Cave Building Techniques

Home Culture 2019-07-11

Cave Building Techniques

Cave dwelling is an ancient dwelling form of residents on the Loess Plateau in Northwest China. The history of cave dwelling can be traced back to more than 4,000 years ago. The Chinese people creatively used the favorable terrain of the plateau to dig holes and live in them, creating a cave building called a green building.

Cave Building Techniques

Cave dwelling is a unique form of dwelling on the Loess Plateau. It is a relic of the development and evolution of early human cave dwelling. It is widely distributed in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and other places. The cave is generally one or two hundred meters long, and it is extremely difficult to seep water. The loess with strong upright character provides good natural conditions for the cave. At the same time, the physical and geographical conditions, such as dry and less rain, cold winter and less trees, also provide an opportunity for the development and continuation of economic and practical cave construction techniques without wood. Under the influence of different natural environment, geomorphological characteristics and local customs, caves have formed various styles.

Cliff-type cave

There are many kinds of caves. According to the layout and structure of the buildings, there are mainly Mingzhuang kiln, earth pit kiln, independent cave, cliff-side cave, sinking cave and so on. Cave building skills are rich and varied, such as flat-top cave is built with adobe or masonry on flat ground. The cliff-type cave is excavated on the plane after a side of the hillside is leveled vertically. The patio cave is more exquisite. Generally, it first digs a hole on the flat ground, about seven meters deep, square around, and then digs under the four walls of the pit to form a patio-like quadrangular house.

Sinking cave

The caves in Pinglu County, Shanxi Province, are called "underground cave yard", "underground cave yard", "Tianjing cave yard", "sunken cave yard" and so on. They can be divided into residential kiln, storage kiln, livestock kiln, Maotai toilet kiln and door cave kiln according to their different uses. Their construction techniques have a history of more than 4000 years. "See trees, see villages, see houses, cave dwelling in the soil, courtyard underground hiding." This folk song makes a vivid description of the characteristics of the construction of cellar yard.

Inside the cave

Cave building is beautiful and durable, warm in winter and cool in summer, comfortable and quiet. It can save land, protect vegetation, and economically save labor. It is a perfect form of building adapted to local conditions. In the era of agricultural civilization, the history of architecture, social life and related folklore and culture in Northwest China, cave building technology has irreplaceable important reference value. Since the 1990s, people's lives have been greatly improved, tiled houses have been built, coupled with the impact of modern lifestyle, the process of urbanization in rural areas has accelerated, and the original caves have been abandoned in large quantities, resulting in the collapse of uninhabited. Some villages even knock down caves and fill pits to make fields. Under this situation, the cave building skills may be completely extinct with the disappearance of caves. It is an urgent task to select and protect the original cave and rescue and protect the cave building skills.


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