Dating buildings brickwork

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These older hand-shaped bricks are larger than the bricks made today, although never larger than a hand width. Variations in the color indicate that the bricks were fired in a clamp kiln, which was the earliest type of kiln to be used.

Look for an indentation on the brick's surface. If the bricks have ornamental moldings or glazes, these are indicators of manufacture and use during the Victorian era.

Two basic categories of bricks are fired and non-fired bricks.

Block is a similar term referring to a rectangular building unit composed of similar materials, but is usually larger than a brick.

Brick can be one of the most durable building materials, as testified by the survival of notable Roman examples.

This is despite the fact that the technological process of firing clay has changed considerably over the past two millennia.Look for a manufacturer's stamp on the brick's surface. Bricks swell very slowly as they age, because they absorb moisture. How much they shrink indicates how old they are because it is proportional to how long they have been wicking up water, argue Moira Wilson of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK, and colleagues.Different materials were used for the aggregate, but at Portus primarily broken bricks and tiles and roughly fist-sized pieces of a volcanic stone called tufa were used.Concrete was used to make the foundations, walls and vaults.

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