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How Concrete Has Shaped our History

How Concrete Has Shaped our History

Posted by Ryan Morrison on 8th Jan 2015

The history of concrete goes back millions of years ago. Evidence of natural concrete from limestone and oil shale occurred in Israel with spontaneous combustion. The Romans, however, had the process of concrete mastered. There is written evidence that concrete has been around since at least the first century. A large amount of concrete structures still endure to today in the throughout the former Roman empire. It was used in tiles, flooring, grand structures.

We know that concrete has to have a certain composition of aggregate ingredients and moisture level. It is evident that without our modern day materials testing equipment, they were successful at getting the concrete to remain strong despite weathering and erosion. In fact, the great Roman aqueducts were built out of concrete and still stand more than two thousand years later. The techniques of Roman concrete construction were lost with the empire.

Currently, we use concrete heavily in modern construction. Over the last four hundred years or so, the art of concrete has been revived and also includes mortar and stucco in construction. We’ve added reinforcement elements to help strengthen concrete today. Though certain processes have gotten close to replicating the endurance of the Roman concrete, there has not been enough time pass to see if it will endure the same amount of time and conditions. In addition, we don’t have the need for such enduring concrete construction with the way our society grows and changes. We do, however, test the cement and concrete to ensure that it will stand the test of time we are looking for which is a hundred years, rather than thousands.

Click here for a full view of a Historical Timeline of Concrete from Auburn University.