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The making of fired clay bricks in China some 5000 years age
author: source: Time:2013-08-28 font< big medium small >

Fired bricks are a hard and durable masonry material that has played a major role in the emergence of early human urban civilization. In China, fired clay bricks have been widely used as a building and flooring material since the Qin Dynasty (476-206 BC), although a few lines of evidence show that fired clay bricks might have been invented as early as 5500 years ago in eastern central China. However, these burnt clumps of clay appear not to be bricks in the strict sense, and our knowledge about the origin of fired clay bricks in China still remains fragmentary. Recently, the researchers of Institute of Earth Environment, CAS and Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology found that the making of fired clay bricks began about 5000–5300 years ago, using the AMS radiocarbon method to measure the radiocarbon ages of charcoal from northwestern China. The research finding was accepted by Archaeometry, and published online (Yang YCYu SYZhu YZ et al., The making of fired clay bricks in china some 5000 years ago. Archaeometry,doi: 10.1111/arcm.12014).

        Prof. Shiyong Yu of Institute of Earth Environment said that, clay bricks excavated from the Xinjie site are the earliest bricks found in East Asia until now. But compared to the sun-dried bricks in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus River Valley, chopped straw was not added to the brickearth of this site, which may reflect that fired clay bricks appear to be invented independently in this area of China. The achievement was also reported by the CCTV news.

A fired clay brick excavated from Xinjie, a Middle Neolithic archaeological site in northwestern China(Photoes by IEECAS

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