Recent studies on Roman concrete, with its unusual durability, longevity and lessened environmental footprint, have been gathering media and industry attention. Roman concrete (opus caementicium) was a material used in construction during the late Roman Republic until the final days of the Roman Empire. It was based on a hydraulic binder, a lime-based paste often mixed with volcanic ashes, and applied with aggregates (including pieces of rock, ceramic tile and brick rubble) usually far larger than in the modern equivalent. Some Roman concrete sets underwater, and was extremely useful for maritime or water-related construction. This PhD will investigate the composition of Roman concrete throughout the empire, and investigate its structural strength in various applications, in a research setup to be further developed with the successful candidate. This is the position ESR05 within the PlaCe-ITN project: Interdisciplinary studies of pre-modern Plasters and Ceramics from the eastern Mediterranean.
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