Against Gravity

Andrey Vinogradov, Denis Beletsky, Denis Jolshin

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Use of the Brick in the Medieval Caucasus Architecture
The medieval builders of the Caucasian region especially adored stone as the building material, and the use of the brick is rather uncommon at the period. However the group of the buildings in Tao-Klarjeti, Kakheti, Kartli, and Abkhazia, erected with the application of the brick, dated mostly to 9-11th centuries, is far from homogeneity. The recent field survey of the authors revealed the wide variety of the applied techniques and brick types. Preserving traditional planning design and typology, these monuments show curious and even unique combinations of the local and alien methods in constructions, masonry, and decoration. Some of the latter witness the Byzantine builders took part in the construction process. The brick seems to be also popular in the medieval Armenian architecture of Vaspurakan, where the detailed research can help to clarify the obscured chronology of the monuments.