09. Structural Assessment
Following the completion of the architectural documentation and condition assessment of the monuments in the complex, a structural assessment of the monuments was commissioned in early 2014.
- A team of Stand Consulting Engineers, London were based in Hyderabad for a month to study the principal monuments on the Qutb Shahi Heritage Site.
- All structures- tombs, mosques, step wells and the mortuary bath - were appraised with structural engineering investigations.
- A summary for the urgency of the structural works in the monuments was recommended.
- The larger domed tombs demonstrate the masons had an excellent understanding of the structural principles for this form of construction. Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb, the grandest structure in the complex, contains sophisticated techniques to address particular structural challenges with the design. Most of the structures are in a reasonable condition for their age and type of construction. The majority of structural issues arise from a lack of maintenance and inappropriate repairs. Common problems include root damage by vegetation growth and changes to the falls at roof level which have compromised the drainage of rainwater and resulted in accelerated deterioration.
- Close monitoring of structures where cracks or settlement is noted as well as undertaking emergency repairs where required.
10. Tile Dcoumentation
The architectural documentation revealed ceramic glazed tiles on three monuments- Tomb of Ibrahim Quli, Tomb of Mohammad Qutb, and Tomb of Abdullah Qutb Shah, which led to further documentation and tile analysis.
- Each of the Tombs have been extensively documented with the tile work being traced and measured along with condition assessment.
- Sample of glazed tiles have been collected from the monuments and have been sent for testing to Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art department at Oxford University to understand the physical and chemical properties of the tiles.
- Tomb of Abdullah showed signs of glazed tiles of five different colours i.e. orange, blue, white, green and yellow on the top columns on the corners of the upper storey, as well as around the flower bands on the first storey.
- On the Tomb of Mohd. Qutb V, tiles, revealed below the current plaster layer, once covered the entire dome as well as exterior bands and merlons below the dome. The colours found are Blue, Turquoise, Green, Yellow and White. The dome also revealed the use of nails for pegging of tiles, which may have caused further deterioration of the tiles.
- Tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah has clear evidences showing tiles in the upper bays on the south side and traces in the east and north side showing complex geometrical and floral patterns with glazed tiles of Green, Orange, Blue, Turquoise, White and yellow.
- Following the successful revival of tile making craft to restore the monuments in the Humayun’s Tomb complex, the laboratory tests will be used as a basis to formulate a tile restoration strategy for the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park.
11. Petrologic Studies
For an indigenous approach to the conservation of the ashlar stone masonry works, it was necessary to obtain similar kinds of stones for repair. This led to study of available stones from the noted stone quarries.
- Various stone quarries were visited upto a distance of 200 kms to obtain the right colour, texture and size of the stones as used originally by the builders.
- Over 20 quarries were visited and over 50 samples of stones were collected and the matching stones were bought and finalised.
- To obtain the right texture of stones, samples of hand chisel dressing were made by local craftsmen and were verified on the site.
- This study led to the identification of local craftsmen who have been in the profession for generations. This has created employment opportunities and generated livelihood for these craftsmen.