Ashlar masonry is produced by using the same shape, size, and texture lay of finely dressed stones together in the cement of equal size joints to each other at right angles.
All the stones are cut and dressed or worked in this masonry and due to this, they have the same shape, surface texture, and size. To refine the stone to a more finished appearance stoneworkers have to use chisels and other tools.
The ashlar blocks are laid in horizontal layers when building a wall and stones usually have smooth, parallel faces & with very little mortar they fit together tightly. The gaps between bricks or stones in a wall are filled by a substance made of sand, cement, and water.
Ashlar masonry uses rectangular stones and laid in horizontal layers and there are very thin, regular, and uniform thickness joints between the stones and make this masonry very strong.
The process of ashlar masonry construction is expensive and it takes quite a long time to prepare the finely dressed stones and then build and for large imposing structures like churches, fortification walls, castles, etc this masonry is used.
Form part of the Knossos Palace in Crete ashlar blocks made of local limestone and sandstone and built between 2000 and 1500 BC by the seafaring Minoan civilization. Later ashlar masonry is used by the Mycenaeans, who lived in the Aegean.
Types of Ashlar Masonry:
There are six types of this masonry is given below;
- Ashlar Rough Tooled Masonry
- Ashlar Fine Tooled Masonry
- Ashlar Facing
- Coursed Ashlar Masonry
- Chamfered Ashlar Masonry
- Random Ashlar Masonry
Ashlar Rough Tooled Masonry:
This is a type of ashlar masonry in which the beds and sides are finely chisels dressed but by rough tooling, the exposed face is dressed and the rough exposed finish is done by this dressing.
Ashlar Fine Tooled Masonry:
The finest type of ashlar masonry is ashlar fine tooled masonry and to remove all unevenness, the bed, joints, and faces of the stones are chisel-dressed and joint are obtain perfectly horizontal and vertical. There are thin mortar joints and gives a very close and packed finish in this type.
To give the building an exposed and good aesthetics this type of ashlar-masonry is used and the faces of exposed stones are chamfered and are rough tooled.
Coursed Ashlar Masonry:
In this type, the stones are laid in such a way that the joints formed by the lower layer are covered and uniform sized stones are used with alternating vertical joints which strengthen the wall.
Chamfered Ashlar Masonry:
Chamfered masonry is the special type of ashlar-masonry in which at an angle of 45 degrees to a depth of 25 mm the strip provided around the perimeter of the exposed face is chamfered.
Random Ashlar Masonry:
For the construction of this masonry skilled and knowledgeable workers are required and in this masonry, the stone block arrangement doesn’t have any specific placement rule and has a general course of the alignment.
For strong bonding, the variations in height and length have to be in proportion to the overall structure.
Advantages of Ashlar Masonry:
There are the following advantages such as;
- It is very strong.
- There is no other material that is as strong, weather-resistant, and durable as stone.
- This masonry will not bend warp, swell, splinter, or dent.
- The outdoor weather will not have any effect on this masonry like rain, snow, etc.
- This masonry has long life infect the oldest buildings which are made by this masonry are still in good condition.
- In terms of aesthetic appeal, this masonry has a lot of potentials.
Ashlar Masonry Used in Monuments:
Machu Picchu, Peru:
The construction of the Inca site of Machu Picchu has done by the dry stone walls without using the mortar for binding stones.
Pyramid of Menkaure, Cairo:
The Pyramid of Menkaure, Cairo is built from granite and limestone and by using ashlar granite the mortuary temple complex was constructed.
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