The International Course on the Conservation of Earthen Architecture is a one-month training initiative held in the World Heritage city of Al Ain, UAE, organized by the Getty Conservation Institute in partnership with Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi. The aim of the course is to improve the practice of earthen heritage conservation by providing practical training for mid-career professionals from the Middle Eastern, North African and south Asian regions.
In many regions of the world, including in the Arabian Gulf, earth has been used as a construction material for millennia. In the World Heritage Site of Al Ain, for example, there are numerous earthen archaeological sites dating from the Bronze and Iron ages (ca. 3000-1000 BCE), as well as late Islamic period houses, forts and mosques built in adobe brick. While these significant sites are being protected and preserved, earthen structures around the world are rapidly disappearing due to abandonment, demolition, and replacement with modern materials.
Though the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia hold the majority of the world’s earthen architecture, there are few targeted training opportunities for professionals working in the region on the conservation of earthen heritage.
Al Ain was chosen as the location for the course because of its central location in the region, rich earthen heritage and the variety of conservation approaches and examples implemented by DCT Abu Dhabi over the last decade.
The course inscribes itself within the GCI’s long term Earthen Architecture Initiative.
The first International Course on the Conservation of Earthen Architecture took place in Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Manah, Oman from October 28th to November 22nd, 2018. Organised by the Getty Conservation Institute and Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the course was attended by 22 professionals in conservation of earthen heritage from North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The course covered practical methods and theoretical foundations for the conservation of earthen historic buildings and archaeological sites including conservation theory, material analysis, documentation and diagnosis, as well as preventive conservation, structural interventions and rehabilitation. The course was taught by a total of 15 professors and instructors, all experts in the conservation of earthen materials. Click here to see some of the outcomes of EAC 18
Building on the successful model of EAC 18, the second International course on the Conservation of Earthen Architecture will take place in Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE and Manah, Oman from October 22nd to November 19th, 2022.
Course topics include:
• Conservation theory and principles
• Laboratory and field analysis of earthen materials
• Earth as a building material—use and construction techniques
• Mechanisms of decay—material and structural
• Methods of recording for documentation and analysis
• Conservation methodology—Planning of conservation and rehabilitation interventions
• Practical conservation methods— structural and non-structural
• Maintenance and preventive conservation
• Developing rehabilitation and adaptive re-use projects for earthen buildings
• A study trip to Oman where participants will carry out an exercise on the conservation of urban settlements made of earth (Manah village near Nizwa, Oman)
The course is designed for a maximum of 20 participants.
The course is open to archaeologists, architects, conservator-restorers, conservation scientists, engineers and other professionals working with earthen heritage from the Middle Eastern, North African and south Asian regions.
The course will be conducted in English. Candidates must have a thorough technical knowledge and command of English. A certificate of language proficiency is required.
A course certificate will be awarded to participants who complete the course and have attended all course activities.
Course fee: $750
Apply by February 15, 2022.