Comment 2VMA Re: Wrong and wrong again... The Romans cement was NOT more advanced

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Geopolymer concrete like the Romans

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Wrong and wrong again... The Romans cement was NOT more advanced (Score: 2, Insightful)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-12-04 11:36 (#2VJT)

For all the things Romans got wrong (lead pipes anyone?) did you know we’re still using a less advanced concrete than they did? Consider some of the massive structures in Rome that have passed the test of time, lasting for more than 2000 years. The typical concrete that we use in construction starts to degrade after only 50 years.
People, who make and repeat this claim, fall for some kind of selection bias. Actually there was no 'the Roman cement'. Mixing cement was no hard science back then. I doubt that even two batches were identical. So yes... some structures last more than 2000 years. But how many structures are gone because they did not even last 50 years? Erm... no one knows... because they are not there anymore. What we are seeing now are structures where the mixture was more or less coincidentally right and environmental factors were favourable so the structures survived.

Re: Wrong and wrong again... The Romans cement was NOT more advanced (Score: 2, Funny)

by insulatedkiwi@pipedot.org on 2014-12-04 17:29 (#2VK3)

Are you speaking from experience.. you were a Roman architect/builder?

Re: Wrong and wrong again... The Romans cement was NOT more advanced (Score: 3, Interesting)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-12-04 20:37 (#2VKE)

Do I really need to be a Roman architect/builder?
Read this:
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/09/counterintuitive-world

False conclusions are very common in many areas. I think it is the same with Roman cement.
You see what remained after 2000 years. But of course you don't see anymore what crumbled
after 50 years.

Re: Wrong and wrong again... The Romans cement was NOT more advanced (Score: 1)

by insulatedkiwi@pipedot.org on 2014-12-05 13:20 (#2VMA)

While I don't disagree that your premise may be correct, what makes you think that a society noted for its obsession with bureaucracy and incredible ability to organize (look where they built, and how they managed to keep garrisons weeks from Rome supplied) would not have had some recipe for cement, but that the amount of work or scarcity of materials prevented it from being used always?

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