Tilmen Höyük in Turkey is a prime archaeological site for anyone involved in reconstructing Anatolia-Syria contacts, or exploring an ancient capital of the second millenium B.C. In the Sixties Turkey undertook a series of excavations unearthing part of this site. Recent finds are owed to a research fieldwork venture by the Bologna University Department of Archaeology under Professor Nicolò Marchetti. They liaised with the Bologna Faculties of Agriculture and Engineering, Architecture at Genoa, Science at Adana, Fine Arts at Marmara and Lit. Hum. at Istanbul, and the result was an environmental and archaeological park inaugurated in 2007.
The Tilmen site covers more than five hectares. It contains a fortified lower town and an acropolis formed of four large buildings: a temple, a royal palace, a residence and a fort. These monuments all date from the 3rd-2nd millennium B.C. and had basalt block foundations.
Mapei were called in as technical partners in the Tilmen Höyük restoration project. The watchword was utter respect for the ancient structures: minimal intervention, leaving the site image intact while preserving it in time. The main problems posed by archaeological sites were reviewed and the most effective ways of tackling them worked out: disinfestation, cleaning and consolidation. Materials should be compatible with the substrate and integration kept to the minimum necessary to ensure stability. Reconstruction pure and simple was to be avoided.