Asante Traditional Buildings

Background:

  • Name: Asante Traditional Buildings
  • Location: Ghana
  • Date of Inscription: 1980
  • Criteria: (v.) to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  • Number Cultural Heritage Sites in Ghana: 2 (no mixed)

Basic Archaeological Site Information:

  • Size of Site: aprox. 100,000 sq mi
  • Time Period Site Represents: 18th century
  • Cultural Group: Asante(Ashanti) civilization                                                         

Archaeological Summary:

The archaeological site is the last remaining cultural evidence of the Asante Civilization, and can be found in the north-east of Kumasi. There is only a small number of structures, the majority are less than 100 years old, due to the destruction of Asante villages during the wars against English Domination from 1806 to 1901. During this period the royal mausoleum (or Barem) was also destroyed by Baden –Powel.

The buildings or houses are made of earth, wood, and straw, which are very vulnerable to destruction caused by weather and time and preservation of these structures poses a difficult problem. The framework is made of a series of wooden imposts, poles, and bamboo slats. The buildings also have a thatched roof and puddle clay for a floor. The thatched roofs are made of fragile material, and most houses have been given corrugated iron for roofing. The decorations carved into the clay facings, covering the wood core, consist of geometric, floral, animal, or anthropomorphic designs. The Ghana museums and Monument Board have agreed on maintenance efforts, however the clay facings and thatched roofs are likely to be destroyed due to weather and time.

Threats/Status:

  • Although there is no immediate threat to the archaeological site, the preservation of the site will continue to prove difficult due to the fragile framework.

Pictures

Links:

Ashantiregion

Africa 2009

World Heritage Site

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