Celebrating 25 Years of TICRAT

Thursday, July 05 2018 Written by

This past week I traveled with the Casa Grande team to New Mexico for a three-day bilingual workshop, Taller Internacional de Conservación y Restauración de Tierra (TICRAT), which took place in Santa Fe and Pecos National Historic Park. This collaboration was comprised of members from several institutions such as the National Park Service, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH), University of Arizona, University of New Mexico, and many other organizations all of which shared information on the preservation and restoration of earthen architecture in the northwest Mexico region and the southwestern region in the United States.

Lectures were taught by experts in the fields of earthen architecture and archaeology. We were informed about the impacts that early archaeologists had on the reconstruction of earthen architecture such as the beautiful ruins we see around the world. With intentions of reconstructing and preserving these ruins with modern technology like using cement, what is known as a resistant substance, unfortunately has caused a great loss of original earthen material and the information on the construction and the maintenance of these buildings and structures. For this reason, we heavily focused on a hands-on portion of this workshop to incorporate traditional building skills including adobe brick making and lime production.

These images capture the tests on three different types of soils that we examined, their different characteristics determine the use of these soils.

In addition, we rebuilt some of the building walls with adobe by applying mud plaster on exposed areas and by replacing mud bricks.

I feel honored to have attended a workshop that highlights the importance of bridging borders to share knowledge and create an inclusive and friendly environment. I not only was able to take in all this valuable information but was also able to connect with several people including students who I share a similar background and interest with.

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