Home / Aleppo: Protecting the Halawiyeh wooden niche 10.06.2013

Aleppo: Protecting the Halawiyeh wooden niche 10.06.2013

“This project has been done In Cooperation between the Syrian Association for the preservation of Archaeology and Heritage & the Free Aleppo Council.

The niche is also so-called the niche of Eben Adeem. It is a distinct wooden niche belongs to the era of Nur Al-Din Al-Zanki, which has been renovated by the period of the last Ayyubid king “Joseph II Bin Mohammed Aziz” 1245 AD – 643 AH…
It contains several verses from Quran. Dimensions (width 355 cm – height 460 cm)


The Process:

1. Detection phase:

On May 20th 2013 we created a committee contains experts from the Syrian Association for the preservation of Archaeology and Heritage, and the Division of monuments of the Free Aleppo Council; they visited the Halawiyeh School to check the niche body. After studying the situation in which the niche had damaged at the right side with some wood fragments – of the same niche – scattered on the ground near it, the committee decided to discuss with the Free Aleppo Council the process to protect the niche and to isolate it for its own safety.

2. Raising the status of the niche before insulation:

  • Niche spot is an easy target to Assad army snipers with more than one location, the most dangerous angle is the side of Aleppo castle.
  • Niche significantly affected where the committee has collected 39 wooden shrapnel, and have been documented and saved it all at Free Aleppo council.
  • The largest part of the Niche damage is located on the right side where the wall separated from its successor and became weak enough to fall soon, as well as the upper bow.

3. Develop a plan to protect and isolate the Niche:

After studying the possibilities and methods of protection among the many suggestions we chose what could be applied in accordance with the available conditions:

  • Insulating the niche with spongy cover (the insulator thickness of 1 cm)
  • Cover the sponge with a plastic mat to create a full protecting wrap
  • Construction a separation wall (20 – 30) cm away of the plastic mat, so that the wall has 3 pillars .. (Two pillars based on the right & left of the niche, and one through the middle of it (heights 150 cm) without touching the inner part of the niche)
  • Wall thickness is 40 cm

4. Starting implementation:

  • The stage of transferring materials to the niche .. started on (29 – 30 – 31 from the month of May and the first day of the month of June) and that was the hardest part as it took 4 days duration which we transferred 1000 blocks with (15) cm thickness in addition to 4 m³ of cast and 15 Portland Cement bags (only 5 bags had been used at the construction).
  • The reconstruction phase .. (2nd -3rd June). The first day of the construction we cleaned the area and isolated the niche according to the plan. We finished building half the wall. On the second day the construction of the wall has been completed and we covered the open skylight with two fixed door railing.

Work has stopped on the second day since the Assad army sniper targeted the workshop site but no injury had been recorded.
Thanks to the Free Aleppo Council & Tawhid Brigade and its leadership, those were an integral part of the success of the work and made it a reality”.

Photo : The Syrian Association for the preservation of Archaeology and Heritage.

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