic research and excavations, in other words, archeology emerges as a discipline. Along with this, the principles and theory of archaeological findings and the protection of these areas begin to develop.12Osmanlı’daki ilk hukuki düzenleme için: Asar-ı Atika Nizamnamesi, 1869 Until the second half of the 20th century however, general practice in archaeological sites rarely went beyond the documentation of the excavation findings and their introduction to the central museums. Archaeological sites continued to be the main source of collections of first imperial and then national center and large museums, in line with the dominant understanding of museology and historiography of that period. This method meant that archaeological knowledge could reach people only through the mediation of museum studies and its filter. Because of theoretical as well as practical obstacles, the direct archaeological site experience of the general public is an area that was not considered and addressed to the in the early stages of archeology.

    Since the second half of the 20th century, with the advances in archeological theory, archeology has gone beyond being an “excavation science”, and archaeological sites have started to be seen as more open to society, where many different disciplines work.[MFN] Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru, Living History: Asiklihöyük, Tübaked, Turkey Academy of Sciences, 2010/8, p: 216 [/ MFN ] The preservation of archaeological sites after excavation, and the fact that the findings are preserved on site in their own context without moving to museums has become an increasingly developing approach in the field of archeology and conservation. Today, preservation and exhibition of archaeological sites, before the research and excavation work begins in a new archaeological site, has become a phenomenon that needs to be planned and considered.

    Preservation and presentation of archaeological sites naturally raises architectural protection and design issues. Structures built to protect the finds from outside weather conditions and conservation landscaping projects designed to enrich visitors’ on-site experiences are the main components of these architectural conservation and design issues. All these are architectural-structural interventions made on archaeological sites. While physical protection and presentation decisions, which are unique to each archaeological site, are taken, it is a priority that the interventions do not harm the archaeological findings.

    In the early examples of archaeological site preservation and presentation, the search for a magical formula is often seen. It was believed in th70s that the glass material chosen for site preservation, which was a representation of modernity and transparency, would make the interventions invisible. The futility of this thought was understood in a short time (G11). However starting from the early stages, in the world and in Turkey, highly qualified examples of preservation in archaeological sites are also encountered (G12). In these examples, generally design clichés has been avoided, the site and its findings have been analyzed in detail and projects were given intensive design labor. Some of these examples, such as Karatepe-Aslantaş Open Air Museum, (preliminary design by F. Minissi and application project by T.Cansever) have also found a fairly large place in the architectural literature (G13). In some sites where archaeological work has been ongoing for a long time, it can also be seen that conservation and display works have developed over time, and the history of interventions were built over time to form with the excavation process.

    In Turkey, presentation and preservation of archaeological sites throughout an excavation, is an increasingly emerging understanding. For each unique site, conservation landscaping projects are prepared in a holistic approach along with the archaeological research projects. The main components of conservation landscaping projects carried out in these sites include conservation structures, exhibition and visitor service structures. Today, there are even examples of experimental and social archeology studies carried out through excavations, and these too become the components of a conservation landscaping project. In all this diversity, there are also examples that exceeds the limits of international preservation principles, due to extreme touristic expectations.

    Such proposals and their derivatives, which are mostly based on touristic expectations, have a two-way drawback; the first is the direct damage to the archaeological site, the second is the damage to the context of the archaeological site (sometimes at the city scale and sometimes in terms of natural environmental balances). Similar large-scale suggestions have been made for the mausoleum monument in Bodrum. One of the proposed projects is the on-site reconstruction of the Mausoleum monument (assuming it is light and invisible) with glass material in-situ (inspired by the project proposed by Kristian Jeppesen in the 1970s). Approaches such as large-scale reconstructions will inevitably and irreversibly damage the most important original element left from the mausoleum, the foundation pit and other remaining elements. In addition, the history of the mausoleum, including periods such as demolition, dismantling, rediscovery and archaeological excavation, and many architectural features that cannot be known with certainty even today, will be distorted by creating a false concreteness. In terms of current approaches in dealing with archaeological sites and national and international legislation, such proposals are no longer accepted. Another drawback of such proposals is the damage they will cause to Bodrum as a city. Bodrum today has a much smaller scale traditional building texture. Such large-scale interventions will not only destroy the existing tissue, but also run the risk of becoming an extremely bad example for the future and ultimately destroying tourism from the root. All of these suggestions should be viewed as anachronistic suggestions stemming from misguided touristic expectations, since there could not be the dream of building a great and holy dynasty, as Mausolus imagined.

    On the other hand the archaeological site protection legislation in Turkey is developing in the direction of a holistic approach towards archeological excavation and site preservation. Both international principles, as well as legislation in Turkey, prohibits constructional activities on archaeological sites with a few limited exceptions. These exceptions are anastylosis (resurrection with original found material), archaeological protection measures and structures that will provide the minimum services for visitors.13Arkeolojik Kazılarda Ve Kazı Alanlarında Yapılacak Düzenleme, Restorasyon Ve Konservasyon Proje Ve Uygulamalarında Uyulacak Usul Ve Esaslara İlişkin Yönerge, TC Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı, 2005, https://teftis.ktb.gov.tr/TR-14728/arkeolojik-kazilarda-ve-kazi-alanlarinda-yapilacak-duze-.html These constructional activities, which are carried out in archaeological sites under all conditions, are expected to be minimal, the need for intervention to be made clear, should not harm the finds as much as possible and is designed to be reversible as much as possible. This reversibility principle, without damaging the ruins, is especially important. In long term excavations, it is often seen that the practices for interpretation, preservation and display of the finds have changed over time and the need for reinterpretation has emerged.


    Halicarnassus Mausoleum, as mentioned above, is one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and one of the most distinguished structures of the world architectural heritage. The mausoleum has been largely destroyed today and almost all of its elements have been collected and used in surrounding buildings, especially on the walls of the Halicarnassus Castle. The area where the large terrace of the mausoleum is located has been covered with residential texture, consisting of traditional Bodrum houses over time. While Newton has started the excavations in the 1850s, he has bought 8 houses that were built right on top the mausoleum area, from their owners and has demolished them. Roughly the area opened by Newton, is the area where excavations were made and that the conservation landscaping and exhibition project is prepared.

    The archaeological site is now in a state that the foundation excavation at the time of the mausoleum was completed and ready to start construction. However, it is possible to see a limited number of original building pieces in and around the pit where they were placed after excavations. The current landscaping and exhibition in the site makes it difficult to recognize the mausoleum and its original building components and creates a perceptual confusion. Existing protection measures, protection walls and shelters are also insufficient in terms of physical protection. The side surfaces of the foundation pit of the mausoleum, which is composed of crystal-lithic tuff bedrock, are behind the walls built by archaeologists using dry stone masonry technique for conservation. In this case, the perception of both the original elements of the mausoleum and the perception of the excavation pit, which we can call the most important existing trace of the monument, is weakened. (G14-19)

    The Halicarnassus Mausoleum Open Air Museum Project aims to transform the mausoleum area into an open-air museum, through creating a more subtle landscaping and exhibition environment by which the site and finds will be better preserved and perceived by visitors.

    Basic Approach and Principles

    The main purpose of the project is to ensure that the site and the mausoleum monument are better perceived by the visitor, as well as the archaeological finds are also exhibited by taking appropriate protection measures. The mausoleum forms a focal point in the city with a landscaping that does not consist only of the main building in antiquity, but consists of elements with wide openings such as platforms, large terrace-garden (temenos), terrace wall (peribolos wall) and entrance structure (propylon). The newly prepared conservation landscaping project is designed to perceive these elements (without suggesting reconstruction) by the visitors with simple interventions. The absence of the main structure of the mausoleum: the void (the foundation pit in its place today) has been preserved and made visible as a part of the history of the mausoleum and an important finding. For the few finds that need to be preserved indoors, a wooden structured exhibition hall with light dismantable foundations is proposed. In the entrance area outside the temenos wall, a lightweight wooden entrance structure was proposed, where service units for visitors were set up.(G20-23)

    In addition to these, all the maximalist suggestions that were brought to the agenda from time to time in Bodrum, such as a reconstruction that would emphasize the grandeur of the mausoleum structure or to uncover the entire large terrace (temenos) by excavating, were avoided. Instead, the area where excavations continued since Newton was considered sufficient as a gap opening from today’s Bodrum to the ancient Halicarnassus, and the focus was on preserving and properly displaying the findings in the area. The small stone structures remaining from the Bodrum settlement texture, which are still in the archaeological site, were also re-functionalized and preserved.

    All the proposed structures and landscaping interventions in the site are planned in accordance with national and international legislation for archaeological sites, without damaging the original findings on site and in a dismountable manner. Shallow foundations that do not require deep excavation are considered for structures to be built in the archaeological site. The project was studied in accordance with the sensitivity of the first degree archaeological site. In particular, “Venice Statute-1964”, regulations of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, such as “Directive Regarding the Procedures and Principles to be Followed in Archaeological Excavations and Landscaping, Restoration and Conservation Projects and Applications”, “Archaeological Sites, Protection and Use Conditions” and “Creating Spaces for the Protection and Exhibition of Cultural and Natural Assets in 1st and 2nd Degree Archaeological Sites” were complied with.

    In the project, instead of irreversible techniques such as reconstruction for the perception of visitors regarding the main structure and important sculptures and ornaments of the mausoleum that cannot be seen today, techniques that will not harm the archaeological area such as animation videos, models and augmented reality applications are suggested.

    Temenos (Terrace-Garden)

    Temenos is the large terrace garden where the mausoleum is located and considered a sacred area. Different inferences have been made about how exactly this area was used in antiquity. One of them is that this large terrace was arranged as a “Paradeisos-Garden of Eden” unique to Persian Architecture. The part of Temenos that remains within the site boundaries is still a wooded and green garden today. In the Open Air Museum Project, the wooded garden nature of the area is preserved to a great extent and items such as the mausoleum platform, propylon, pit and tomb room, which are part of the original landscaping, are protected and made visible using different techniques.(G24-25)

    Traces and remains of the wall (peribolos) surrounding the temenos are highlighted, the boundaries are emphasized and the character of the sanctuary is dissolved and revealed. Registered buildings outside the temenos are reserved for archaeological use, and the sense of entrance to the border and sanctuary is strengthened.

    Entrance Structure

    The existing entrance of the mausoleum on Turgut Reis Street has not been changed in terms of location due to the fact that this area has the qualities suitable for design. A new lightweight wooden structure has been designed, which includes the necessary functions such as ticket sales, audio promotion, souvenirs, book sales, wc, and technical volumes required for the area, security, masjid and personnel units. The existing stone wall that forms the border of the archaeological site with the street has been preserved, but the old narrow entrance has been enlarged in order to provide easy access to more crowded visitor groups. The structure consists of two masses and a large eave connecting them, defining the entrance. In the space surrounded by these masses, the monumental tree Bella Sombra, which is integrated with the site, is preserved and a waiting-lounge courtyard is formed around it. The entrance structure is outside the peribolos wall, as it does not have a direct relationship with the ancient mausoleum, and is separated from the temenos by the highlighted trace of this wall.(G26-30)

    Peribolos Wall

    The large terrace garden (temenos), in which the mausoleum is located, covers a much larger area in the ancient period than the present site boundary and the peribolos wall served as an important border surrounding this area and separating the sacred area from the ancient city. Currently, a part of the foundation of the peribolos wall is visible on the northern surface of the mausoleum pit. However, the upper levels of this wall have been demolished. In the project, this wall is planned to be partially completed and its trace clarified, separating the sanctuary from structures such as warehouse, lodging and entrance that do not have a direct relationship with the mausoleum. Thus, it is aimed to preserve and strengthen the calm archaeological characteristics of the temenos area. (G31)


    In antiquity, the mausoleum rose above a smaller terrace which was above the large terrace (temenos), leaning against each other on the northern peribolos wall. The floor of this second terrace was only 50cm higher than the ground level of the temenos, and the main structure of the mausoleum was situated approximately in the middle of this second terrace.

    One of the important elements of the Open Air Museum Project is this wooden structured platform, designed on the trace and original elevation of this second terrace. The top layer of the platform is compacted soil which is believed to be the original material of the terrace. This platform aims to allow the visitor to better understand the dimensions and grandeur of the mausoleum and its relationship with its surroundings, both by following the trace of the original platform and with creating the exact footprint of the mausoleum. The void in the middle also emphasizes the absence of the main structure of the mausoleum.

    The largest remaining element from the mausoleum is the foundation pit carved into the existing bedrock. The bedrock is a very soft and brittle type of limestone. Today the side surfaces of this pit are behind the stone walls built for conservation purposes (which in fact is causing defacement). The platform will also create a solution for this conservation problem of the bed rock, thus the second layer of walls will be removed and providing better visual access to the mausoleum’s original material. In other words, the platform will also act as a shelter for the soft rock surfaces of the foundation pit.(G32-35)

    This platform, which can be walked on, also provides a visual communication with important remains underneath through glass-covered openings created in certain parts. These openings are positioned above the ancient staircase leading to the burial chamber and the older southwest staircase. Apart from these, a new chimney system is proposed and gaps are left on the platform so that the chimneys that provide ventilation to the lower galleries are not affected by rain water.

    Burial Chamber and the Pit

    Halicarnassus Mausoleum is a mausoleum built to keep the memory of King Mausolus alive. In fact, this structure, which is completely filled with green tuff stone, has a burial chamber cavity built for Mausolus. This burial chamber that is under the ground level is connected to the ground level with a ladder and is located in the direction (southwest) where the back facade of the mausoleum was. This ladder was only used during the burial ceremony and was filled up with soil afterwards to the second terrace level.

    From the bones found after the excavations, it was understood that there was a section used for sacrificing animals at the place where this staircase descended. After the staircase and the votive place, up to the burial chamber, there are respectively; the big block of stone covering the passage, a corridor containing the sarcophagus of King’s wife and an entrance room. Although no information was unearthed about the decorations on these parts of the mausoleum, which was destroyed and robbed, there are sections and views drawn based on some descriptions of St.Jean knights in the 15th century. However, the most accurate information obtained scientifically is the sizes, materials and some details of these rooms, especially the water drainage system they had.

    In the project, in order to create the representative space of this burial chamber within the mausoleum cavity framed by the platform, a wooden lightweight, removable protective structure is proposed. The upper level of this structure does not exceed the original ceiling level and thus the terrace level. Next to the glass-covered space above the ancient staircase, a new wooden staircase descending from the platform opening to foundation pit is designed. Through this staircase, visitors will be able to both reach the walking path in the mausoleum’s foundation pit and the burial chamber level where they will be able to see the ancient stairs and the tomb chamber inside the protective structure.(G36-37)

    Exhibition Hall

    The exhibition hall in the Temenos area is located in the southeast of the area, at the border of the parcel, in a position and form that does not interrupt the integrity of the mausoleum and its context. In addition, since the building is located in the archaeological site, creating minimum contact with the ground was the utmost design priority. The lightweight wooden structure, is fixed on stone-filled gabion foundations that sit in the ground without excavation. In this way, the structure is detached from the ground and its structural lightness is visually emphasized. This system, including the foundations of the building when necessary, allows it to be removed easily without leaving a trace.(G38-39)

    This Structure, which does not exceed the dimensions required by the exhibition hall, consists of two parts connected with a small entrance courtyard. One of these sections is designed as an exhibition hall, which contains all kinds of visual and written expressions that will strengthen the narration of the mausoleum, and the other is a media room that can be used for various video screenings and meetings.(G40)

    The exhibition content as a whole has been conceived as six main layouts that support each other:

    1. Mausoleum model positioned in the entrance courtyard surrounded by visuals of different reconstruction proposals
    2. Written and visual presentations giving general information about the Ancient Halicarnassus, Hekatomnid Period, Mausolus and Mausoleum – Exhibition hall
    3. Partial reconstructions in which pieces from different parts of the original facade are brought together: Anastylosis – Exhibition hall
    4. Other small original finds showcases – Exhibition hall
    5. Videos and animations to be shown in the media room
    6. Augmented reality points that are handled together with landscaping elements

    According to the “Directive Regarding the Procedures and Principles to be Followed in Archaeological Excavations and Arrangement, Restoration and Conservation Projects and Applications to be Made in Excavation Sites”, Anastylosis is described as follows:
    “ANASTYLOSIS ; It is the gathering and reassembling of architectural building elements that were destroyed and scattered from the original building for various reasons.”

    In the current exhibition structure, 4 partial anastylosis of 4 different façade parts of the mausoleum with the fragments scattered around the area is planned. These sections are as follows from bottom to top;

    A. The top of the blue limestone podium on which the Amazon Frieze is located, and the top of the white marble podium
    B. The top of the white marble upper podium and the beginning of the Pteron (columnar area)
    C. Entablature (group of superstructure elements after columns)
    D. Quadriga Base (platform on which four horses and Mausolus-II. Artemisia statues stand on them)

    It is not possible to make the anastylosis in-situ, as the remaining findings are fine engraved valuable pieces that have many deficiencies in their integrity. For this reason, it is envisaged to create a narration in a separate pocket within the exhibition structure without using too much additional material thus protecting the remaining parts. Since the anastylosis pieces are of great importance in the exhibition, this section was separated as a featured pocket while designing the mass of the building. This section, which breaks off from the general space of the hall and protrudes as a mass from the front façade, not only provides natural light to the anastylosis from the roof, but also provides a viewing distance to the observer. In this anastylosis, which will revive and describe the original positions of the pieces in the mausoleum, there will be load bearing steel parts specially designed for each piece.(G41)

    Landscaping Elements and Propylon

    Apart from the aforementioned main elements, the perception of the mausoleum and the surrounding area by the visitors is directly related to the information flow of the elements of the conservation landscaping project. The paths that make up the excursion route organized within the scope of the project, the information panels positioned at certain important points along this route, the augmented reality view stops and the trail that highlights the location of the propylon (ancient period entrance structure) play an important role in supporting this perception.

    As a result of the excavations, a part of the propylon, which means the monumental building that provided access to a large sanctuary in ancient times, was found on the northeastern border of the existing mausoleum site, but the remains are under the ground and are not visible today. This entrance structure, which is important for the integrity and perception of the ancient site, determines the main visiting axis of the area in antiquity. In order to perceive this important building and these axes by the incoming visitor, the trace of its location was marked on the ground and a stop point was created.(G42)

    The plain and recyclable paths that make up the walking route are made of compressed soil and have been designed to avoid visual confusion. Attached to these paths, simple wooden structured display elements were created for items that do not fit into the exhibition hall or that are not original.(G43-44)

    A little after entering the area, a stop was designed at the middle axis of the platform between the platform and the walking path. At this stop, a model of metal engraving on which the temenos and mausoleum were marked in the ancient city of Halicarnassus was placed. This point, which is especially marked within the project, facing the front of the mausoleum, is meaningful as it was a ceremonial point where visitors paid their respects to the statue of King Mausolus in ancient times.(G45)

    At two important points of the area, augmented reality stops have been designed where visitors can watch the mausoleum with certain technological tools. Augmented reality is the images of the existing environment and physical elements enriched with sounds, images, graphics, 3D models or animations through certain devices. By means of these tools, a person looking at the mausoleum platform will be able to see and examine the mausoleum in its location, with the dimensions, sculptures and ornaments that were thought to have in ancient times. These tools, which will make it easier to understand the mausoleum, will serve to preserve the holistic perception of the area without harming the archaeological finds while offering an alternative perspective other than the existing ones.(G46-47)

    When the Mausoleum, whose perception of integrity is increased with the platform, is considered together with the elements of the conservation landscaping project, a continuous visitor experience at every point of the archaeological site is aimed to be created. The main design criterion of the project is to provide maximum protection with minimum intervention.(G48-49)


    The project, which we started to work on in the last months of 2017, has matured as a result of thorough measurement and documentation studies in the field, library and laboratory researches and studies, as well as a series of meetings and discussions held with the authorities of the Cultural Assets General Directorate, Muğla Survey and Monuments Directorate, Bodrum Museum and experts. When the project reached a certain stage, it was introduced to the public at a meeting organized by the Bodrum Chamber of Architects and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, before it was submitted to the conservation board. Many people and institutions attended this meeting held in Bodrum Chamber of Commerce in July 2018 and the project was thoroughly discussed. Many projects that concern the public are only opened to the public and related parties after they are completed or when they are at the construction stage, we see that as a deficiency in the execution of our profession. This meeting also gave us the opportunity to meet the extremely dominant and sensitive attitudes of all people and sections of Bodrum regarding the cultural assets. We would like to thank all the relevant departments of the Ministry of Culture, the Bodrum Chamber of Architects for organizing the meeting, and all Bodrum residents who attended and presented their valuable opinions. Following the meeting, the implementation projects were also completed and approved by Muğla Cultural Assets Conservation Board and delivered to Muğla Directorate of Survey and Monuments in the last months of 2018, together with all detailed projects and documentation.


    Employer : Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Muğla Directorate of Survey and Monuments
    Architectural Project : Atölye Mimarlık- Didem Teksöz, H.Sinan Omacan, Bengisu Bilekli
    Consultants : Günkut Akın (arch. history), Nur Akın (conservation), Olivier Henry (archeology), Oktay Kargül (planning), Nurten Kakıcı (landscape)
    Static Project : Büro Statik, İlkay Ergüneş
    Electrical Project : Enkom Elektrik, Belgin Pekcan
    Mechanical Project : Dora Mekanik, Fatih İlhan


    ÇEVRE DÜZENLEME VE KORUMA PROJESİ TANITIM TOPLANTISI – mimarlarodası bodrum temsilciliği