Old Roman buildings continue to survive after 1,500 years, even-though they are exposed to a variety of weather conditions.
Scientists have finally managed to find out what the secret is behind their hardness and durability.
Roman buildings were made of concrete which was a mixture of volcanic ash, lime (calcium oxide), seawater and volcanic stones.
Compared to modern concrete, ancient buildings remain in place for the millennium. Scientists say the secret behind the Roman concrete lies in seawater reacting with volcanic material in cement, hence creating new minerals that strengthen the concrete.
“The Romans invested enormous effort to develop this. They were very, very intelligent people,” said Marie Jackson, a geologist at Utah University and co-author of a study of Roman structures.
She claims that the Romans were aware of the quality of their building material. And Pliny wrote that their buildings are resistant to waves and are becoming ever stronger with each passing day.
“This discovery opens completely new perspectives in making concrete. What we consider a corrosive process can actually have extremely beneficial effects,” says Jackson.