A Mudbrick City Wall at Hattuša

Situated in Central Anatolia, Hattuša remained the capital city of the Hittites from 1650/1600 to around 1200 BC. Here, as recently as 2003 to 2005, the German Archaeological Institute has rebuilt one stretch of the mudbrick city wall. The scope of this project in experimental archaeology has been to recreate a part of the wall using the same materials the Hittites had at hand when they built their original walls so long ago. Each step necessary for the construction was fully documented so as to enable us to assess not only the amount of building materials required but also the manpower and time the Hittites must have invested in the various tasks of construction.

This volume presents the results gleaned from this documentation. From the production of the first mudbrick to the dedication of the finished structure, each and every undertaking has been described in detail and is presented here accompanied by 573 illustrations.

For more information visit:

German Institute of Archaeology (In english, german and turkish)

Hattuscha-webpage (in English, German and Turkish)

This book is published also in German and Turkish:

Die Lehmziegel-Stadtmauer von Hattusa
Bericht über eine Rekonstruktion
ISBN 978-975-807-194-7

Hattusa Kerpic Kent Suru
Bir Rekonstrüksiyon Çal??mas?
ISBN 978-975-807-193-9

Shiny Mud Balls

At elementary schools, kindergartens, and preschools all across Japan, kids are losing themselves making hikaru dorodango, or balls of mud that shine. Behind this boom is Professor Fumio Kayo of the Kyoto University of Education. Kayo is a psychologist who researches children’s play, and he first came across these glistening dorodango at a nursery school in Kyoto two years ago. He was impressed and devised a method of making dorodango that could be followed even by children. Once Kayo teaches children how to make these mud balls, they become absorbed in forming a sphere, and they put all their energy into polishing the ball until it sparkles. The dorodango soon becomes the child’s greatest treasure. Kayo sees in this phenomenon the essence of children’s play, and he has written academic papers on the subject. The mud balls could also offer fresh insights into how play aids children’s growth.

The Earthen Homes of Yongding County


Photo by Barbara Koh/New York Times

From China’s Fujian coast, it’s a grinding drive up narrow roads through villages built around exhausted coal mines to reach the remote mountains of Yongding. Morning mist clings to the slopes of dense trees and brush. Below, in a valley, rests an eerie collection of beige cylindrical structures, one as enormous as a football field. This sci-fi scenery is peculiar to southern China and concentrated in Yongding County. The bizarre edifices, which the Chinese say foreign surveillance has, over the years, mistaken for missile silos and U.F.O.’s, are decades- and centuries-old and made of rammed earth. They are still homes to the Hakka, a Han Chinese nomadic group.

Adobe Repository for Buddha Statue

The Adobe Repository for Buddha Statue was designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates in 2001-2002 in Toyoura-Gun, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. It is designed to accommodate and exhibit the wood carved statue of Timber Amida (Amidabha) Tathabata. The periphery walls of the site are constructed in hanchiku, or rammed earth, Kuma decided to further utilize this technique in the architecture by using what appears to be compressed earth block, even though it is called out as adobe (mud brick).

Mud Brick Industry In India

Approximately 58% of all buildings in India are mud brick and a growing construction boom in India, coupled the inability for peasants to support themselves by farming is luring residents from the country side into the brick making business. However, hand made mud bricks are now often dried and fired in inefficient coal fueled kilns that make the work dangerous and pollute the environment consuming 200 tons of coal for every million bricks they produce. NY Times

Photo by J. Adam Huggins for The New York Times