Mudbricks, pt. 2

It was a dark and rainy day at the Presidio.

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Perfect for making mudbricks, right?

Our mix was made from the backdirt from the Cabrillo College excavations over the summer, water, and some dried grass. We left out the sand, as the dirt is already very sandy. Ideally we would have dug down to subsoil for more clay, but the back dirt is there, so we thought we’d mix a trial batch.

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It was way too wet.

The directions say that you should be able to remove them from their molds in 15 mins-1 hour. Ours took…2.5 days.

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Not bad though, and now we have three more in the molds. I intend to make proper wooden molds soon (1/3 vara x 2/3 vara, for those who like to count in archaic Spanish measurements, or roughly 11″x22″). Hopefully I’ll get the mix right by the time the first school group arrives.

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Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

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