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  • Locations: Legon, Ghana
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Area of study: African Studies, Anthropology, Architectural History, Art and Art History, Digital Media Studies, History, Mechanical Engineering Program College: Arts, Sciences & Engineering
Program Description:

Rochester Faculty Led: Digital Archaeology of Heritage Buildings of West Africa

Program Description | AcademicsProgram Contacts | Costs | Additional Information 

Program Description

May 26-June 29

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.
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.
Travel Details
Arrival - Students should arrive at Kotoka International airport (Accra) 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.


Students register for six credits in the UR Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures (ATH) summer 2018 ATH 299 Digital Archaeology of Heritage Structures of West Africa (to be approved)

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.

There are no prerequisites. 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.

REQUIREMENTSAll 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%.

Program Contacts

Prof. Renato Perucchio
Co-director – Mechanical Engineering and Director,
Technology and Historical Structures
University of Rochester

Prof. Kodzo Gavua
Co-director – Archaeology and Heritage Studies and Dean
School of Arts
College of Humanities
University of Ghana

Prof. Michael Jarvis
History and Director
Digital Media Studies
University of Rochester

Prof. David Ambrampah 
Archaeology and Heritage Studies
University of Ghana 


$4, 930 – includes tuition plus all room & board and internal travel while in Ghana.

Scholarships for UR Faculty Education Abroad Programs
UR Scholarships

University of Rochester students may be eligible to receive a scholarship for this Program. Read the Scholarships document in your Learning Content for details.
Other scholarships

There are many scholarships and funding sources, both need and merit-based, for education abroad, and we encourage you to apply.  Visit our Scholarships page for more information.
Do not wait until the last minute to research what you may be eligible for, as scholarships are competitive, and will not be awarded for poorly-written applications. Scholarships for short-term and summer programs, and for international students, are limited, so it’s especially important to begin looking for scholarships sooner, rather than later.  
Applications may require a copy of your official transcript, essays or personal statement, letters of recommendation, and financial aid information.

Note that RIG and Discover funding may be applicable to education abroad.

Additional Information 


Read the 2019 program blog here: 

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.