pfs10175 TURKEYE: ‘ANI’ excavation site -“Church of the Redeemer”
Surp Amenap’rkitch Church
Other known names
Church of the Holy Saviour of All; Church of the Redeemer, St. P’rkitch, St. Petros, St. Arak’Eal
History of the church
According to its inscriptions, the church of the Surp Amenap’rkitch was built in 1035 to house a piece of the true cross by Prince Abulgharib Pahluvani, A zhamatun was added in 1193 for the accommodation of the pilgrims and a bell tower was erected in 1271 next to the main entrance. Earthquake damage to the church is reported first time in 1131. Its dome was restored in 1342 following the disastrous earthquake of 1319.
When Nikolai Yakovlevich Marr and his team started the first scientific excavations at Ani (from 1892 to 1917) the church was still standing but was in an unstable state. In 1912 they restored the walls of the church to prevent a total collapse. Marr’s intervention was done with smaller sized masonry in darker colours than the originals can now be detected easily. Nonetheless, the eastern half of the church collapsed completely in 1957. The still-standing western half which was badly damaged in the 1988 earthquake is under the threat of total collapse.
In 1996 Ani archaeological site was listed in World’s Monuments Fund’s Watch list and during a mission initiated by the Historical Heritage Protection Foundation in 1998-9 some of the walls of the church were stabilized and the main door was filled with rubble stone masonry to prevent any further collapses.
Historic Preservation Project
In 2006 Ministry of Culture and Tourism started an extensive preservation program at Ani archaeological site. In 2006 Prikitch Church was scientifically documented for the first time and a historical preservation project was prepared.
In 2010 World Monuments Fund and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism signed a memorandum of understanding for the conservation of the Prikitch Church. Works began in 2012.
The conservation project for Surp Amenap’rkitch Church consists of three planned phases: In the first phase, after the assembly of a fence around the project site for the security and safety of the visitors, the erection of a protective and load-bearing scaffolding inside the monument is planned for the security of the excavation team.
In the second phase: excavation and cataloguing work will start following the re-location of the fallen remains of the east part of the church to a safe and secure area. These remains will then be documented with a 3D laser scanning survey and virtual modelling to determine the original locations of each piece. (https://www.facebook.com/pargev.frankian/media_set?set=a.2436085689738631.1073741833.100000116716132&type=3) Following the excavations survey and documentation, emergency stabilization works will be completed.
After the evaluation of the data obtained from the structural monitoring system installed on the structure in May 2012, from the construction material analyses, wall paint analyses, excavation and cataloguing, the structural stabilization works are planned to be completed in the third phase.
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