Characterization of Classical Construction Materials used in Ethiopian Architecture for the Restoration of their Historic and Artistic Heritage
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Bricksdiatomite earthsEthiopiaJesuit architectural heritagelime bindersmasonry stonerestoration materials
Jorge Alberto Durán-Suárez & Mª Paz Sáez-Pérez (2018) Characterization of Classical Construction Materials used in Ethiopian Architecture for the Restoration of their Historic and Artistic Heritage, International Journal of Architectural Heritage, DOI: 10.1080/15583058.2018.1489014
PatrocinadorThis work was supported by the REMINE Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and Project MAT2016-75889-R of the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation (Ministry of Science and Technology) and was carried out under the auspices of Research Groups RNM 0179 and HUM 629 of the Junta de Andalucía.
Many architectural constructions with heritage value around Lake Tana (Ethiopia) were erected by the Jesuits in the 17th century, who used techniques and materials from the classical Roman tradition. The study of its state of conservation and their building materials (masonry concrete, masonry mortar, painted plaster, masonry bricks, and masonry stone) has revealed the great constructive technique and the high quality of binders used by them. Various samples from each monument were taken and subjected to chemical analysis (FRX), X-ray diffraction tests, polarized light optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, ultrasounds, and colorimetry tests. The composition results provided important information about the provenance of the materials used by the Jesuits. Their air lime binders were also of particular interest due to the addition of locally sourced diatomite earths to create a product with high mechanical resistance and durability. The techniques introduced by the Jesuits can be used today in the sustainable, economical restoration of heritage in Ethiopia and adjacent regions.