Dry stone walling is one of the most eye-catching examples of man’s amazing craftsmanship that has been gifted to us from ancient times. The technique is to build walls using only stones without any mortar used in between the layers of stones.
Basically, there are 3 types of walls that can be built using this method namely single wall, double wall, and the Galloway dyke or the Galloway wall. Even if this technique was used to build walls, many buildings of ancient times were built using this technique. So here are 3 world famous heritages that has been made by dry stone walling technique.
Neolithic Village of Skara Brae
This is an ancient stone build Neolithic settlement built using the dry stone walling technique. It is situated on the Skaill bay in the west coast of Scotland. It consists of 8 clustered houses which are believed to have been inhabited during the period between 3200 and 2500 BC.
It’s nominated by UNESCO as a world heritage site and it’s even older than the great Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt according to the data received from carbon dating. Due to its excellent preservation, some people call it Scottish Pompeii. It was uncovered to the world in 1850s after a series of storms but it was officially recognized and protected after 1924.
The Great Zimbabwe
This is another mind-blowing example of the dry stone walling technique. Basically, it’s the remains of a ruined city in the eastern hills of Zimbabwe near the lake Mutirikwi and town Masvingo. It’s believed to have been the capital of the great Kingdom of Zimbabwe from the late Iron Age. It was believed to be constructed between the period of 11th and 15th century by a group of ethnic inhabitants native to Zimbabwe called the Shona people. It’s fully made by the dry stone walling method and it covers an area of 1780 acres and it’s recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO
Drystone walling is one of the best proofs of ancient craftsmanship and it has served as the heart for many of the astonishing ancient creations like Skara brae, great Zimbabwe and Stonehenge. There are many other places around the world that reflect the beauty of this technique. One such example would be the Hagar Qim Temple in Malta that was constructed between 3600 and 3200 BC and is now one of the oldest religious sites in the world.
Dry stone walling technique hasn’t changed much since its inceptions; this is because the technique still works. This is a marvelous way to construct walls and they take nothing away from the surroundings. Instead, the walls actually support a whole eco system. Insects, moss and lichen thrive in the walls and the walls are also very pleasing aesthetically. They are constructed of found material, i.e. stone so no trees need to be cut down or no additional construction material need be carted from one place to another.