Ancient Building Technology, Volume 1: Historical Background
The wealth of excavation of ancient buildings in the past 50 years and the resulting flood of publications has created a demand for a survey of building practice in antiquity. This two-volume work deals with the techniques of setting together the fabric of ancient buildings: the manual and mechanical operations involved; the materials, tools and equipment used. "Ancient" here means from very first beginnings (origins) to the end of Late Antiquity (i.e. about 600 A.D.); as manifested geographically in the Old World of Europe and the Middle East (not sub-Saharan Africa, Further Asia, the Far East or New World). Building (the product and the process) is limited to architectural building and looks at the technology of civil engineering only where it introduces novelties. Technology here means the system of techniques used in the process of building construction rather than the science or theory of building.
The 10 chapters of this first volume are intended to give a general perspective of animal building in the light of evolutionary biology, then of building in the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Levanto-Aegean, Achaemenid, Greek, Roman, Late Antique -Early Christian / Byzantine / Sassanian contexts (with a weighting towards the lesser known prehistoric beginnings and late antique end). The second volume will focus on the technical details: materials of construction, structural systems, principles of construction and forms of construction.