Concrete Mixers: Why Concrete Has Been Used Since the Ancient Times



Walking through practically any city throughout any part of the world, you are bound to be surrounded by concrete structures. Due to its adaptability as well as its countless different uses, it is easy to see why this building material has become consistently used in architecture for over 10 000 years. By reading this through this blog post, you too can start to understand why this is the case before turning to BS Power, South Africa’s first and only choice for concrete mixers and other high-performance construction tools and equipment.




Which of History’s Ancient Structures Were Built Using Concrete?


As a result of how convenient it has become to construct buildings of any size in our modern-day through the use of any number of tools that are readily available at any given moment, it has become rather difficult to imagine how exactly we were able to build practically anything before the invention of cement mixers and chainsaws. It is partly because of how far we have progressed, in terms of the tools that we use, that many people have come to assume that the quality of our cement has progressed just as much. While this may be true in some cases, you may be surprised to find out that some of ancient history’s largest and most durable buildings were constructed using concrete in their various forms, some of which are still standing to this very day.


While some of these structures are not all in the best shape by modern standards, some being more or less well preserved than their counterparts, it should be noted that the fact that they are still standing and able to give a clear representation of their different uses, the culture of the time and even some other pieces of history, while standing up against time and mother nature itself is still incredibly impressive. These architectural marvels have been admired and visited by history buffs, architects, and general enthusiasts from all corners of the world, not only for their significance in history but also because of their design and the sheer presence that they have in their respective environments.


The first notable structure in recorded history would have to be Gobekli Tepe Temple in Turkey, dating back to as far back as 10 000 BC to 9 000 BC. This mysterious site was constructed at a height of 15m and a diameter of 300m during a time when humans had not yet invented any major construction tools. While this recipe is not used in our modern-day, various sections of this ancient structure, such as pillars, walls, and even terrazzo floors, were formed through the use of lime mortar and limestone, sand, and aggregates to form cement.




Not too long after this point in history, we have the roads of Galilee, dating back to around 7 000 BC. While concrete was not used to construct much of this region in Israel, a form of concrete that was similarly made to what can be seen in the Gobekli Tepe Temple was used to create roads to allow for easier travel within the area.


It was not until around 6 500 BC in certain parts of Syria and Jordan that you are able to find buildings that were fully constructed using cement for the very first time. Using a mix of cement mortar and plaster, the Nabataean traders of the region were able to create a variety of structures which includes small houses and an underground cistern with water channels that allowed for the easier collection of water in the dry deserts and barren mountains of the area.


A little later down our timeline, we have Lepenski Vir, a beautifully preserved settlement structure that was constructed along the Danube River in Yugoslavia around the time of 5 600 BC. While it is clear to see that large portions of this structure have deteriorated and disappeared over time, it is equally clear that the portions that have remained, mainly its floors, were constructed using concrete that was made up of locally gathered limestone clay, ash, and even animal dung too.


Around the time of 3 000 BC in Egypt, we have the bricks and larger blocks that are found in the various pyramids that can be found scattered throughout the area, which was constructed through the use of the locally made cement of the time. This cement was made using a mix of gypsum and lime mortars alongside mud and straw. Around the same time, in fact, the Great Wall of China was being constructed alongside other historically significant Chinese structures.




Between 1 900 BC to 600 BC in Greece is where we will start to find the very beginning of large-scale use of concrete in structures of all sorts and sizes. Throughout the different periods that Greece had gone through their recipes for concrete had changed as a result of the knowledge that was gained over time, including the discovery of volcanic ash that could be used as a natural pozzolan, which was found in abundance due to the eruptions that had wiped out the Santorini civilization in 1 640 BC. Throughout this time, however, various forms of cement were used to create large palaces and roads.


Using the concrete recipes invented in Greece and then making their own improvements and alterations around 600 BC, ancient Rome is home to the first use of cement that is most closely comparable to the recipe that is used today. The Romans from this time were the first to incorporate the use of cement in practically all forms of construction, ranging from the roads, palaces, homes for the general public, and far more. The recipe used for these structures would include a mixture of lime, seawater with volcanic rock and ash.


Around the time of 10 BC, the largest use of hydraulic concrete construction was spearheaded by the King of Judea at the time, known as Herod the Great. This was a major advancement in construction and was seen in the form of a harbor in Caesarea, where large concrete blocks were built and placed to create a foundation for breakwater barriers and harbor moles. This structure is widely considered to be the largest single use of concrete to have been undergone up until roughly the 20th century.


From this point up until the 19th century that improvements in cement remained stagnant. This was broken in 1824 by a man named Joseph Aspdin in Leeds, who become the pioneer in modern cement. By heating a powdered form of limestone which is then mixed with clay before being ground down to a fine powder, Joseph had managed to create a recipe that would go unchanged and is still being used throughout the world to this day.




What Concrete is Used for Today and How You Can Get Started!


While many of the ancient uses of concrete may only be significant due to their place in time rather than the utilities that they provide in our modern world, it is difficult to imagine how our world would look today if these steps were not taken so early on. Without the pioneers that had laid the groundwork for us so long ago, our society may not have been able to progress as quickly due to the safety and durability that cement is able to provide.


Alongside this, our advancements in the tools that we use have also been able to provide great help too, as concrete mixers now allow us to make concrete at an increased pace without having to increase our workload. In fact, if it were not for concrete mixers and pourers, many of our modern-day architectural marvels would not have been possible to construct. This includes everything possible form of construction that can be seen just by taking a stroll through your city, ranging from park benches to art installations, from skyscrapers to roads, from bridges to dams, and so on the list goes.


In fact, not only can concrete be seen in almost any form of construction, but it has also never been as easy for the average person to get started with their own projects as it is today. This is a direct result of high-performance construction tools such as concrete mixers becoming so easily attainable if you know where to look. A one-stop-shop for all your construction tool-related needs would have to be BS Power, a supplier, and manufacturer that has become the first and only choice for large-scale architects and small-time home renovators alike.


Not only is BS Power able to provide you with practically any form of construction tool that you may want or need, but we are able to do so at prices that are so low that not many of our competitors are able to come even close to. In fact, while our prices are able to remain as low as they have ever been, we aim to help you keep your costs down even further by providing you with handsome discounts on a select range of products that remain available all year round.


While professional architects have the knowledge and experience needed to go about their projects with absolute ease, with or without the use of concrete mixers, first-time builders and home renovators may find the same tasks to be overwhelming due to the many variables that are involved with constructions. This includes having to choose the materials being used, the various tools that are needed as well as how, to begin with, construction too. Being a part of the industry for as long as we have been, we understand the immense pressure and stress that is involved in such a process.


This is precisely why our staff are all experts in their field, with our staff having a combined total of 100 years of work experience. That, accompanied by friendly service, allows our clients to feel safe knowing that their construction-related problems are left in capable and knowledgeable hands. This remains true no matter where in South Africa that you find yourself working in, as we have been able to satisfy our clients throughout all corners of South Africa as well as in areas such as Mozambique, Zambia, Swaziland, Botswana, and so on.


This means that you can still get into contact with BS Power in order to get your hands on concrete mixers or any other construction tool you require. To get started today, you have the choice of visiting our Brackenfell shop in Cape Town, or you can get into contact with us via our website. Along with our many different blogs going into detail over the different aspects of construction and the tools we provide, you can also choose how you would like to make contact with us, whether it be through a simple phone call, an email, or by contacting us through our website directly too.