In 12,000,000 BC, spontaneous eruption caused reactions between limestone and oil shale, creating cement deposits in what is now Israel. The first incidence of man purposefully mixing early forms of concrete for building occurred with the creation of Egypt’s pyramids. The existence and use of concrete, the most widely used material in the world, has a longer history than most people have ever contemplated, a complex web of discoveries and individual experiences that eventually led to the material and processes employed by today’ s professional concrete contractors. What follows is a glance at two ancient civilizations, one famous and the other generally unknown, that made use of concrete, followed by a comparison of their work with concrete to modern, experienced concrete contractors.
- Nabataea: At roughly 6500 BC in the area now known as Jordan and Syria, this Bedouin culture developed hydraulic lime, a cement that hardens under water, By the year 700 BC, the Nabataea were building secret kilns devoted solely to creating mortar to be used in their building projects, including homes, floors, and underground water cisterns. The success of this people usually is said to be a result not only of their building techniques but also their secretiveness. They developed many specialized techniques for hydraulic lime, such as keeping their mixture as dry, called low slump, as possible to prevent the formation of voids within the finished structure. They also developed a tamping process, as well as special tools to work with the material, sounding on paper like modern professional concrete contractors voicing concerns.
- Rome: Rome is arguably the most famous of ancient cultures, as well possibly being the most influential on modern society. Their architecture, both decorative and functional, absolutely is a factor in their importance. One development to come out of Rome is two types of building material that greatly resemble modern cement, developed from a volcanic sand named Pozzuolana and harrena fossicia and lime, creating the bonding agents that are representative of true cement. It is important when discussing the history of concrete and cement to discuss Rome for one more reason.When the Roman Empire fell, the knowledge of cement and concrete was lost for centuries, along with most other advanced knowledge in the descent of the dark ages.
- Modern Concrete:The methods and ingredients have changed over time, the tools as well have seen ample improvements as well, but surprisingly, some basic knowledge and building techniques, such as the tamping of Nabataeans. Comparing modern work to that of Rome gets especially problematic. In some cases, the difference between the structures is totally unrelated to advanced technique and skills, but style and desired intent and thus not even an equal comparison. A person who engages the services this coming year of professional concrete contractors to build her a pool would not accept the Roman Aquaducts as being representative of her request.
For those who have decided previously or upon reading this to continue the tradition of building with cement or concrete. Whether it will be a decorative concrete job for a custom concrete contractor, or you are just repaving the drive, always make sure you are working with a full service professional concrete contractor and save yourself any hassle later.! Whether you are resurfacing your driveway or having a pool finally put in, so long as it is done right, this material will last up to half a century, so find out what companies are near, call for an estimate and make an appointment to get it done.