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The Invention of Dried Brick
Buildings erected using preformed shaped bricks of dried mud data back to around 7500 B.C.E. Example have been found by archeologists in Cayonu in the upper Tigris valley and close to Diyarbakir in southeast Anatolia both in modern-day turkey.
More recent bricks dating from between 7000 and 6400 B.C.E. have been found in Jericho in the Jordan valley and in Catalhoyuk again in turkey These early bricks were made of mud molded by hand and then left out to fry and harden in the sun. The bricks were then laid into walls using a simple mud mortar.
Mud is an exceptionally good material for building in cry climates: It is readily available wherever agriculture is practiced it may be dug from riverbeds and it has good structural and thermal qualities.
Some year later mud bricks were shaped wooden molds enabling a form of organized mass production to take place. This became important as bricks were increasingly used to build not only small-scale houses farms granaries and farm structure but whole villages and later towns and cities including their large palaces, temples and other state and public buildings.
Wherever stone was unavailable or in short supply the humble mud bricks took its place. Mud bricks were used throughout the Near East as well as by the civilization of Egypt and the Indus valley where the bricks were standardized in size, in the ratio of four units long to two units wide and one unit deep
. This simple but effective building material was paramount until the first kiln-fired bricks were development in Mesopotamia during the third millennium B.C.E.