Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mura secca - not your average drywall!

While mura secca translates as dry wall, most people think of that "sheetrock" stuff rather than this type of wall, very prevalent in the countryside around Siracusa. Who knows when the first of these was built - and were they built simply to create walls and boundaries OR to have a place to pile the thousands of rocks hauled out of th fields to allow farming? There's no mortar holding these up, just the skilled stacking of rocks. Sure, in a few hundred (or thousand?) years they fall down a bit (in contrast to the cinder block retaining wall at our house in Iowa, which started falling down in mere decades) but they can fairly easily be rebuilt, as the newly restored wall in the second photo demonstrates. A lot of the roads we ride our bicycles on around here have these walls along them, in various conditions, a reminder of just how rocky the terrain really is in this part of Sicily.

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