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Material Characterization Of Natural Adobe Plasters In The Jordan Valley: Mining The Past For A More Sustainable Future

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Earthen buildings are inhabited by 30% of the world population; half of which are in developing countries. The techniques of earth building are widely practiced but the mechanics of earthen materials are poorly understood. As vernacular knowledge of this practice is being lost with globalization, so to are the environmental, social, and historic benefits that this technology provides. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Jordan Valley, known as having the oldest continuously inhabited human settlements, has remnants of adobe buildings that have proven durable throughout thousands of years. However, the development of the know-how to build with adobe was limited by the introduction of cement based construction materials to the region. To date, there have been no scientific inquiries into characterizing this important material. The goal of this study is to focus on the material aspects of the natural adobe plasters by using nanotechnology including Air Scanning Electron Microscopy (AirSEM), Energydispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and X-ray Diffraction (XRD). The underlying hypothesis is that these complimentary techniques will help better understand the morphology of the ancient adobe plaster that has been used throughout different eras in the Jordan Valley, where, the use of multiple nanocharacterization tools overcomes the limitations of a single tool. The  results  showed  a  significant  variance  in  the  plaster  recipes  in  different   geographical  regions  of  the  Jordan  Valley.  Some  additives  might  have  been  added  to  the   local  soil,  like  talc  that  was  found  in  the  sample  of  Hisham's  palace,  or  local  soil  differences   could  account  for  the  differences.  Finally,  the  results  prove  that  regardless  of  the  local   recipes,  people  of  the  Jordan  Valley  used  three  different  layers  in  the  protection  of  the   exterior  walls,  each  having  different  ratios  of  earth  materials.

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2015-08-17

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Plasters; Jordan Valley; Characterization

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Union Local

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Elliott,John Jack R.

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Muller,David Anthony

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Design

Degree Name

M.A., Design

Degree Level

Master of Arts

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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