Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- 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.