Mudbrick walls

Mudbrick was one of the main building materials in Ancient Israel and much of the Middle East. Walls often had stone foundations, but the upper courses were constructed of mudbrick. These were not the little bricks that we know from buildings today. They were a much larger size. Here you can see a mudbrick still about fully conserved in the middle of a square.

This one was fairly easy to spot, but often mudbrick erodes over time and traces are harder to detect. The remains of mudbrick may be just a different colour from the soil around, a different hardness. It might be the sound of the trowel that tells you that there’s something different here, or the light at a certain time of day. Many a mudbrick wall has been dug up before it was seen. Even once detected, it’s not that easy to excavate a mudbrick wall. The line is not always clear. Here’s a photo of a levelled square where we think we’ve detected a mudbrick wall by noticing a colour difference. The soil here also seemed to be more compacted.

You may notice that the mudbrick wall runs underneath the stone foundations of another wall. Various layers lie on top of another in this square, phases of a village built on top of each other. At times, discerning the sequence of walls and floors gets complicated. Good recording and convincing arguments are required to make sense of the stratigraphy.

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This entry was posted in Archaeology, excavations, Judah, Khirbet Summeily and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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