Throughout history, natural stone has had many uses. Today we use it to enhance the appearance of our homes whether it be as a countertop or as flooring. Historically, it has been used for many different applications, such as a building material, to the creation of roads and monuments. Let’s dig in and see how several different civilizations used stone to enhance their lives.
The first civilization to master the art of stonework were the Egyptians. Their creations still amaze the world. Built out of limestone block around 2500 BC, the Pyramids remain a masterpiece that still attracts thousands of visitors annually. Casing stones are believed to have covered the rough limestone blocks. It is believed that over the years these smooth casing stones were stolen, leaving behind the limestone blocks. Another use of stone the Egyptians implemented was in the burial chamber of the pharaoh. The chamber itself is created by granite blocks. The craftsmanship of the construction is so precise, that one cannot even get a sheet of paper between where two blocks join.
The Greek Empire also had a passion for natural stone, especially marble. The Greeks learned stonework from the Egyptians. The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Over one hundred columns and steps were all made out of marble. The columns were over five stories high. The Temple was partially destroyed and laid in ruins by 401 AD. The Greeks were the first civilization to use marble in their residential dwellings, lining the baths and pools with gorgeous stone.
The Romans had a whole different concept as to how to use stone. Around the first century AD, the Roman Empire ruled the world. This achievement was made possible by their use of granite slabs that they engineered into roads. These roads allowed the Roman Empire to move troops quickly and effectively. Also these roads enabled trading. Another use of natural stone that the Roman Empire implemented was in their aqueduct system and their temples. The Romans had a unique method of constructing their temples. Unlike other civilizations, they would build their buildings out of brick and mortar, and then line them with the marble slabs. This allowed for faster construction and it is a method that is still used today.
As you can see, at Antico Stone & Tile, our love and passion for natural stone as a building material in our homes is not something new. Thousands of years ago, starting with the Egyptians, natural stone was used to enhance and add grandeur to the Pyramids inside and out. The Greeks used natural stone as a way to bring elegance into homes. The Romans were able to conquer the world at that time thanks to the use of natural stone to build roads. Today, we use natural stone in our homes to bring that sense of majesty and charm into our living spaces that were once used to glorify the accomplishments of a civilization. It is a truly majestical connection that we have with natural stone, one that will continue for centuries to come.