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Re: GSBN:Jeff Ruppert and clay tests

Observing the traditional lime/earth plasters (and a traditional digging
site) in our region (above Bordeaux, France) leads me to believe that they
used very silty soil containing a lot of gravel (up to 6mm).
The 'oldies' did not use the plaster for its strenght but rather to prevent
the 'mortar' from eroding. The walls themselves being limestone with earth
mortar (again very silty, but no gravel and no lime)
The plaster is often quite brittle suggesting a limited use of lime (I think
the amount of lime used is often cost related, because some of the plasters
do have more lime judging from its strength and the collour of the plaster).
I have to add that these walls often have moisture transpiring
(salpeter/salt) at the first meter (there is no moisture break preventing
moisture comming up from the ground). Provided no cement is placed on these
walls they do not trap their moisture.
We are in no lack of clay in our region, but our regional 'oldies' did not
seem very interested.