People are still amazed by the beauty of stunning structures like the Pantheon and the Colosseum. But how did the ancient Romans manage to create buildings that can last for several centuries? A group of geologists, archaeologists, and engineers are actually studying the amazing properties of the long-lasting concrete.
The longevity of ancient Roman concrete is made even more astounding by the fact that it is weaker than its modern-day counterpart. Nevertheless, structures built using the ancient concrete are not easily destroyed. Interestingly, the formula’s secret is one of nature’s most amazing products.
The Romans may have used a secret ingredient to make the Pantheon last forever.
The researchers have discovered that the ancient Romans added volcanic ash to the concrete. The builders would burn quicklime before mixing in water to create a paste. The ash was then added to create a tough mortar that was combined with volcanic rocks.
They were also choosy with the ash used in their concrete. According to Marie Jackson, a geologist and research engineer at the University of California at Berkeley, the builders favored ash from a deposit called Pozzolane Rosse. The ash flow that erupted 456,000 years ago from the Alban Hills volcano. The use of Pozzolane Rosse was instigated by the first Roman emperor Augustus.
“Emperor Augustus was the driving force behind the systemization, standardization of mortar mixes with Pozzolane Rosse,” she said. “This was the secret to concretes that were very well bonded, coherent, robust materials.”
The Colosseum has survived for several centuries, thanks to volcanic ash.
Pozzolane Rosse wasn’t the only secret the Romans kept. They also mined a very specific volcanic ash known as Pulvis Puteolanus that strengthened structures that were submerged in the Mediterranean Sea.
Unlike modern concrete that disintegrates in seawater, Roman concrete mixed with Pulvis Puteolanus actually thrives in the sea. It is still unclear how the volcanic ash can withstand all the damaging salt.
Volcanic ash is the only secret that researchers have uncovered so far. However, they are hoping to learn more about how the ancient Romans created their concrete.
Oldest Intact Shipwreck In The World Discovered In The Black Sea
It has been perfectly preserved for the past 2,400 years!
There is still so much we could discover in the oceans. A group of archaeologists has just found the world's oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea. It is believed that the water-logged remains date back to 400BC.
The amazing find is a 2,400-year-old Greek trading vessel measuring up to 23 meters (75 feet). It was found just a mile below the surface with its mast, rudders and rowing benches still intact. According to scientists, the oldest shipwreck was preserved because of the lack of oxygen in the waters.
Scientists were thrilled to find the world's oldest shipwreck.
Why Do People Carve Scary Faces on Pumpkins During Halloween?
Apparently, there’s a dark, twisted story behind the tradition.
When it comes to Halloween celebrations, perhaps nothing is as ubiquitous as the carved pumpkins. Sure, we see bats, spider webs, skeletons, and a host of horror characters but no party or home decor is ever complete unless we have those Jack O’Lanterns.
But do you know the real story behind this iconic Halloween staple? Well apparently, it has a dark, twisted tale.
6 Germanic Excavations That Led To Amazing Discoveries
#2 is a shocker!
The Germanic tribes of ancient Europe were often portrayed as savages. After all, they had regular clashes with the Romans back in the day. However, there was so much more to these tribes than people originally expected. The ancient Germans also traded with the Romans on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, most archaeological discoveries found that they were always interconnected.
Some excavations were not planned. In 2017, a Protestant church in Cologne did some digging in hopes of building a community center. Instead, they found the remains of the oldest Roman library in Germany, dating back 1,800 years ago. Here are six Germanic excavations with surprising results.
1. The Pottery In Osice