109. Egyptian Bricks

Exodus 5:7  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Exodus 5:77Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. (Exodus 5:7). Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
The ancient Egyptian bricks were made of clay moistened with water and then put into molds. After they were sufficiently dry to be removed from the molds, they were laid in rows on a flat spot exposed to the sun, which gradually hardened them. Some were made with straw and some without. Many had chopped barley and wheat straw; others bean haulm and stubble. The use of this crude brick was general in Egypt for dwellings, tombs, and ordinary buildings, walls of towers, fortresses, and sacred inclosures of temples. Even temples of a small size were sometimes built of unburnt brick, and several pyramids of this material are still to be seen in Egypt. The use of stone was confined mainly to temples, quays, and reservoirs.
Egyptian bricks were frequently stamped with the name of the king during whose reign they were made. They differ in size from the Babylonian bricks. They are from fourteen and a half to twenty inches long, from six and a half to eight and three quarter inches wide, and from four and a half to seven inches thick. Several bricks bearing the name of Thothmes III., and plainly showing the chopped straw used in their manufacture, are in the Abbott Collection, which also contains some of the ancient implements which were used in brick-making.