GUYS THEY FIGURED OUT THE ROMAN CONCRETE RECIPE THAT MAKES IT IMMUNE TO SEAWATERhttp://ift.tt/2uzc13P
I KNOW RIGHT?!???
I can’t help but feel this is one of those things where we had actual documents saying “it was done with this and this”, and some old rich white guys looked at it and went “oh mirth, the ancients were so silly. They probably wrote this basic stuff down and the actual builders had Secret Techniques we need to Discover”
For a long time, archeologists didn’t know how greek women did their high-piled braids and hair. There was a word that translated to “needle” in the descriptions. They went, “seems like we’ll never know.” Then a hairdresser took a fucking needle (big needle) and did the fucking thing you do with needles, which is sew - and by sewing the braids into place, she replicated ancient styles.
The Egyptians had diagrams of construction steps for their pyramids. Archeologists went “oooh, ancient primitive people, how they do this?” LITERALLY MYTHBUSTERS OR THE OLD DISCOVERY CHANNEL or someone went “what if we did the thing the pictures said they did” AND GUESS FUCKING WHAT. GUESS FUCKING WHAT.
Also that thing with native Americans saying squirrels taught them how to get sap for maple syrup, and colonizers going “that’s a myth sweaty”
Sincerely, if the scientists had to do actual analysis like spectroscopy or whatever, kudos, and no flame. But swear to god, if all these years, we’ve had the recipes and there was just this fuckin institutional bias against just TRYING THE THING THEY SAID WOULD WORK, HELLFIRE AND DEMENTIA.
In this case, it was more they had roman writings saying what went into it but figured there was some secret because when they followed roman recipes it never turned out quite right.
Because the sources left by Romans always just said to mix with water. Because, if you were a Roman??? Obviously you knew that you used seawater for cement. Duh. That’s so obvious that they never really bothered specifying that you use seawater to mix it, because it wasn’t necessary, everyone knew that.
But then the empire fell, other empires rose and fell, time passed, and by the time we were trying to reconstruct the formula the ‘mix the dry ingredients with seawater’ trick had been forgotten, until chemical analysis finally figured it out again.
It’s sort of like the land of Punt, a ally of Egypt that’s mentioned all the time, but we don’t actually know where it was located. Because it isn’t written down anywhere. Why would they write it down? It’s Punt. Everyone knew where Punt was back then. It’d be ridiculous to waste the ink and space to specify where it was, every child knows about Punt.
3000 years later and we have no damned clue where it was, simply because at the time it was so blindingly obvious that it was never written down.
@deadcatwithaflamethrower this seems relevant, with vital information being lost when the cultural oral history goes.
I truly adore that EVERYONE is on board with the FUCK YES, ROMAN CONCRETE is BACK! because we all know on some level or another that that shit is IMPORTANT.
Its a bit like straw used on floors in the middle ages. For a while we used to think that they just used loose straw and spread it on floors, because it all of the medieval housekeeping manuals or the diaries where people documented their everyday life, it would just say “oh you should change the straw a couple of times per year” or “we changed the straw today.”
Turns out they braided the straw to make some sort of carpet (which i imagine to be close to those i buy for my rabbit cage) and no one ever specified it in writings because OF COURSE you don’t just throw loose straw around what are you, an animal? And they didn’t think that their stuff would ever be read by anyone other than their contemporaries, even less people thousands of year in the future. Their audience would know what “the straw” would refer to.
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