Test Cover Image of:  Mineral Building Traditions in the Himalayas

Mineral Building Traditions in the Himalayas

The Mineralogical Impact on the Use of Clay as Building Material

Mineral building materials and regionally related methods of processing are an essential part of building culture throughout the Himalayas. Based on transregional knowledge transfer, raw materials have been able to find an ecologically and economically optimised destiny in particular local applications. For this study, samples were collected as raw material or originated from certain building components. Samples were analysed according to their material properties and architectural application. Traditional building techniques were examined and their correlation with traceable material qualities studied. Clay-specific properties such as colour, grain size distribution, grain shape, hardness, plasticity, organic additives, or bulk and clay mineral properties were used as comparative parameters. This study gives fresh insight into the interaction between technical requirements, environmental resources and material implementation. It is the first scientific approach in studying the Himalayan earthen heritage in a wide scope and connecting material research and cultural heritage from various perspectives - in particular archaeology, architecture, research on materials and building techniques.
Earthen heritage: First studies spanning over a wide area of the Himalayas. Material culture: New insights in technical development. Research: Using methods of the field of clay mineralogy for the determination of material properties

Author Information

Hubert Feiglstorfer, University of Vienna, Austria.

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Audience: For scholars in Geosciences and Materials Science and as well in Architecture.