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Keywords:

  • Historical mortar;
  • Literature study;
  • On-site investigation;
  • Chemical analysis;
  • China

The Chinese people started to add organic matter to lime or ‘tabia’ no later than 1500 years ago, and thus created the traditional Chinese organic–inorganic mortar featured in this paper, which has been demonstrated by a great deal of archaeological evidence. According to the ancient literature records, the traditional Chinese organic–inorganic mortar was widely used for architectural purposes, such as rammed earthen buildings, finishing mortars, city walls, water conservancy projects and tombs. To verify the authenticity of the literature, four types of architecture were chosen from eastern China, and the obtained samples were analysed by chemical methods and FT–IR. The experimental results turned out to be consistent with the literature.