ESTONIAN ACADEMY
PUBLISHERS
eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
PUBLISHED
SINCE 1997
 
Archaeology cover
Estonian Journal of Archaeology
ISSN 1736-7484 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2933 (Print)

BRICK-MAKING IN MEDIEVAL LIVONIA – THE ESTONIAN EXAMPLE; pp. 139–156

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/arch.2013.2.03

Author
Rivo Bernotas

Abstract

In the area that makes up modern-day Estonia, medieval brick buildings have been found in several different towns. Despite this fact, medieval brick-making has still not yet been specifically studied. As the production of bricks as a field of research on its own has been somewhat neglected, even less attention has been given to its different aspects, which bear witness to brick-making. In this article, I am summarizing the material considering brick-making in the medieval Estonian area. Using the historical-comparative method and a comparison of the dates of other brick sites in Europe, whether and how the existing data about brick-making in what is today Estonia correlates with the so-called construction boom in the 14th century in the same area will be analysed. Based on the research in the current article, it might be suggested that the beginning of brick-making clearly correlates with the beginning of the construction boom in the Estonian area in the 14th century. The presented dates support the hypothesis that the construction of the town wall of Tartu began in the first half of the 14th century. Brick-making was essential for the development of the medieval urban townscape. There have been found only a limited number of archaeo-logical evidence of medieval brick-making from Estonian towns besides Tartu. It might be suggested that brick was a rather expensive building material in Estonia, limited only to castles and buildings in the townscape such as fortifications, ecclesiastical buildings and private houses. Even though there is little information preserved about brick-making workers, it seems probable that the brick-masters were often foreigners who worked outside their hometown and country boundaries.


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