This photo of a wall from Dan shows ashlar blocks laid on top of uncut stonework.
Mud brick was a commonly used building material across the Ancient Near East. Stone was used in two ways:
Both cut and uncut stone was used for buildings and city walls. The significant difference was that since the size and strength of city walls was vital they were more likely to be of the better materials. Even the brick city walls of the Bronze Age had stone foundations.
City walls also often had the slope below the foot of the wall ("glacis") smoothed with plaster to make access more difficult.
Much of the strength and strategic advantage of a thick wall could be obtained using "casemate" construction see diagram of Beersheba (based on Herzog). Two thinner walls constructed in parallel but some meters apart and joined at intervals could be roofed to form a walkway.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.