Some Notes on Ancient Concrete

Some Notes on Ancient Concrete

Author(s)

Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Download Full PDF DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.412 Downloads: 487 Views: 941 Pages: 1-6

Volume 3 - February 2014 (02)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Materials Science, History Of Science, History Of Technology

References

  1. A.C. Sparavigna, Materials Science in Ancient Rome, arXiv:1107.3831
  2. A.C. Sparavigna, Ancient Concrete Works, arXiv:1110.5230
  3. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c.80–70 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 “De Architectura”. 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 – 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 “Naturalis Historia”. Pliny died on August 25, 79 AD, during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum
  4. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, The Architecture, Translated by Joseph Gwilt, Priestly and Weale, London, 1826
  5. Pliny, The Natural History, Translated by John Bostock and H.T. Riley, Henry G. Bohm, London, 1857
  6. M. Jackson, L. Sagnotti, P. Rochette and P. Sølheid, Maintaining Standards III, Pozzolana Cement, The IRM Quartely, Fall 2003, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 1-12
  7. 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
  8. A note in Reference 5 is telling that “Ajasson says that they are called tapias at the present day in Spain”
  9. Vv. Aa., es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapial
  10. A.B. Murphy, D.L. Johnson and V. Haarmann, Cultural Encounters with the Environment: Enduring and Evolving Geographic Themes, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000
  11. According to Wikipedia, Marcus Terentius Varro (116 BC – 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
  12. Fairfax Harrison, Roman Farm Managements: The Treatises of Cato and Varro Done in English, with Notes of Modern Instances. Belvoir, Fauquier County, Virginia, 1918
  13. MAST, University of Illinois, The History of Concrete, on-line resource
  14. BBC, Macedonians Created Cement Three Centuries before the Romans, www.bbc.co.uk/ news/world-europe-13046299
  15. Heinrich Schliemann, Felix Adler and Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Tiryns: The Prehistoric Palace of the Kings of Tiryns, the Results of the Latest Excavations, Scribner’s Sons, 1885
  16. Vv.Aa., en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortar_(masonry)
  17. M. Isler, Sticks, Stones, and Shadows: Building the Egyptian Pyramids, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001
  18. G. Demortier, Revisiting the Construction of the Egyptian Pyramids, Europhysics News, 2009, Volume 40, Issue 1, Pages 27-31
  19. A.C. Sparavigna, Faience: the Ceramic Technology of Ancient Egypt, Archaeogate, 12 February 2012
  20. C. Nickerson, Did the Great Pyramids' builders use concrete?, The New York Times, April 23, 2008
  21. I. Túnyi and I.A. El-hemaly, Paleomagnetic Investigation of the Great Egyptian Pyramids, Europhysics News, 2012, Volume 43, Issue 6, Pages 28-31
  22. H. Kanare, I. Milevski, H. Khalaily, N. Getzov and J. Nasvik, How Old is Concrete?, Concrete Construction, January 2009

Cite this Article:

International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Author(s) retain the copyrights of this article, though, publication rights are with Alkhaer Publications.

Issue August 2017

Volume 6, August 2017


Table of Contents


Order Print Copy

World-wide Delivery is FREE

Share this Issue with Friends:


Submit your Paper