Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Wattle and daub
Daub and wattle are building materials used in constructing houses. A woven latticework of wooden stakes called wattles is daubed with a mixture of mud and clay, animal dung and straw to create a structure. It is normally whitewashed to increase its resistance to rain. Examples of buildings which use wattle and daub can still be found in many parts of the world. In half-timbered buildings, the wattle and daub is contained between wooden beams. This usually gives the building a black and white appearance when the daub is whitewashed, or brown and white, if it is not.
The wattle and daub technique was used already in the Neolithic. It was common for houses of the Linearbandkeramic and Rössen cultures of Central Europe, but is found in Western Asia as well (Çatalhöyük, Shillourokambos).
This process is similar in modern architecture to lath and plaster, a common building material for wall surfaces, in which a series of wooden strips were covered with a semi-dry plaster and then hardened into a flat surface. (This building method has itself been overtaken by drywall.)
Wattle and daub in Ireland
Early Irish settlements were built using this building method already in the Neolithic, maybe as early as 6000BC. Some of the most well-known constructions to use wattle and daub were the Crannógs. These were fenced-off lakeside sites on islands (often artificial) linked to the land by a bridge or boat. The huts or houses had wattle and daub walls. Some sites remain today, but the structures are long gone. A modern reconstruction of a crannog can be found at Craggaunowen, County Clare in Ireland.
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