Earthen Architecture Initiative
 
detail at Tschudi Palace
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Earthen detail at Tschudi Palace, one of the nine earthen palaces of the Ciudadela Chan-Chan Chimu empire, constructed in the fifteenth century. Photo: Claudia Cancino, GCI.

mud-brick wall showing grouting research
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Diagonal compression test of a mud-brick small-scale wall, performed as part of the grouting research project developed in collaboration with the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) in Lima. Photo: courtesy of PUCP.

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
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The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a World Heritage site. The site is an example of a living earthen settlement in the Kingdom of Morocco. Photo: Claudia Cancino, GCI.

Dowlatabad Historical Garden in Yazd, Iran
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Dowlatabad Historical Garden in Yazd, Iran. This building, made of earth, was the venue for the Terra 2003 conference. Photo: Mary Hardy, GCI.

conservation image
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Structural damage to the earthen Cathedral of Ica, the result of a VIII Mercalli scale earthquake in August 2007 in Peru. Photo: Claudia Cancino, GCI.

group photo - colloquium participants
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GSAP 2006 colloquium participants on site visit to Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach, California. Photo: Rick Miller, GCI.

2007 earthquake damage, Santuario de Yauca church
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Santuario de Yauca church, a historic earthen structure damaged by the 2007 Pisco earthquake in Peru. Photo: Claudia Cancino, GCI

conservation image
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The structural assessment team and project partners at Cathedral of Ica, Peru, in 2010. Photo: Amila Ferron, GCI

Hotel El Comercio, Lima, Peru
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The Hotel El Comercio, a 19th-century mud brick and wattle and daub commercial and residential building in Lima's historic center. Photo: Amila Ferron, GCI

Cathedral of Ica in Peru
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The Cathedral of Ica in Peru, an 18th-century ecclesiastical building made of mud brick and wattle and daub vaults and domes, damaged in the 2007 Pisco earthquake. Photo: Sara Lardinois, GCI

Church of Kuño Tambo
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The Church of Kuño Tambo, a 16th-century ecclesiastical building made of mud brick with a truss roof, in Acomayo, Cusco, Peru. Photo: Wilfredo Carazas, for the GCI

Casa Arones, Cusco, Peru
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Casa Arones, a residential 16th-century two-story mud brick and truss roof building in the historic center of Cusco, Peru. Photo: Sara Lardinois, GCI

structural assessment at the Church of Kuño Tambo,
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A team member performing structural assessment at the Church of Kuño Tambo, in Acomayo, Cusco, Peru. Photo: Luis Villacorta, for the GCI

Teaching session PAT 99
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A teaching session during the Second Pan-American Course on the Conservation and Management of Earthen Architectural and Archaeological Heritage, held in 1999 at the El Brujo archaeological site in Peru. Photo: GCI.

detail of typical seismic crack
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Typical seismic crack jeopardizing the structural stability of the earthen Church of Carabayllo, Peru, built in 1571 and retrofitted with earthen butresses after a 1746 earthquake. Photo: courtesy of Luis Villacorta Santamato.

conservation image
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An August 2007 experts meeting organized at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima to discuss testing protocols for the study of structural earthen grouts as a repair technique for historic earthen buildings located in seismic areas. Photo: Claudia Cancino, GCI.

conservation image
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A sample produced to replicate earthen finishes found at Mesa Verde National Park with a thicker plaster layer covered by very thin wash layer. These samples are made using pure kaolinite or montmorillonite clays and ground silica in proportions similar to those of the earthen finishes found on site. The facsimile samples will be treated with various ethyl silicates and subjected to tests to assess the performance of the consolidants. Photo: Amila Ferron, GCI

conservation image
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A linear variable differential transmitter measuring the changing height of a treated earthen sample during exposure to fluctuating relative humidity. Photo: Amila Ferron

conservation image
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Observation with environmental scanning electron microscopy shows the movement of treated earthen finish materials under conditions of fluctuating relative humidity. In this image, a treated earthen wash is viewed at high magnification. Cracks visible here were seen expanding and contracting as the relative humidity was raised and lowered. Photo: Eric Doehne, GCI