This paper aims to debate the epistemological boundaries of construction history, in relation to the fields of history of architecture and the history of engineering, using Portugal as a case study. The concept of construction culture is used to broaden the analysis, avoiding the old dichotomy between architects and engineers. Instead, construction history (understood as the history of construction cultures) aims to integrate the contributions of all actors in this sector of activity, such as contractors, materials and machine producers, traders, and public and private institutions. The history of architecture and the history of engineering in Portugal serves to illustrate the extent to which the study of how a community built in a particular space, at a particular time, is fragmented in the present age. The conclusions highlight the limits of a history that has been interpreted mainly from the point of view of the activity of architects and engineers. This paper also explores the potential of a history of construction cultures as a constructum
in constant transition and under constant discussion, capable of explaining the set of problems involved in this millennia-old human activity.
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