The introduction deals with stone assembled without mortar according to the dry stone technique.

Retreating off the stones, big rocks, coming from the mountains, is the only possibility for the people;
Zermatt (Vallis), Switzerland

Stone encloses cultivated surfaces, thus also limiting them. Stone is a nuisance for plants which provide fodder for animals and food for humans. Fields have to be cleared. Stones picked up by humans have to be removed. A bare pile of stones eventually disappears, so the only solution is to use stones for constructions. Thus a series of elements emerge, which are needed for understanding, managing, directing, collecting, sorting, storing and protecting nature and human activity in their present state.

Beginnings reach several millennia back, into prehistory, from which megalithic structures are known. They are "large stones" that stand independently or in rows, or form walls or shelters. The impressive menhir is not architecture, although it is erected. With a beam its usefulness increases. Corbelling construction has allowed the creation of enclosed spaces, the Etruscans introducing the arch and the Romans extending it further into spatial constructions the cupola.
The corbelling construction in which each consecutive layer of stones reaches across the lower layer, is in fact planar and visible in cross section. Theoretically it can serve to form a cylindrical arch, but the first edifices were small and built on a circular ground plan with corbelling used to significantly reinforce the structure. Cross sections reveal the existence of two layers: the internal construction and the outer revetment, the latter serving as a counterweight and roofing material. The internal structure can be built only in one way, while possibilities for the external structure are numerous.

Typology, characteristics and particularityies are elements of walls and spatial constructions. The characteristic is the uniform internal load bearing construction, which emerges on the circular ground plan and triangular section. The particularities pertain to the outer revetment, where carved, semi-carved or completely unhewn large-sized stones or stones ground to pebbles or even sand are used. Even in-filling defines shape independently of human desire. In other cases, humans have designed the whole or details purposely, thus leaving in stone constructions an imprint of their own culture. Theory points out the uniformity of internal construction and the variety of external forms. The sections are invariably triangular, running from the middle of the wall to the top. The baseline equals the internal diameter of the space plus two halves of the walls' thickness and is measured from the entrance as the walls' thickness plus the internal depth of useful space. The height of the triangle is equal to the root of three by two, but can also be interpreted as the three equally long sticks used as toys by shepherds during pasture. Thus theory coupled with mathematics joins with the skill of the simple builder that uses theoretical principles without being aware of their existence.

Clearing the orchard:
clearing off the stones in the olive orchard is the only way to make the field fertile; Maestrazgo,Spa

Corbelling construction is a technique more than six thousand years old: the Malta Hypogeum shows it with its carved subterranean sanctuary built more than four thousand years ago. Possibilities for building with stone without mortar begin with the wall, which delimits, joins, limits, leads or protects and inherently chooses the media: it allows the wind to blow through, but not the passage of animals; these are chosen by size and character.

The most interesting examples of this architecture are drystone shelters, encountered from Scotland to Palestine and from Spain to Greece, but they can be found elsewhere as well. Shelters can be built only for storing bottles or bread or sheltering a few horses, hence differences are immense.

In the environment, stone appears completely natural: although a product of human labour, stone construction is in harmony with nature and pleasant to behold. Walls, but also smaller buildings and shelters, are built on a human scale and do not stand out in their setting. They merge with, and give added value to, it.

The issue of yesterday was necessity: a construction had to hold and work. Today this necessity is gone: distances diminish; formerly time of use was measured in weeks, today it is measured in hours. Problems arise from diminished use and correspondingly lesser significance. care for such constructions is also diminishing.Tthat architects are happy to see that only the best examples are left standing, since all the badly designed or built ones vanished long ago, does not solve the problem. Buildings need occasional care and renewal when they near the end of their lifecycle, as well as adequate protection, both legal and physical. Here completely new issues related to property, use and culture are emerging. Therefore today it is most important to discover, document and analyse these constructions, raise the general public's awareness about their significance, by presenting the issues to the public, both through publications and organised visits.

The index is arranged by elements, buildings, countries and local names.

Making construction, le clapas: the stones in a heap dissapeare in time: the only way to keep them together is to make a construction
Le Vans (Gard), France

Bibliography is a list of all sources available to me, where constructions built in the dry-wall technique are mentioned, described or scientifically in researched.

The documentation supplied is my product and propert. I researched constructions according to the following criteria:
- situation (map of Europe, macro and micro location, lately (also GPS global positioning system data);
- description with accurate location (as close as possible); - sketch of the building, possibly in its setting; - plans (technical plans, mostly on the scale 1:50 with measurements ground plan, sections, elevations; - analyses (constructions, relations, use, function); - photographs (with added emphasis of function and particularities).

Translation: Ivan Stanic, Ljubljana


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