Amelia Carolina Sparavigna
Volume 3 - February 2014 (02)
Concrete is a material composed of coarse granular particles embedded in a binder that glues the particles together. It is commonly believed that the ancient Romans were the first to create and use such material, but this is not true, as we can easily learn from the Latin literature itself. Without any doubt, Romans were able to prepare high-quality hydraulic cement, comparable with the modern Portland cement. In this paper we present some notes on the ancient concrete. From Rome, we will go back in time, showing how the Greeks used it in their Mycenaean royal palaces. The paper continues talking about an Egyptian concrete and ends discussing the use of concrete during Neolithic times.
Materials Science, History Of Science, History Of Technology
- A.C. Sparavigna, Materials Science in Ancient Rome, arXiv:1107.3831
- A.C. Sparavigna, Ancient Concrete Works, arXiv:1110.5230
- Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c.80â€“70 BC, died after c.15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the â€œDe Architecturaâ€. By his own description, Vitruvius served as a ballista (artilleryman), in the army. He likely served as senior officer of artillery. Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD â€“ August 25, 79 AD), known as Pliny the Elder, was a natural philosopher, as well as a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire. He was a personal friend of the emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing or investigating natural and geographic phenomena, he wrote his encyclopedic work, the â€œNaturalis Historiaâ€. Pliny died on August 25, 79 AD, during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, The Architecture, Translated by Joseph Gwilt, Priestly and Weale, London, 1826
- Pliny, The Natural History, Translated by John Bostock and H.T. Riley, Henry G. Bohm, London, 1857
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- Opus signinum is a building material occasionally used in ancient Rome. The technique to create this material was developed in North Africa, sometime before 256 BC, and spread north from there to Sicily and finally to the Italian peninsula. Floors of signinum are found extensively in the Punic towns of North Africa and commonly in the Hellenistic houses on Sicily. The use of signinum in Rome began in the 1st century BC, proliferating in private homes as well as public buildings. See for instance, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_signinum, it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocciopesto
- A note in Reference 5 is telling that â€œAjasson says that they are called tapias at the present day in Spainâ€
- Vv. Aa., es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapial
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- According to Wikipedia, Marcus Terentius Varro (116 BC â€“ 27 BC) was a scholar and writer that studied under the Roman philologist Lucius Aelius Stilo, and later at Athens under the Academic philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon. Varro was a highly productive writer on a variety of topics. One of his books is on the Rerum Rusticarum
- Fairfax Harrison, Roman Farm Managements: The Treatises of Cato and Varro Done in English, with Notes of Modern Instances. Belvoir, Fauquier County, Virginia, 1918
- MAST, University of Illinois, The History of Concrete, on-line resource
- BBC, Macedonians Created Cement Three Centuries before the Romans, www.bbc.co.uk/ news/world-europe-13046299
- Heinrich Schliemann, Felix Adler and Wilhelm DÃ¶rpfeld, Tiryns: The Prehistoric Palace of the Kings of Tiryns, the Results of the Latest Excavations, Scribnerâ€™s Sons, 1885
- Vv.Aa., en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortar_(masonry)
- M. Isler, Sticks, Stones, and Shadows: Building the Egyptian Pyramids, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001
- G. Demortier, Revisiting the Construction of the Egyptian Pyramids, Europhysics News, 2009, Volume 40, Issue 1, Pages 27-31
- A.C. Sparavigna, Faience: the Ceramic Technology of Ancient Egypt, Archaeogate, 12 February 2012
- C. Nickerson, Did the Great Pyramids' builders use concrete?, The New York Times, April 23, 2008
- I. TÃºnyi and I.A. El-hemaly, Paleomagnetic Investigation of the Great Egyptian Pyramids, Europhysics News, 2012, Volume 43, Issue 6, Pages 28-31
- H. Kanare, I. Milevski, H. Khalaily, N. Getzov and J. Nasvik, How Old is Concrete?, Concrete Construction, January 2009
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