The mortar resists microcracking through in situ crystallization of platy strätlingite, a durable calcium-alumino-silicate mineral that reinforces interfacial zones and the cementitious matrix. The dense intergrowths of the platy crystals obstruct crack propagation and preserve cohesion at the micron scale, which in turn enables the concrete to maintain its chemical resilience and structural integrity in a seismically active environment at the millennial scale. — Berkeley Lab
Built in 28BC as a suitably glorious tomb for Augustus and his relatives, with pink granite obelisks, golden urns and a bronze statue of the emperor on top, it has suffered innumerable indignities ever since the sack of Rome.
Now, fenced off and often used as a dumping site for litter, and even as an unofficial public lavatory, it goes almost unnoticed by the diners who crowd into the restaurants of the square around it. — theguardian.com
A training barracks used by Roman gladiators and the 2,000-year-old mausoleum of the Emperor Augustus could be restored with money from the Saudi royal family, in the latest effort by Italy to secure funding for its crumbling cultural heritage.
In a deal brokered by Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, the Saudi royals are to provide millions of euros to pay for the restoration of some of the capital's neglected monuments. — telegraph.co.uk
Any definitive insight into the formative stages of Roman architectural hubris lies irretrievable beneath layers of the city’s repeated renovations through the time of caesars, popes and the Renaissance [...] Now, at excavations 11 miles east of Rome’s city center, archaeologists think they are catching a glimpse of Roman tastes in monumental architecture much earlier than previously thought, about 300 years before the Colosseum. — nytimes.com
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