Comparison of adobes from pre-history to-date
AuthorCastrillo, Maria Costi de
SourceJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
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This paper presents a comparative study between prehistoric, traditional (19th–20th century) and contemporary adobe bricks from Cyprus. Reported experimental results include grain size distribution analyses, qualitative and/or quantitative mineralogical and chemical analyses, methylene blue and Atterberg Limits tests of the raw material used for the production of the aforementioned adobes. The experimental results are complemented by a thorough literature review of Cypriot adobe production. The findings of the study show that contemporary as well as traditional adobes are to a great extent similar to the prehistoric ones tested in the framework of this research, taking into account the inherent non-homogeneity of the material. This conclusion derives both from the literature review and from the tests conducted in the laboratory. Although similarities are evident in the principles of production and curing, there are differences in the actual composition and mix design that may potentially influence the physico-mechanical characteristics and durability of adobe bricks. It is anticipated that the investigation of early adobe samples and the comparison of traditional methodologies and practices of adobe production with respective contemporary ones, will contribute towards the enhancement of existing knowledge regarding adobe production technology. The ultimate aim is to use the results of this study in order to improve the practices applied in the current production of adobes. It is also expected that this study will further assist towards the development of methods for the quality control of earthen building materials, thus promoting, the use of adobe in contemporary architecture as an alternative, sustainable form of construction. "