- Series: Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge
- Hardcover: 562 pages
- Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press (December 28, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0978846001
- ISBN-13: 978-0978846008
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,768,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Glorious Mud!: Ancient and Contemporary Earthen Design and Construction in North Africa, Wester n Europe, the Near East, and Southwest Asia (Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge)
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Dr. Van Beek has put together a unique book. He has combined a personal style of writing with a completely authoritative coverage of the diversity of ways in which soil can be used to build dwellings and other constructions. Van Beek makes the value of mud clear to the reader, not only through his own observations on the diversity of architectural potential, but through a range of research that clearly illustrates how mud succeeds as a building material. This personal, yet authoritative approach succeeds because it engages the reader in what could otherwise be a very murky subject. (J. Daniel Rogers)
While written by professionals and of interest to archaeologists and architectural historians, the theme of the work, its structure, and its presentation make it appealing to a wide audience. Recommended. (Choice)
In Glorious Mud! Gus and Ora Van Beek present the results of many years of research on earthen architecture, mainly in the Near East, India, Pakistan and North Africa. Some of these mud constructions are spectacular in their magnitude, shape and decoration, such as the multistoried buildings of Yemen encountered by Gus Van Beek in the early 1950's when he pioneered the archaeological exploration of that country. His career as an archaeologist and anthropologist enabled him to study mud buildings from many points of view--and, indeed, Glorious Mud! covers everything relevant to this form of architecture, including a detailed analysis of its past, present, and future benefits for humanity. This book is essential for anyone interested in ancient and current traditional architecture, ecology, and the ways in which human beings adapt to their environment. (Amihai Mazar)
About the Author
Gus W. Van Beek was Curator Emeritus for anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Ora Van Beek is an independent scholar and research associate.
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