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Program Description:

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Digital Archaeology of Heritage Buildings of West Africa

Focusing on the Elmina Castle (1482, Ghana) the school introduces the principles of structural diagnostics of heritage masonry buildings with the aim to produce a systematic survey (manual, photogrammetric, laser scanning, aerial drone photography) and related digital reconstructions of select areas of the Castle. The school also fosters the understanding of the historical environment, and in particular the pivotal role in the Transatlantic World, of Elmina Castle through study visits to other forts and castles in coastal Ghana. In addition, the school offers a broader view of Ghana’s natural and cultural heritage through guided visits to selected archaeological sites and national parks. There are no pre-requisites. The field school is designed to attract undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering interested in acquiring skills in a multidisciplinary environment.
 
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2017 FIELD SCHOOL COURSE OBJECTIVES

The objective is to introduce the students to the principles of structural diagnostics of heritage masonry buildings with the aim to produce a systematic survey (manual, photogrammetric, laser scanning, aerial drone photography) of select areas of Elmina Castle and related digital reconstructions. The school will also foster the understanding of the historical environment, and in particular the pivotal role in the Transatlantic World, of Elmina Castle through study visits to other forts and castles in coastal Ghana. In addition, the school will offer a broader view of the country’s natural and cultural heritage through guided visits to selected archaeological sites and national parks. The students will work closely with archaeologists, engineers, and historians with combined specializations on West Africa, historical masonry structures, and digital surveying and reconstruction techniques.

Complete Summer 2017 Ghana Field School Brochure

For additional information on the history of Elmina Castle, please view the complete Summer 2017 Ghana Field School brochure: here

Contact 

Prof. Renato Perucchio, Co-director – Mechanical Engineering and Director, Archaeology
Technology and Historical Structures, University of Rochester – renato.perucchio@rochester.edu

 
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Participating students will take part in the following activities:

Building structural analysis –students will acquire a background understanding of why earthen
and masonry historical buildings stand up and why they fall down. This includes notions of statics,
materials, construction, failure, and conservation with case studies focused on the European forts
and castles of coastal Ghana.
Historical and cultural context – students will be guided to understand the historical and cultural context within which the forts and castles were constructed, modified, and used over five hundred years. This will include an overview of the cross-cultural interactions and engagements involving Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Students will visit archaeological and historic sites, as well as local settlements and national parks.
Surveying – students will learn and practice manual and digital (photogrammetry, laser scanning and aerial drone photography) surveying techniques as applied to architectural units and entire monumental structures.
Recording – students will participate in systematic recording of multiple data related to the architecture, material characterization, and damage conditions of structural elements such as walls, vaults, roofs, and floors.
2D and 3D modeling – students will learn and practice the construction of 2D and 3D digital models of buildings based on integrating multiple surveying data.
Data evaluation and report preparation – students will participate in the preparation of a comprehensive report which will include a preliminary evaluation of the findings in terms of structural integrity, construction sequence, and the historical and cultural context.

 
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PREREQUISITES

There are no prerequisites. The school is designed to attract undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering interested in acquiring a multidisciplinary advanced training on surveying, digital modeling and engineering evaluation for the study and conservation of heritage earthen and masonry buildings of West Africa. The material covered is self-contained and integrates lectures with extensive hands-on experiential learning.

REQUIREMENTS

All students are required to keep individual field notes and to complete a course project. Undergraduates will work in teams to produce a research report. Each graduate student will be responsible for an individual report. The course grade will be based as follows:

Participation 30%; field notes 20%; preliminary report
presentation 20%; final report: oral presentation 10%, written report 20%.

 
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COURSE MATERIAL

Each student must bring:
Equipment:
1. personal laptop,
2. simple scientific calculator (capable of making trigonometric calculations)
3. a drawing set including two triangles, a ruler, goniometer, and a protractor
4. drawing pencils (automatic) and erasers
5. flash memory (at least 32Gb)
6. electric adaptors (compatible with British/Ghanaian electric outlets)

Textbooks:
1. J. E. Gordon, Structures, or why things don’t fall down (DaCapo
Press, NY 2003)
2. M. Levy and M. Salvadori Why buildings fall down: How structures fail
(Norton, NY 2002)
3. A packet with selected articles and book chapters on the
archaeology of West Africa, Elmina, the European forts and the
Atlantic Trade, plus survey papers on the various techniques used in
the course will be provided in pdf format.

The course will provide the following equipment:
1. desktop server with appropriate application software packages
2. laser measures and tripods
3. digital cameras
4. 5 meter tape measure and 1 meter folding ruler
5. levels
6. photo scales
7. compasses
8. engineering graph paper and drawing boards
9. field notes books

TRAVEL DETAILS

Arrival - Students should arrive at Kotoka International airport (Accra) on Sunday May 28, 2017 where they will be met by a designated driver and will be taken to the residence on UGhana Legon campus. Local cell phone numbers for the program directors and other emergency contact information will be provided at the time of enrollment. If you miss connection flights or your arrival is delayed, please notify (via phone, email, or text) the program directors. Visa Requirements – Travelers to Ghana are required to obtain a Ghanaian visa. To apply for a visa, your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of entry. You must obtain a visa before arrival in Ghana by applying directly to a Ghanaian consulate or by using an international visa service. We will provide an official letter in support of your application.
 
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Accommodations

During the first and last week students will be hosted at the International Student Hostel in the Legon Campus of the University of Ghana, one or two persons per room with toilet and shower in each room. Sheets and pillows will be provided, but you will have to bring your own towel. During weeks 2-4 the program will move to Cape Coast/Elmina and students will lodge at a modern guest house within the campus of the University of Cape Coast, one or two persons per room with toilet and shower in each room. Sheets and pillow will be provided. Similar housing will be provided during the three-day visit to Kumasi at mid-program. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided throughout the duration of the program (from the arrival to the day of departure, included.) Transportation will be provided with a UGhana coastal bus. All transportation expenses and the entry fees to museums and parks are covered by the program.
 
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Please view the Ghana Flyer for additional information: Ghana Field School 2017 Flyer

Faculty

Prof. Renato Perucchio, Co-director – Mechanical Engineering and Director, Archaeology
Technology and Historical Structures, University of Rochester – renato.perucchio@rochester.edu

Prof. Kodzo Gavua, Co-director – Archaeology and Heritage Studies and Dean, School of Arts,
College of Humanities, University of Ghana - kgavua@ug.edu.gh

Prof. Michael Jarvis, History and Director, Digital Media Studies, University of Rochester - michael.jarvis@rochester.edu

Prof. William Gblerkpor, Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana - gblerkpor@utexas.edu

 

Program Dates

28 May 2017 – 1 July 2017 (35 days)

Program Schedule

Program Schedule

Academic Credits

Students register for six credits in the UR Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures (ATH) summer 2017 ATH 299 Digital Archaeology of Heritage Structures of West Africa (to be approved)

Program Fee:
$4,950 – includes tuition plus all room & board and internal travel while in Ghana.

Applications

Application deadline: 31 March 2017.  Applications received before 10 March will be accepted on a rolling basis.  In other words, if you are interested in early admission to the program, please submit your application before 10 March 2017. For those accepted, a $500 deposit is due by April 15, 2017, to secure your spot. 

NEW Scholarship for Summer 2017!

Apply for the new UR Summer Faculty-Led Scholarship for up to $500 here
 
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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/16/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.