What Was Mortar Made of in Ancient Times?

Mortar is an essential building material used to bind bricks, stones, and other construction materials together. It has been used for centuries to build some of the most iconic structures in history.

But what was mortar made of in ancient times? Let’s take a closer look.

The History of Mortar

Mortar dates back to ancient times, with evidence of its use found in Egypt around 4000 BC. The Egyptians used a mixture of clay and sand as mortar to build their pyramids. The Greeks and Romans later developed more advanced mortars using a combination of lime, sand, and water.

Types of Mortar

There are several types of mortar used in construction today, each with its own unique properties. These include:

1. Lime Mortar

Lime mortar was the most commonly used mortar in ancient times. It is made by mixing lime, sand, and water in specific proportions. Lime mortar has good workability and allows for the movement of moisture through the masonry wall.

2. Cement Mortar

Cement mortar is made by mixing cement, sand, and water. It has excellent strength but is not as workable as lime mortar. Cement mortar is commonly used for modern construction but was not available in ancient times.

3. Mud Mortar

Mud mortar is made by mixing mud or clay with water and straw or other organic materials to improve its workability and strength. It was commonly used by ancient civilizations such as the Mesopotamians.

Ancient Mortars

The mortars used by ancient civilizations were often based on locally available materials. For example:

  • The Egyptians used a mixture of clay and sand.
  • The Mesopotamians used mud or clay mixed with straw.
  • The Greeks and Romans used a combination of lime, sand, and water.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mortar has been an essential building material for centuries. The mortars used in ancient times were often based on locally available materials and were not as advanced as modern mortars. However, they were still effective in binding building materials together and creating some of the most iconic structures in history.