CHARACTERIZATION AND RESTORATION RECOMMENDATIONS OF SOME ADOBE SHRINES AT EL-BAGAWAT CEMETERY, KHARGA OASIS, WESTERN DESERT - EGYPT.
Document Type: Original article
Abd El-Hafez, M.
Conservation dept, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo Univ., Giza, Egypt
The existing research focuses on an important type of early Christian architecture, which was common in Kharga oasis, western desert, Egypt. Kharga oasis includes the largest cemetery dated back to the late third/early fourth to the seventh century A.D. this cemetery called .El-Bagawat cemetery.. All shrines in this cemetery were built of mud brick .adobe. blocks and mud mortars. Most of walls and facades of those shrines covered with mud and/or lime plasters. This study focused on two shrines at El-Bagawat cemetery, they are shrines numbers 66 and 90. The study showed the main factors of deterioration. All building materials; adobe, mortars and mud plasters were studied, characterized by using different methods and techniques such as; optical microscopy (by USB digital microscope), scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Also, physical and mechanical properties were studied on selected samples. The results referred that the main deterioration factors affected the historic adobe shrines at El-Bagawat cemetery are the major climatic changes, biological factors and lack of comprehensive restoration/management plan. Using modified adobe blocks and mortars for the purpose of completion and reconstruction (mainly this bricks contained 65 % kaolinite-rich soil + 17 % salt-free sand + 15 % slaked lime + 3 % fiberglass) and provide a sustainable development plan; is the main way to keep this heritage saved and protected.
Adobe (mud brick); El-Bagawat cemetery; Kharga Oasis; Restoration; shrine
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