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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Staff

Publication details for Professor Chris Gerrard

Jaquin, P.A., Augarde, C. & Gerrard, C.M. (2008). Chronological description of the spatial development of rammed earth techniques. International Journal of Architectural Heritage 2(4): 377-400.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Rammed earth has been used by man for thousands of years and is currently experiencing a revival in some parts of the world as a result of its inherent sustainability. Historic rammed earth structures are scattered around the world, and much information can be derived from these structures to inform the development of modern rammed earth. This article provides a chronological study of rammed earth distribution through observation of monumental buildings to aid the study of this building technique. It is shown that the rammed earth technique is likely to have originated independently in China and around the Mediterranean, and spread through the movement of people and ideas to many other parts of the world. Through observation of historic rammed earth sites, geographic and climatic limits can be placed on the extent of rammed earth. The different ways rammed earth has been used over time are explored, culminating in its current incarnation as a sustainable building material.