Floors and Walls

FLOOR AND WALLS OF THE HOUSE Concerning the nature of the floor of these Oriental houses, Dr. George A. Barton says: "The houses generally had no floor except the earth, which was smoothed off and packed hard. Sometimes this was varied by mixing lime with the mud and letting it harden, and sometimes floors of cobblestones or stone chippings mixed with lime were found. In the Roman period mosaic floors, made by embedding small smoothly cut squares of stone in the earth, were introduced." The walls of the houses were often made of bricks, but these were not ordinarily burned, but were composed of mud dried in the sun.7 Job speaks of these kinds of dwelling as "houses of clay" (Job 4:19). They are similar to the adobe houses so common in Mexico today, and often seen in the southwestern states of America, where the Spanish influence of the past is still felt. But sometimes the walls were made of rough sandstones. so common in the land. These were of varying sizes and were set in mud. The joints between them were apt to be wide and irregular.8 It was only the palaces or houses of the wealthy that were constructed of hewn stones, like the palaces of Solomon (I Kings 7:9), and the rich of Isaiah's day, who boasted they would replace fallen down brick walls with walls of hewn stones (Isaiah 9:8-10). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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