Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


15 April 2010

From the ground up: Earth in Minoan construction. The case of Building 5 at Palaikastro

M. Devolder Aegean Archaeology 8 (2005-2006) [2009]: 65-80.


The violent destruction by fire of Building 5 at Palaikastro, Crete, provided an interesting and varied collection of well-preserved fired-earth elements. Those include fragments of mudbricks, mud coatings, roofs/ceilings, doorjambs, and other samples which bear impressions of wooden elements, probably from installations made of a combination of earth and wood. The publication of a selection of the samples has two purposes. The first is to offer a typological description of the earthen features in order to elucidate their various functions and their importance in Minoan architecture. Thus considered, the fragments described illustrate particular construction techniques and help reconstructing the original appearance of the building. The second purpose of this study is to consider the knowledge Minoan builders had of materials and techniques involved in earthen architecture. This study may allow some insights into the status of the practitioners of architecture and the degree of involvement of inhabitants or of specialists in construction.


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