Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Earthen Architecture in Archaeological Conservation and Preservation

  • Louise Cooke
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_519


Earth has been used a building material for at least the last twelve millennia with the earliest evidence for earth as a building material coming from sites within Western Asia. Later, structures were built using both hand-shaped mud blocks and rammed earth, for example, at Çatalhöyük (Turkey) and Carchemish (Turkey). However, earthen architecture is not restricted to hot, desert climates, and archaeologically and historically, it is distributed throughout the world. From the characteristic “tell” sites comprised of the multiple and varied stratigraphies of abandoned and rebuilt earth structures, through to vernacular, secular, religious, and monumental buildings in urban and rural settings, and earthworks in temperate climates. As such the distribution and variety of earthen architecture and construction spans both continents and millennia with evidence within archaeological contexts, extant structures, alongside still-used earth structures throughout the world.


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Further Reading

  1. Cooke, L. 2010. Conservation approaches to earthen architecture in archaeological contexts(British Archaeological Reports International series S2116).Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  2. Ranier, L, A. Bass Rivera & D. Gandreau. 2008. Terra 2008.10th International Conference on the Study and Conservation of Earthen Architecture February 1st-5th 2008. Bamako, Mali. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute.Google Scholar
  3. ICOMOS International Committee on Earthen Architecture Heritage (ISCEAH).n.d. Available at: http://isceah.icomos.org/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Old Bridge BarnMaltonUK