The first time bricks were used was in the Neolithic of the Levant Mediterranean around 9500 BC. C. Those innovative masons did so out of necessity, since in that geographical area there was hardly any wood or stone. In the beginning, bricks were made by extracting mud from the ground and then mixing it with water, kneading it and giving it a more or less rectangular shape, before letting it dry in the sun. The oldest known courses of brick were found in Jericho (Palestine), near the Jordan River and east of Jerusalem. In the ruins of this city, the remains of two different types of bricks were found. One of them is similar in size to sliced bread and dates back to a period between 8300 and 7600 BC. of C; The other type is thinner and has been called cane brick. It is still curious that they were found precisely there, in Jericho, the place where the Israelites miraculously tore down their walls with the sound of trumpets. Firing at a thousand degrees Celsius Those first bricks, made of mud and adobe, were replaced six thousand years later by fired brick. The reason was none other than efficiency, since it was less expensive to model a brick than to carve a stone and, furthermore, similar resistance was achieved with firing. The first fired bricks appeared in Mesopotamia and were used both as decorative elements and to cover adobe walls. Currently, in brick manufacturing, the material used is, fundamentally, clay, which is composed of alkaline materials (calcium and magnesium oxides), silica, alumina and variable amounts of iron oxides. The amalgam of these particles is capable of hygroscopically absorbing up to 70% of its weight in water. It is precisely the ferruginous component that gives the characteristic reddish color; when there is a high lime content in the composition, the resulting color turns white. Once the clay has been sufficiently hydrated it can be molded, which is followed by a hardening process by drying or firing, which gives it notable solidity. Cooking is generally carried out at temperatures ranging between 900 and 1000 degrees Celsius. In construction, parallelepiped fired ceramic bricks are used with perforations on the side with the largest surface area, called the board. When the volume of the voids is between 25-45%, the brick is said to be perforated, while if the volume is less than 25%, the brick is considered to be solid. The gaps in the bricks allow the final weight of the structure to be reduced, while giving it more thermal and acoustic insulation capacity. Likewise, the holes allow for better adhesion to the mortar, ensuring adequate mechanical resistance and watertightness. Before setting them, moisten them. Cement mortar is used in brick masonry, which is made by mixing a certain proportion of sand and cement with water, a mixture that helps "glue" the pieces correctly. If the bricks of a wall are dry when laying, they absorb a certain amount of moisture from the mixture, which modifies its final composition. To avoid this, bricklayers pre-moisten the bricks. A few years ago, the Kenyan engineer Nzambi Matee founded a brick factory in Nairobi, where today 1,500 bricks are produced daily. The figure is certainly not very high but it does contain a unique feature: the bricks are made with recycled plastic and have different shapes and colors. MORE INFORMATION news No A new fossil rewrites the history of our ancestors: hominids originated in Europe, not Africa news Yes More clues about the solar wind, the mysterious phenomenon that drives solar storms Apparently plastic bricks are among three and four times more resistant than ceramic ones, while being more economical. Maybe, just maybe, if James Orchard Halliwell rose from his grave and started to rewrite the story of "The Three Little Pigs," the material chosen to build one of the houses would be plastic, yes, recycled plastic.