Versão em português
N.º 9
pp. 37-46


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Earth colours finishes in earthen architecture

Maria Fernandes

Centro de Estudos Arqueológicos das Universidade de Coimbra e Porto


Earth architecture is a fragile construction in the beginning of its life. The resistance and good behaviour of earth constructions get better with time, when maintenance of structures is constantly implemented and a reality every year. The cycle construction/conservation is an obligation for earth architecture; without it, it would not be possible for us today to appreciate cultural heritage which is over 5000 years old. On the world wide panorama the earth architectonic surfaces play an important role – the protection of earth walls. The renewal of earth renders and plasters gives a better resistance against decay and durability to the earth architecture. Earth architectonic surfaces, as surface coatings decorated or smooth finished, coloured or non coloured, apart from their function as wall protection finishes, play a decorative architectural role, full of unique magical symbols, codes and beauty. The aim of the present paper, presented at the international conference Colours 2008 as "Earth colours finishes in earthen architecture", is to show, in summary, some earth decorative techniques, their multiple significances and symbols, colours, forms and its actuality in Africa, South America and Asia.


Earthen architecture
Earth architectonic surfaces



Original title

Superfícies policromadas em terra




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Conservar Património:
Fernandes, M., 'Superfícies policromadas em terra', Conservar Património 9 (2009) 37-46,

Fernandes, M. (2009). Superfícies policromadas em terra. Conservar Património, 9 37-46. DOI:10.14568/cp9_5.

Fernandes, Maria. 2009. "Superfícies policromadas em terra." Conservar Património 9:37-46. doi:10.14568/cp9_5.

FERNANDES, Maria – Superfícies policromadas em terra. Conservar Património. [Em linha]. 9 (2009) 37-46 [Consult. ]. Disponível em WWW: <URL:>. ISSN 21829942.

FERNANDES, Maria. Superfícies policromadas em terra. Conservar Património, Lisboa, v. 9, p. 37-46, 2009. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: .


Received: 2009-07-12
Revised: 2009-07-11
Accepted: 2009-02-05Online: 2017-10-3
Publication: 2010-1-9


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