Biblical Archaeology Review 15:4, July/August 1989

Glossary: Stones in Many Shapes and Sizes

By Neil Asher Silberman

Biblical Archaeology Review

Ashlars, Bosses, Margins, Headers and Stretchers

Stone, being more plentiful than wood and more durable than mudbrick, always served as a preferred building material in the lands of the Bible. Although the types of stone commonly used in construction varied according to region—limestone in the hill country, kurkar, or sandstone, along the coast and basalt in the Upper Galilee, Golan and Bashan—ancient stone masons frequently utilized uniform building techniques. Although it is not possible to date styles of stone construction with the same precision as pottery forms, styles of stone dressing do offer some information to archaeologists about the possible date of a building.

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