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Comparative study of Prehistoric, traditional and contemporary adobe bricks from Cyprus

Author(s): Maria Costi de Castrillo, Ioannis Ioannou, Maria Philokyprou
Paper category: Proceedings
Book title: Proceedings of the International RILEM Conference
Materials, Systems and Structures in Civil Engineering 2016 segment on
Historical Masonry
Editor(s): Inge Rörig-Dalgaard and Ioannis Ioannou
ISBN: 978-2-35158-178-0
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-179-7
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 74-83
Total Pages: 10
Language : English

Abstract: Earthen architecture in Cyprus dates back to the Neolithic era. Up until the first half of the
20th century, adobe bricks were used extensively for the construction of load-bearing masonry
walls. However, following the modernization of the local society, the urbanization trends and
the introduction of industrialized building materials, the use of adobes declined.
Contemporary adobes are produced by a limited number of local manufacturers using random

raw materials and empirical techniques. As a result, the end-product is generally non-
homogeneous with variable physico-mechanical properties.

This paper presents a comparative study between prehistoric, traditional and contemporary

(19th - 21st century) adobes from Cyprus. Reported results include mineralogical and physico-
chemical analyses of both raw materials and brick specimens sampled from prehistoric

archaeological sites, 19th - 20th century traditional buildings and contemporary producers. The
findings of the study show that traditional and contemporary adobes are to a great extent
similar to the prehistoric bricks, taking into account their inherent inhomogeneity.
Nevertheless, mixing of raw materials was probably the norm in prehistory; this practice has
been gradually abolished in traditional and contemporary adobe production. It is anticipated
that the current study will contribute towards improving the practices for local adobe
production and will assist in the development of quality control methods for earthen materials,
thus enhancing their use in contemporary sustainable construction.

Online publication : 2016
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros) : 0.00

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