I define a Dry Stone Mason as "One who builds stone structures without the use of mortar by utilizing a distinct combination of 'intuitive engineering', art and most importantly the ancient rules of dry stone masonry." (Sometime later I'll write more about these rules.)
The Dry Stone Conservancy elaborates further about "dry stone" saying: "Dry stone structures have many advantages over mortared walls. Walls without mortar rely on the skill of the craftsmen and the forces of gravity and frictional resistance. They have a slight flexibility that allows them to conform to foundation settlement without damage. Because the sides slope slightly inward, ground movement locks the structure more tightly together. Importantly, a stiff concrete footing is not needed, saving labor and material expense."
If you want to "test" the mind-boggling longevity of dry stone structures just browse YouTube, Google images, travel magazines, etc. and notice that most of the greatest "Wonders of the World" or fascinating places to visit involve a dry stone structure!
I will end by offering something special: Part 1 of a video about Dany, a now-deceased French mason. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR-Y63eX4VA