Concrete in History

Concrete is a compound made of abrasive grainy material (the cumulative or filler) entrenched in a solid mould of material (the cement or joiner) that seals the gaps of the cumulative particles and binds them with each other.

The Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal and the Roman Pantheon are some of the world’s most prominent concrete edifices. Ancient Romans were the first to employ concrete in building huge structures.  Sand concrete was an extensively used material during the Roman Period – the Pantheon has the largest concrete dome in the world and the Colosseum was constructed mainly with concrete.

According to the human timeline, use of concrete on a small scale can be traced back thousands of years.  In the Royal Palace of Tiryns, Greece, constructed around 1400 – 1200 BC, concrete floors made of lime and stones were discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann.  Around 800 BC, lime mortars were employed in construction of structures in Crete, Greece and Cyprus.  The Assyrian Jerwan Aqueduct constructed around 688 BC was built with a completely waterproof concrete. 

The adoption of concrete as a building material transformed architecture throughout the Roman Empire, making possible structures and designs that could not have been built using just the stone that had been a staple of early Roman architecture. 

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