02nd October 2017
You would be surprised to know how many building materials you use today come from ancient civilizations such as Egyptian or Roman.
We often believe that some materials that we use today are of recent creation, however there are some cases in which ancient civilizations give us a surprise.
This is the case of concrete, which has been used since ancient Egypt, although not in the way we use it today. At that time a paste was prepared by mixing plaster with different types of limestone and water to give rigidity to the joints of the blocks that made up the buildings. But the key to the improvement of concrete was the introduction into the mixture of materials of volcanic origin (pozzolan) that mixed with lime and water resulted in pozzolanic cement that when combined with low density stones allowed to create very resistant structures and light.
The merit of this result is due to the Roman civilization, although the Greeks also used a lower quality concrete to give rigidity to some buildings. In the Iberian Peninsula we can find many examples of Roman concrete or "Opus Caementicium" in cities such as Seville (Hispalis), Zaragoza (Caesar Augusta) or Mérida (Augusta Emerita). Where Roman ruins teach us the use of this material in bleachers, fillings of walls and as joining elements of ashlars or masonry.