The history of clay bricks, while somewhat resting in the murky depths of time, is no less dynamic as it is hopeful. This brief exploration begins by marking the discovery of clay and then draws into question of who may be responsible for the advent of the clay brick? While there may or may not be a definitive answer, the paper points out that once introduced clay brick making could be found in various parts of the ancient world. Once they were utilized in construction, the use of clay bricks has been responsible for the creation of structures that are both famous and infamous, and the most of the examples provided in this example remain intact to this day; in huge part testament to the durability of clay bricks regardless of what history has in store. Mass production of clay bricks was only achieved quite recently and there are some who bemoan this fact. Yet, today’s manufacturing processes, while quite detailed and carefully considered, have also made it possible for production that are, to a degree, are environmentally friendly.
Clay has been in use since the prehistoric era when it was fashioned into pottery used for purposes of cooking and storage. Evidence of this has been found in Japan and has been radiocarbon dated to 14000 BC (Scarre, 2013). However, there doesn’t appear to be consensus as to who should be credited with fashioning clay as a material used for purposes of building structures. For example, information found in a book published by the Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2003) reports, “The earliest clay bricks were found on sites in Mesopotamia dating from about 2500 BCE.” (p. 323) Yet, other informational sources attribute the advent of clay bricks to Babylon, China, and Samaria and whether or not there is a great importance to identify whom or where clay bricks were first used, it may be relevant to report that what separated early brick making from those produced in Mesopotamia was how they were produced. As reported, prior to 2500 BCE, clay bricks were fashioned by hand and set to dry using only the sun. The aforementioned date marks the time when clay bricks were formed with molds and dried by baking with fire (The history of clay, n.d.).
Throughout the centuries clay bricks have been utilized to construct remarkable historical landmarks,
[I]f you believe the Old Testament then you might know the Tower of Babel was constructed of brick. So for that matter of fact was Babylon, the Sakkova stepped Pyramid, the Great Wall of China and Bengal’s Paharpur Temple to name but a few other mighty ancient structures. (Walker, 2007)
Brick making came relatively late to Great Britain after it was introduced by the Romans shortly after conquering the British Isles. But, it wouldn’t be until well after the departure of the Romans, 600 years later (13th century), that production of clay bricks became commonplace (Walker, 2007). Afterwards, the production of clay brick in England—a slow process predating mass production—would be...