History of bricks

History of bricks

Brick is one of the oldest building materials, which according to some archaeologists dates back to ten thousand years ago. In Iran, the remains of pottery and brick kilns have been found in Shush and Sialk in Kashan, which date back to the fourth millennium BC. There are also indications of the production and consumption of bricks in India, which indicates a 6,000-year history of bricks in that country. The word “Ajor” comes from Babylonian and was used to refer to the bricks on which the charters, laws, and the like were written. It is assumed that baking bricks became popular after watching baked soil on the walls and floor of the stoves. Early brick kilns undoubtedly consisted of places where layers of firewood and clay were stacked alternately on top of each other. The word brick is called Agur in Aramaic, agurru in Arabic, and Ajur/Agur in Persian (Afghanistan). But its root is not known. In Akkadian and ancient Armenian, it is called Ajorr and Agur, respectively


The journey of bricks started from West Asia to western Egypt, then to Rome and eastern India and China. In the fourth century, Europeans began to use bricks, but after a while, it was put aside. The use of brick re-emerged in the 12th century from Italy. In ancient Iran, large and beautiful buildings were built, some of which are still standing. Kasra arch in the west of ancient Iran, the tomb of Shah Ismail Samani in Gonbad Kavous and Isfahan mosque were built by bricks. Old bridges and dams such as Pol-e Dokhtar and Kabar Dam in Qom are some other old buildings built by bricks.

Types of bricks in ancient Iran

In Iran, where stones are scarce and soils are available, brickwork and brick consumption are popular. The size of Elamite bricks was about 10 x 38 x 38 cm. The baking and consumption of bricks became popular during the Sassanid era and they were used in large buildings such as fire temples. The brick size in this period was 44 × 44 × 7 to 8, and later it reduced to 20 × 20 × 3 to 4 cm. For the floors, two sizes were used: a large brick called Khatai with the dimensions of 5 × 25 × 25 cm and a larger one called Nezami with the dimensions of 40 × 4 × 5 cm.

Another type of brick is the Kazakh brick, which was produced by the Russians before World War I, and its dimensions were 5 × 10 × 20.

Brick and its raw materials

Brick is a type of artificial stone that is produced by baking raw clay. The soil used in brick is a mixture of clay, sand, feldspar, limestone, sulfates, sulfur, phosphates, iron ores, manganese, magnesium, sodium, potassium, organic matter, etc.

The steps of producing bricks are as follow:

  • Extraction of raw materials
  • Preparation of raw materials
  • Molding
  • Drying
  • Product unloading and storage