Dry stone walls are built without the use of cement. People often ask me why “we don’t you use a bit of cement?” and the reason is that there is an enormous amount of work required to carry the cement up to the wall, find the water, mix it and put it – at the end of the day, it is much easier to build it without rather than with cement.
Dry stone walls are built the following way: –the big stones are placed in front, slightly separated from the earth wall. Some stones are called “key stones” which are the long stones that go all the way through the wall. Then between the stone wall and the earth you place the smaller stones – which in dialect are called “ricausi”.
“Ricausi” are used for two things: first of all, to balance the big “key stones” that have to remain completely still and hold stable. Second, they also provide drainage for the wall when it rains and the earth absorbs water that has to flow away. The “ricausi” help the water drain out of the wall [and thus not remain trapped between the earth and the wall].
music : funiculi funiculà Andrea Bocelli