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Open Access Publications from the University of California


  • Author(s): Emery, Virginia L.
  • et al.

Made from a mixture of silt, clay, sand, and straw formed into regular molded units, unfired mud-bricks were the primary construction material employed in ancient Egypt—being quite literally the most basic of building blocks for all levels of domestic structures, from simple one-room buildings to lavishly decorated palace complexes, as well as administrative and storage structures, and even early phases of temples. Modern methods of mud-brick fabrication accord with ancient evidence, suggesting that the production of unfired mud-brick has remained a stable technology through the millennia. Ancient evidence concerning mud-brick not only illuminates mud-brick production organization, but also highlights the symbolic significance of bricks in religious contexts, especially relating to birth and death.

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