Building materials

The buildings section aims to identify and interpret a wide range of building materials in their archaeological and architectural contexts, using MOLA’s extensive reference collection of building materials.

Interpretative architectural analysis, in conjunction with the use of documentary evidence where available, permits the fullest architectural reconstruction possible.

How we can help

Our service covers recently excavated assemblages as well as collections curated by museums and other institutions. Our experienced staff are available for lectures and workshops on all aspects of our work.

We offer a range of services, including:


  • Preparation of research designs
  • Advice on sampling and retention strategies, on-site and post-excavation
  • Advice on recording methods
  • Buildings and building materials

  • Recording and study of standing buildings (timber-framed, stone or brick, and including other materials such as roofing tiles and slates)
  • In situ recording, conservation and analysis of Roman and later painted wall plaster, together with analysis of the mortar backing
  • Petrological examination and identification of ceramic building materials (thin-sections provided by client)
  • Expert identification and interpretation of:
  • Ceramic and stone building materials from the Roman period to the end of the 19th century
  • Architectural worked stone, including the reconstruction of buildings or parts of buildings, and including methods of working stones
  • Medieval and later floor tiles, including fabric types and decoration
  • Tin-glazed wall and floor tiles
  • Netherlands hearthbricks and stove tiles
  • Early-Tudor architectural terracotta
  • Daub and mud-brick
  • New business enquiries

    Call 020 7410 2200 or email us to enquire about commissioning work.


  • Medina Cement Works
  • Mitre Square stove tiles