The recipe for Roman concrete was described around 30 B.C. There’s a good reason why Europe is peppered with so many well-preserved by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, an engineer for Octavian, who became Emperor Augustus. “Archaeologists will say they have the recipe,” said Marie Jackson, an expert in ancient Roman concrete at the University of … Ancient Rome’s concrete recipe is an impressive feat in architectural history. The Roman recipe of lime, 2 volcanic ash, and rock aggregate, mixed together with seawater, produced a concrete that under the microscope looks like natural rock. The concrete of ancient Rome was stronger, longer lasting, and more environmentally friendly than the mix we use today. An Attempt at Reproducing Ancient Roman Concrete by using Limestone, Volcanic Ash and Aggregate. Ancient Rome’s concrete recipe is an impressive feat in architectural history. THE SECRET ROMAN RECIPE • Use of Roman concrete reached its zenith during the reigns of the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, 98 to 138 A.D. • By that time the craftsmen were well trained with many tools and they were sufficiently educated to attain teamwork. They packed this mortar and rock chunks into wooden molds immersed in seawater. Perhaps there she’ll come closer to the long-lost recipe for Roman concrete–far from Italy, hidden in the rock of an Icelandic volcano. As it turns out, not only is Roman concrete more durable than what we can make today, but it actually gets stronger over time.”1 That last part shouldn’t have been too startling to any concrete technologist. • An example of concrete construction from this period is Trajan’s Forum, The mystery has been why the ancient material endured. uncovered the incredible chemistry behind this phenomenon, getting closer to unlocking its long-lost recipe. Sep 6, 2016 Neil Patrick. Credits: Ancient-Origins. The not-so-secret ingredient is volcanic ash, which Romans combined with lime to form mortar. Some Roman buildings are so spectacular in their construction and beauty that modern builders would never attempt something similar, even with today’s technology. Roman concrete, also called opus caementicium, was a material used in construction during the late Roman Republic and the entire history of the Roman Empire. Some Roman buildings are so spectacular in their construction and beauty that modern builders would never attempt something similar, even with today’s technology. By 25 BC, ancient Romans developed a recipe for concrete specifically used for underwater work which is essentially the same formula used today.