Discovery of 'Lost Recipe' for Ancient Concrete Provides Foundation for Future Cities

Portland cement doesn't come close to matching the resiliency of the concrete created by ancient Romans. After years of research, scientists believe they've unraveled the ingredients and production techniques that made Roman concrete so superior.

"After 2,000 years, a long-lost secret behind the creation of one of the world’s most durable man-made creations ever—Roman concrete—has finally been discovered by an international team of scientists, and it may have a significant impact on how we build cities of the future," writes Bernhard Warner.

After a decade of work, "[t]he researchers now know why ancient Roman concrete is so superior," he reports. "They extracted from the floor of Italy’s Pozzuoili Bay, in the northern tip of the Bay of Naples, a sample of concrete breakwater that dates back to 37 B.C. and analyzed its mineral components at research labs in Europe and the U.S., including at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. The analysis, the scientists believe, reveals the lost recipe of Roman concrete, and it also points to how much more stable and less environmentally damaging it is than today’s blend."

Full Story: Ancient Roman Concrete Is About to Revolutionize Modern Architecture


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95