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ARCHITECTURE AND MODERN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES
INTERNATIONAL ELECTRONIC SCIENTIFIC - EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL ON SCIENTIFIC-TECHNOLOGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL-METHODICAL ASPECTS OF MODERN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION AND DESIGNING WITH THE USAGE OF VIDEO AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGIES


Article HARD BUILDING MATERIAL AND SUITABLE ARCHITECTURE. THE CASE OF UMM El JIMAL JORDAN
Authors Dr. Nabeel Al Kurdi, Department of Architecture The University of Jordan
Abstract This paper tries to spell out a connection between building material and technical solutions. The standing town of Umm el Jimal is the best preserved example of late-antique (4th-9th c.) rural domestic architecture in the East Mediterranean. The research follows a field survey and analytical method by exploring the mechanical and chemical prosperities of the basalt stone and the relatively used architecture.

Umm el Jimal was built entirely with basalt. Basalt is the solidified lava that oozed from various fissures in the terrain sloping down from Jabal Druz south east of Syria, in periods of volcanic activity so that it forms the top stratum of bedrock in the region. Compared to limestone basalt is extremely hard, has great tensile strength, is much more resistant to erosion and more difficult to cut and dress.

The architectural forms illustrated in the ruins of umm el Jimal, i.e. the ground plans, the construction of the super structures of the buildings and their ornament, present something more than the common types that are familiar to us in the numerous towns of the Hauran1 . The girder arch, the corbel courses, and roofing slabs, all the principle details and constructive principles that were developed in the purely lithic architecture in basalt throughout Southern Syria, are exemplified in a hundred different buildings here; but there are to be observed, at the same time, a number of features, important in construction and significant in ornament, which are not common in the architecture of Hauran.

The use of basalt resulted in the following distinctive features: Corbelling: where, The use of cantilevered ceiling and roof support designed to carry stone or wooden beam, Cantilevered Stairways: where, Basalt lent itself to the cantilevering of stairway treads from the walls, Rough wall finish: where, the hardness of basalt get difficult to dress to a smooth finish, Building quality: where, The majority of walls are of a simple rubble-filled type in which stones dressed only on the one exterior face are used, and Doorway and window treatment: where, doorways and windows are weakening interruptions in the structure of the wall much greater attention was paid to the quality of the frame construction.

The use of local material had been always considered as a key element for a sustainable architecture, although when it was used a very hard material such as the basalt stone in the case of Umm El Jimal.
Keywords: Umm el Jimal, Basalt, Characteristics, Techniques
article Article
References
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