Archaeology and Building Materials

#1
Lots of ancient civilizations used bricks for building(Egypt, Mesopotamia, Maya, etc.). My question is: how did they make them? I am currently conducting an experiment with water and clay trying to make bricks, but how did they do it?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,778
#2
They still do in places such as Egypt

It seems the key is the right mix of clay, water and straw, put in a mold (like a cake if you will) which you then lay out in the sun to dry.. Works in hot climates... if you try doing that out in the snow wont work :)

Mudbrick - Wikipedia
 
Jul 2012
446
Michigan, USA.
#5
Adobe and other mud-constructs are still used in southwest USA, parts of Africa, and the Middle East. There's a kind of brick used in Mali called banco; fermented mud bricks mixed with rice husks used to create bricks or as a paste to cover walls.
 
Jan 2011
1,041
FRANCE
#6
They still do in places such as Egypt

It seems the key is the right mix of clay, water and straw, put in a mold (like a cake if you will) which you then lay out in the sun to dry.. Works in hot climates... if you try doing that out in the snow wont work :)

Mudbrick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sorry to "unearth" this old thread, but it's just to comment that sun dried mudbricks have also been used in non-hot climates: the best example is the Celtic fortification made at the Heuneburg in Germany, around 600 BC.
Sun dried mudbricks have also been used in North West of France in the 18th and 19th centuries, in areas which are famous for their high level of rain...
 
Jan 2015
2,812
MD, USA
#7
Clay walls were also common in medieval England and other parts of Europe, and continued in use into early modern times, even in Colonial America. As I understand it, the trick is make the roof overhang somewhat, to keep most of the direct rain off the wall. Seems to work! Some walls were also coated with plaster or mortar, for a more durable covering. But even without that, I've heard of folks trying to do renovations in houses still in use that had clay walls, and they had a terrible time chiseling through!

Matthew
 

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