Welcome to our exploration of the building techniques and materials used by the Mongol Empire, a vast empire that existed from 1206 CE to 1368 CE. Despite being primarily known for their military conquests, the Mongols also made significant contributions to architecture and construction. In this article, we will delve into the construction methods of the Mongol Empire, with a focus on the use of bricks and the challenges they faced during this era.
Building Techniques and Materials
The Mongols employed various building techniques and utilized different materials to construct their cities, palaces, and other structures.
Brick Making Techniques
Brick making played a significant role in Mongol construction, particularly for their permanent settlements and urban centers.
The brick making process during the Mongol Empire involved:
- Raw Material Collection: Builders sourced clay and mixed it with additives such as sand, straw, or crushed pottery to enhance its properties.
- Molding: The clay mixture was poured into wooden or stone molds, shaping the bricks into uniform sizes. These molds allowed for consistency and ease of construction.
- Drying and Firing: The molded bricks were dried in the sun or fired in kilns, depending on their intended use. Sun-dried bricks were suitable for non-load-bearing elements, while fired bricks provided increased strength and durability.
It is important to note that Mongol construction methods also involved the use of other materials such as timber, stones, and animal hides.
Challenges in Construction
The Mongols faced several challenges during construction due to the vastness of their empire and the diverse environments in which they built.
One significant challenge was the transportation of building materials over long distances. The Mongols overcame this challenge by establishing an efficient system of supply lines and utilizing their extensive network of trade routes, including the famous Silk Road, to transport construction materials.
Key Engineers and Architects
While the Mongol Empire did not have a specific tradition of named engineers or architects, skilled craftsmen and artisans played a vital role in the construction of Mongol structures.
These craftsmen possessed the knowledge of construction techniques and design principles passed down through generations. They were responsible for the planning, design, and construction of various structures, including palaces, fortresses, and mosques, showcasing their artistic and engineering abilities.