bild, bild’-ing (banah, binyah, once (
1. Building Conditions:
The building conditions existing at the time of the Hebrew conquest were rude and untutored, and, with the exception of the work of the Solomonic period, there was still little or no effort made to introduce a higher state, until the time when Greek influence began to be felt (circa 3rd century BC). In localities where stone was not available, mud bricks were used, and their perishable nature being realized, stone slab facing came into use. These slabs were a protection against the weather and had no constructive value. Probably the hand of the "jerry" builder can be seen in an attempt to make such bad construction appear to be solid stone.
In stone localities buildings were of stone, but the class of building was only that of the rude stone waller. Random rubble masonry, unskillfully laid, was the prevailing characteristic. Occasionally a piece of carefully dressed masonry is found, but it is the exception and is often a re-use of an earlier type akin to "sawed stone" (
Foundations of fortifications were usually on rock which was sometimes squared for a bed, but more often leveled up with small stones. A portion of the South wall of Jerusalem, certainly late (5th century AD), was laid on a foundation of small rubble resting on debris, accumulated over an earlier wall. (See Plate IV, Excavations at Jerusalem, p. 29.) In smaller buildings, the foundations were usually laid on the debris of earlier structures. At Lachish mud brick walls were laid on a foundation of stone . A peculiar method of spreading a layer of sand under the foundations was also noted (see A Mound of Many Cities, 125-26).
4. Modern Methods:
The native wall of today is less rudely built and is bedded in lime mortar. It is a broad wall usually about 3 ft. thick, with inner and outer faces of large stones, filled in between with small rubble without proper bond, somewhat in the manner of ancient building. To make up for the want of bond, it is a common habit to insert a piece of steel joint across the return angle (see Beam). The building and hewing methods, in all probability, are the same as they were in early Jewish times. Hewers sit at their work, with the plane of the stone on which they operate, lying obliquely from them. Stones are conveyed from the quarry, if at a distance from the building site, on donkeys, thence on men’s backs to the top of the wall, by rude gangways. Every man digs his "own cistern" (