Did you ever make mud pies? I can’t remember doing so, but my wife remembers making them as a child. I guess my play didn’t involve pretend baking. Oh, I played in the mud, but it wasn’t creative. I just oozed it between my fingers and toes.
Mud has been used as a building material by many cultures. Clay, water and straw were formed into bricks in ancient Egypt by the enslaved Israelites. Exodus 1:14 says the Egyptians, “made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields.” (NIV) Exodus 5:6-8 says, ‘That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota.”’ (NIV)
Archaeologists have discovered papyri that confirm some of these details. One expresses a soldier’s complaint that no straw exists at his location to make bricks. Another mentions the use of daily quotas for brickmakers. A tomb discovered held drawings on the wall of slaves making bricks, though Hebrew slaves were not depicted. Even the practice of beating someone before interrogating them, mentioned in Exodus 5:14, has been confirmed.* Believe the bible. Even the mud brickmaking practices mentioned in it have been confirmed.
*David A. Falk, “Brick by Brick,” Biblical Archaeology Review 46:2, Spring 2020: https://www.baslibrary.org/biblical-archaeology-review/46/2/6
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.