It is hard for people nowadays to fathom, but ancient engineers were able to create giant structures that still exist today, even before our modern building technologies. So how exactly did those civilizations build without steel, precast concrete, conveniences like cranes, bulldozers and other heavy machinery? We would like to take you on a trip through time and space to see how we built before concrete as we know it.
Straw and Mud Bricks
One of the more commonly known techniques for building was the use of mud and straw in ancient Egypt. They would cake together the materials and leave them to dry in the sun until they were strong enough to be used to build. The only problem with this technique was that it required a lot of maintenance and without proper care, many of the forms built out of these materials have fallen victim to the strains of the desert.
Sticky Rice Mortar
In ancient China, along with the regular mortar being used, it has been found that many of the construction projects used a mortar that included not just limestone, but also sticky rice! This concoction is thought to be about 1,500 years old and is considered today to be a great material to use when restoring ancient buildings.
Volcanic Ash and Limestone
In ancient Rome, they used an ancient concrete type of product to build that was essentially a mixture of heated limestone, water and volcanic ash. Although this mixture is not technically as strong as modern concrete, it surely had been able to stand the tests of time as many of the buildings made from this type of materials are still standing today!
The most basic material used was cut stone. This sounds like an easy enough material to use, but when you think of the skills it took to harvest the rock, cut it from the earth with ancient tools and the strength taken to move it once it was cut, it really is a remarkable feat. Archaeologists are still marveling at ancient ruins made from cut stone from the Dam at Marib in Saudi Arabia to Pumapunku in Bolivia.
Here at Del Zotto Products, we definitely admire the ancient ways of building, and we work hard every day to make our mark on the history of construction. If you want to know more about our precast concrete forms, contact us today or follow us on social media!