The Evolution of Masonry and How it Benefits You

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Masonry is, perhaps, one of the oldest forms of building as humans have been building with forms of brick for thousands of years. It’s also the oldest form of construction

Some of the earliest evidence of masonry dates back to at least 7500 BCE, when people used earthen bricks. This is believed to be when masonry began in earnest, but over time, the evolution of masonry has changed immensely.  

We’ll point out some significant moments that helped shape what modern masonry is all about today. We’ll also discuss how modern masonry benefits everyone. So read on to learn more about the evolution of masonry and how it benefits you.

The Evolution of Ancient Masonry

There are different styles of masonry, but they are all based on one thing – construction. The three main styles of masonry that are often used today are: Brick Masonry, Stone Masonry and Concrete Blocks. 

The development of different styles of masonry has come about due to the different materials that have been used. It also depended on what materials were available in what region.

Prior to the 18th century, most masonry was done using stone as a building material. Due to its strength and durability, stone was the most commonly used building material available. 

The Evolution of Medieval Masonry

You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: This is beautiful. That is Architecture. Art enters in.” – Le Corbusier. 

The ancient Egyptians originally created crude blocks of masonry to build the pyramids. The blocks were flat and were cut into slabs that were used to create floors and walls. Over time, they learned to angle and cut their stone into thinner pieces. 

The next step in the evolution of masonry was to develop the wall. The walls were initially built using mud bricks. Stone was then added to create the flat surfaces.

The Evolution into Modern Masonry

As you can imagine, the transformation of masonry over time is quite substantial. 

Here are some of the significant milestones that helped to shape modern masonry: 

  • Rome developed brick architecture. 
  • Leonardo Da Vinci developed an architectural style that was very influential. 
  • Vitruvius creates the first composite brick.

Origin:

Ancient Mesopotamians left mud bricks out in the sun to dry over 7000 years ago.

The Pyramid Revolution:

In order to encourage trade, the ancient Egyptians put the focus on convenience rather than luxury. They turned to long-lasting materials. 

This was particularly the case with the temples of the pyramid. One of the most impressive things about the Egyptian pyramids is their durability.

Roman Brick:

Around 300 BCE, Greco-Roman builders began using carefully laid bricks to build their buildings. This was a totally new concept. Before then, the way that buildings were built seemed to be almost totally by chance. 

Roman builders made use of the principles of geometry to plan and build their buildings. They used big stones to build huge blocks of concrete, and they stacked them up carefully. 

Roman brick used a form of mortar known as pozzolana, which is basically volcanic sand mixed with lime.  We now know that this is known as “Roman Brick”. You’ll find Roman Brick in lots of things today. 

Today:

Bricks have continued to evolve with time. They are no longer the massive blocks of concrete that they used to be.  New types of masonry products today include thin brick, and both natural and manufactured stone.

Modern Masonry Benefits Everyone

There’s a lot of benefits to masonry and using this modern form of construction. Let’s take a look. 

Safety

With newer technologies, masonry construction is much safer than it was in the past. There were no permanent construction site safety standards back then like today. Many people were injured on a regular basis due to accidents on these past sites.

Quality

Modern brick and stone used for building are of better quality and strength thanks to the use of newer composites and ways of mixing these materials together.  Consistency of product also produces superior results.

Creativity

Buildings and structures can now be built in almost unheard of ways than in the past. Literally, if it can be imagined, it can be built today because of superior materials. Whether it’s a cool new chimney or a customized walkway, it can now be built with relative ease.

Conclusion

This evolution in masonry explains the refinement over the years to make a product that is top quality. Masonry has proven to be effective and adaptable for a wide variety of structures. Even though it may have changed somewhat over the years, masonry is still the best way to build structures.

We hope you enjoyed this article about the evolution of masonry and how it benefits you.

We can certainly vouch for the power, strength and durability of masonry as our company has been in business since 1952.  Our masonry technicians are highly skilled and certified in brick and stonework.  We have been honored to be a part of many beautiful projects for our customers and we truly appreciate the long-term relationships we have had with them.

Contact Ray Arnold Masonry today to get started on your next masonry masterpiece.