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Rammed Earth in Ancient Egypt By : Alexander M. Badawy

Rammed earth indicates a higher stage in construction.

Early texts describe the construction of stairways. of rammed earth (Pyr. 1090 c; 1107-1108; 1431 bc, 1749 b). The same process, probably borrowed from the earliest texts, is described in Middle King-dom Coffin Texts (³).

The verb skr has the generic sense of « to beat»> (gold into sheets, dough or stairs, heads of the enemy). A secondary sense « to play a cord-instrument is paralleled by the Arabic.

The determinative has not yet been identified. The Egyptians, from the XIXth dynasty onwards, interpreted it as a paw. It has been put forward that it could be the small mediator used for pinching the strings (5

Rammed earth formed one of the simplest techniques:

Rammed Earth in Ancient Egypt
«The souls of Heliopolis, they rammed for him a stairways (Pyr. 1090 c).

Rammed Earth in Ancient Egyp
t «A stairway to heaven is rammed» (Pyr. 1749 b)..

Rammed Earth in Ancient Egyp
«A ladder is rammed...» (Pyr. 1431 b).

Archaeological evidence proves that, besides stairs or ramps, other constructional elements used rammed earth. Such are the platforms replacing pavement in archaic huts, enclosure walls constructed of two facings filled in, constructional ramps consisting of a network of coffers in brick filled in with earth. Levelling down an area where a building was to be erected was described by the verb: hæsj « to pound, to ram». «Levelling down the mammisi (1),


(A. MARIETTE, Dendera, II, 34. See supra under hasj.



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