A collection of stones piled one on top of the other, dry stone is an iconic building method found just nearly everywhere in the world. Relying solely on an age-old craft to create sturdy, reliable structures and characterised by its rustic, interlocking shapes, the technique has deep roots that stretch back even before the invention of the wheel. Its principles are simple: stack the stones to create a unified, load-bearing wall. But the efficient, long-lasting results, coupled with the technique’s cultural significance, have lead to continued use and updated interpretations all the way to contemporary architecture today. Pre-dating the wheel, pottery, metallurgy and writing, dry stone as a structural concept has been around since at least the 10th millennium BC. Prominent in north-west Europe, the historic walls that are left are normally dated between 7000-1600BC, whereas in Southern Europe early examples are traced back to the first Bronze Age settlements - around 1350BC. Latin America and Africa’s dry stone heritage is slightly more recent, dating back to roughly 800AD. And as the Northern European nations colonised the Americas and Australasia they brought with them the storied tradition.
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