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I am trying to understand what natural resources a city would need access to in order to build walls/castles. I am trying to place my cities in relative location to all needed resources, but I need to know what all they would need to be near, naturally, to build.

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  • $\begingroup$ I suggest you read Vitruvius's books on architecture for inspiration. He lived in ancient Rome and his books are one of the oldest writen works on building, if not the very first. At some points he goes on about what materials romans used and how and where to find those. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jun 19 '16 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ This question might do better on history se. $\endgroup$ – Aarthew III Jun 19 '16 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried googling your question? The top links (minus the one to this question) are VERY informative. $\endgroup$ – Aify Jun 19 '16 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ Motte and bailey castles were often made of wood and soil initially. They would last quite a number of years. At the basic end you need only soil, wood and tools to work those. The keep was often upgraded to stone at some point but the walls were often left as wood. $\endgroup$ – TafT Nov 16 '16 at 12:51
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For castles at least you need:

  • Stone (so some sort of quarry)
  • Mortar
  • Limestone
  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Wood (some sort of hard wood such as oak)
  • Solid ground to build on (I built another one... that fell over and then sank into the swamp.)

As far as construction techniques, whatever you want, scaffolding and pulley systems both fit the medieval theme.

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You need anything that does not compress or warp under pressure. You need stuff that either holds, or breaks. If it breaks you know you have used to little of it; add more.

This leaves you list with things like...

Stone Concrete/cement Metal

...and that is about it. Add to that the metal is a very precious resource in those ties so you are left with stone and concrete/cement.

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    $\begingroup$ Although we use currently use cement/concrete everywhere in construction, to produce it requires a lot of energy for low tech cultures. The process requires heating limestone (CaCO3) enough to chemically remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from it to produce quicklime (CaO) at above 825 degrees Celsius. Because of this energy cost. cement would probably not be used too extensively as a building material. More likely it would be used in smaller quantities as mortar to glue together other materials like rocks. $\endgroup$ – Mark Ripley Jun 19 '16 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ Oh Romans used cement "extensively". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete#Prehistory $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jun 19 '16 at 11:10
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    $\begingroup$ Concrete was used in ancient times, but not as extensively as we use it. Note the Romans used rock, both slabs and gravel when making 'roman roads'. This shows that even though assembling rock into a smooth surface requires more labor than using concrete, they saw it as cheaper overall. In other words, concrete was available, but more expensive than stone for large scale construction, and so used only when an overriding reason justified the higher cost. $\endgroup$ – Mark Ripley Jun 19 '16 at 11:17

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