Earth Architecture in Uruguay

Uruguayan architect Andrés Nogués documents the design and construction of a unique log/mud brick house, la Casa de Adobes en La Juanita (above), as well as providing thoughtful essays on the subject of earthen architecture and links to various earth related sites on his blog, Arquitectura de Tierra en Uruguay. [Spanish Language website]

Mud Brick: Oldest

According to this essay, the oldest mud brick structure in the world is the ceremonial enclosure of Khasekhemwy–Hierakonpolis.

Is there evidence of older buildings? What are they?

According to Wikipedia, “The earliest use of mudbricks was in the Near East during the Pre-pottery Neolithic B period,” which is between ca. 9600 and ca. 8000 BP

Is this the oldest? If not, how long has mud brick been in use?

Start a discussion in the comments section below.

Rammed Earth: Oldest

Wikipedia notes:

“The Chinese were already familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn Period, which began around the 8th century BC. During the Warring States Period from the 5th century BC to 221 BC, the states of Qi, Yan and Zhao all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames.”

Is the Great Wall the oldest mud brick building in the world? If not, what is?

This article states:

“The year 2000 was to see the discovery in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province of a township site of the Longshan Culture (c.2310-1810 BC). With its double encircling walls this find is further confirmation that the history of city building in antiquity can be traced back in China to the late Neolithic Age. The Longshan Culture is characterized by its burnished black pottery, examples of which were first unearthed in Longshan, Shandong Province in 1928. The Lianyungang site offers an insight into ancient building techniques through its finds of rammed earth foundations.”

Is this the oldest historical evidence of rammed earth? If not, how long has rammed earth been in use?

Start a discussion in the comments section below.


uni-terra is a networking platform for the global exchange of information, experience and know-how in earth architecture and building with earth at an academic level. Its aim is to promote knowledge transfer between academics and practitioners alike, to support the development of expertise in the field and to ensure its long-term sustainability for future generations. uni-terra is an initiative by the Dachverband Lehm e.V.

Frank Lloyd Wright Rammed Earth

In 1941 Frank Lloyd Wright began the Cooperative Homesteads project in Madison Heights, Detroit Michigan. The homes were to cost $1,400 and to keep the costs low they utilized berm and rammed earth construction. It is said that the would be occupants for the houses were drafted during World War II and construction ceased. Read More [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]