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Examinations on technological characteristics of mudbased construction materials in Ulucak Hoyuk neolithic settlement

Erol, Fatıma
The main concern of the study is the definition of mud-based materials technologies belonging to Ulucak Höyük (İzmir) Neolithic settlement (Vth level:6400-6000 BC and IVth level: 5990-5660 BC). Representative samples were collected from the eight different mud masonry houses that were unburnt, partially and fully burnt mudbricks, interior/exterior mud plasters, and floor covering mud mortars. Their laboratory tests were based on raw materials analyses composed of compositional properties of mud mixtures and mineralogical composition of clay content together with basic physical and physicomechanical properties analyses. Mineralogical composition of raw materials was identified by the cross-section and thin section analyses using an optical microscope, X-ray diffraction, FTIR analyses. The presence of a mica-illite group of clay with or without kaolinite, clay-sized CaCO3 particles in clay mixture and coarse gravel in a certain amount are the main characteristics that highlight the qualified composition of mud-based construction materials belonging to Ulucak Höyük Neolithic settlement and the advanced mud-materials technology achieved in that period. The mud-based brick, floor covering mortar and interior plaster have different bulk densities in coherence with their particular grain size distribution. The clay type, percentage of clay content, percentage of CaCO3 in clay content, presence of kaolinite in clay content are the indicators introduced in the study in order to examine the neighbouring clay and adobe soil resources and to discuss the archaeological questions on social life in relation to settlement period and building construction. The data achieved are guiding for planning conservation approaches on mud materials of the settlement.