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New: Article on the Medieval minsters of Beverley, Rippon and York, submitted by Stuart Sharp.

We now have an RSS feed so you can stay up to date with the latest news here.

We've added lots more images. Check out the new photos on our Roman history site, such as Hadrian's Wall. Great new photos of Stonehenge and Avebury are on megalithic sites


Our castles pictures and notes have been updated with Farleigh Hungerford Castle. A full list of the historical galleries we have on line is also available now.


The Roman invention of pozzolana concrete, in combination with brick and mortar, let the Romans build quickly in stages and create new forms. Concrete was combined with other materials to build the Aurelianic walls, in place of the weak tufa used in earlier fortifications. These walls were strong and thick enough to withstand current siege weapons and carry a long vaulted gallery. Strong walls protecting expanded urban territory could be constructed more easily than in stone, so Roman cities were not as spatially constrained as ancient Greek and medieval cities.

Concrete and brick were combined in the construction of insulae, which housed much of Rome's population. Where land was in short supply, concrete's properties allowed high (up to 5 storey) buildings to be built quickly and economically, helping to sustain the Roman population expansion. It also allowed the building of monuments and structures, such as the Pantheon and the Flavian Amphitheatre, which shaped the visible landscape. Pozzolana concrete's ability to set under water, combined with the innovative Roman arch design, allowed the building of bridges, aqueducts and viaducts which allowed Roman cities to span water courses and enabled population growth by providing amenities.

European medieval building relied largely on natural materials - wood and stone, from their hinterlands.. In the Arabic world, brick construction was more common. Lime-mortar and wall reinforcement through the use of sandstone columns allowed Islamic cities to expand when mud-bricks did not allow buildings above a single storey (Chant & Goodman, 1999: p137). These materials allowed the construction of complexes of up to six-storey buildings grouped round a courtyard, which shaped the structure of the seventh century Egyptian capital, Fustad.



Etrusia is in the process of compiling a list of national events. If you are organising, supporting, publicising or simply know of an event related to any part of the UK history then let us know and we will add it to our list.

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