Masonry Techniques of the Early Sixth Century City Wall of Resafa, Syria
Hof, Catharine (Berlin University of Technology, German Archaeological Institute)
Proceedings of the Third International Congress on Construction History, Cottbus, May (2009)
Although the Persians never came near Resafa during the war of 502–506 AD, the war’s events did have effect on the building of the new city wall. It seems certain that the walls were begun ca 500 AD, a time of relative peace. They demonstrate that effort was not in question as the wall’s elaborate structural design was developed. In Resafa we find three-leaf solid masonry with ashlar faces and a core of fairly squared blocks for which walling techniques found in the Limestone Massif stood example. There, two-leaf walls can be found, as well as voussoirs with grooves like ones found in Resafa. The war definitely slowed down building pro- gress in Resafa, forcing the builders to finish only the curtain wall and to neglect the towers, while improving the security of the water culverts. The massive structure was approved and later copied at the north wall of Halebiye-Zenobia.
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