Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ghargaon Palace, Sibsagar, Assam

The team of consultants have chosen to carry out documentation works first in the Ghargaon Palace.

Manual recording techniques: Part I

Documenting historic buildings, in India are restricted to protected structures and are performed only prior to execution of civil works. Architectural documentation as a part of Recording, Analyses of the structures is seldom undertaken. It is only post the World Heritage nomination initiation by the country that Architectural Documentation has been undertaken as a mandatory action. Since documentation is relatively a new practise, still met with scepticism, the necessity of use of new technology to aid documentation is met with a question. As a result, consultants resort to using manual methods of documentation.

Manual recording techniques use tools such as plumb bobs, measuring tapes, and paper and pencil to record buildings or sites. Although often labor intensive, these techniques are readily available and allow the study of buildings or sites in great detail. Usually this method of recording provides sufficient information and accuracy with which to begin conservation.” Source: Glossary, Vol-II, Recording, Documentation and Information Management for the Conservation of Heritage Places. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 2007. 

The method of documentation is “triangulation”. 
Refer to:

The tools that are currently being used for documentation are shown below. 

(To be read Clockwise)

A.  Chalk
B.  Measuring tape – 30 meters (canvas)
C.  String
D.  Spirit level
E.  Measuring tape – 15 meter (metal)
F.  Brick; to  weigh down string
G.  Set squares
H.  Cutter
  I.  Pencil

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sources of Information

Accounts on the history and architecture of Assam are scarce. However and important source of information about the Ahom dynasty are the Buranjis; accounts originally in Assamese, written during the Ahom rule (13th-18th Century approximately), under the commission of Ahom kings as a narrative to their rule. Hence, the historic information in these accounts is limited and is covered in myths and legends.

The ASI used to maintain a log of work and condition as site inspection note books, drawings, photographs and estimates of works undertaken on protected structures, on a regular basis. Though this practice may not be regularly maintained, the older logs form an important source of information on the history of conservation of the buildings.
We rely heavily on the first-hand information i.e. the building and the site as the starting reference. Later, we shall be contacting relevant resource persons and other archival material to support our findings. A series of non-intrusive and non-destructive investigations i.e. material studies, condition of foundation and monitoring of cracks and building movements have been proposed and are yet to be undertaken. Specific tests and processes will be mentioned in the relevant sections.