Although theoretical in character, this book provides a useful source of information for those dealing with practical problems relating to rock and soil mechanics - a discipline which, in the view of the authors, attempts to apply the theory of continuum to the mechanical investigation of rock and soil media. The book is in two separate parts. The first part, embodying the first three chapters, is devoted to a description of the media of interest. Chapter 1 introduces the main argument and discusses the essence of the discipline and its links with other branches of science which are concerned, on the one hand, with technical mechanics and, on the other, with the properties, origins, and formation of rock and soil strata under natural field conditions. Chapter 2 describes mechanical models of bodies useful for the purpose of the discourse and defines the concept of the limit shear resistance of soils and rocks. Chapter 3 gives the actual properties of soils and rocks determined from experiments in laboratories and in situ. Several tests used in geotechnical engineering are described and interconnections between the physical state of rocks and soils and their rheological parameters are considered.The second part of the book considers the applications of various theories which were either first developed for descriptive purposes in continuum mechanics and then adopted in soil and rock mechanics, or were specially developed for the latter discipline. Chapter 4 discusses the application of the theory of linear viscoelasticity in solving problems of stable behaviour of rocks and soils. Chapter 5 covers the use of the groundwater flow theory as applied to several problems connected with water movement in an undeformable soil or rock skeleton. Chapter 6 is a natural expansion of the arguments put forward in the previous chapter. Here the movement of water is regarded as the cause of deformation of the rock or soil skeleton and the consolidation theory developed on this basis is presented in a novel formulation. Some new engineering solutions are also reported. The seventh chapter is devoted to the limit state theory as applied to the study of the mechanical behaviour of soils and rocks. It presents some new solutions and methods which include both static and kinematic aspects of the problem, and some original effective methods for investigating media of limited cohesion. The final chapter gives a systematic account of the mechanics of highly dispersed soils, commonly called clays.