Exterior Stone Construction

In the process of building the walls, stones are stacked on top of each other in a way that keeps them sturdy. Mortar is placed in between the stones providing extra support, but its main function is to prevent the wind from passing through the cracks between the stones.

Building the walls

 

Nagib Karram and Kemal Tourani building up the corners of the synagogue. Ancient quarry cuts (on the left) are preserved, lending additional height to the walls. Heavy stones are set and wedged with smaller stones (chinks) with a mortar of earth/straw/lime filling voids in the wall, a masonry technique known as stone-on-stone construction. The setting of stone upon stone – with mortar packed into voids to lend weight and insulation.

Advanced stage of building the walls

The Synagogue facade follows the style of a public building from the 1st Century, with large squarish limestone laid in more regular coursing. Wall corners are built up, leaving an open space in the middle where the door will be. Large bedrock ledges, left protruding from the interior walls, will be carved into benches for seating.

 

Exterior Stone Construction – Mark Goodman