The Fascinating History of Concrete Construction

Concrete construction history is far more expansive than most people are likely to realize and is way more interesting than expected. The fascinating history of concrete construction spans thousands of years and multiple ancient civilizations. Let us provide a history of concrete construction for you, one that compresses many years into a quick and easy-to-read format that you can more easily enjoy.

What Is the History of Concrete Construction?

Historians have traced concepts and techniques similar to modern concrete back over 3,300 years and have continually discovered new and exciting breakthroughs almost every year. That’s because the fascinating history of concrete construction is just about as old as humanity itself. This creates a unique and fascinating realm of concrete construction history that’s well worth examining.

The Earliest Modern Concrete-Like Materials

Not accounting for mud or other similar concrete-like building tools, a history of concrete construction likely started around 1300 BC. It was then that Middle Eastern Bedouin tribes started building walls and homes using concrete. They focused on using burned limestone, which hardened when exposed to the air. This early form of cement was hardened by adding silica sand and waterproofing materials.

The fascinating thing about this early concrete is that it uses the same basic methods that modern professionals use today. While it isn’t exactly the same as modern concrete (which we’ll discuss in more depth later), the method of mixing cement with other materials is basically the same. That makes this history even more fascinating to learn about because it proves human ingenuity is essentially eternal.

How Concrete Changed

As history progressed, the most advanced civilizations of the times upgraded and improved concrete construction. For example, the Ancient Egyptians used concrete-like materials to produce their great pyramids. This included 500,000 tons of materials in many pyramids, which makes their construction even more amazing. China also created concrete-like materials that used rice instead of silica.

The ancient Romans took many of these methods and spread them throughout the world, including well into Europe, deeper parts of Africa, and in the Middle East. The concept of modern concrete construction was well-established during those times but was lost for over 1,000 years when the Roman Empire fell. It was only with the chance discovery of Roman documents in 1400 AD that concrete construction began again.

Concrete Today

Modern concrete came into being around 1913, when standards were created to guide concrete production and manufacturing. Changes throughout the Renaissance and beyond helped to make concrete even stronger and more capable of withstanding wear and tear. Today, it is used in just about every construction field, including roads, buildings, damns, commercial buildings, and residential homes.

Learning More About This Fascinating History 

The future of concrete construction looks very bright indeed. It is still one of the most popular and effective ways of building skyscrapers, roads, and much more. The high levels of cement materials available in the world make it likely that further advances will push the field beyond what we imagine today. Who knows what the history of the future will say about concrete today?