CEMENTING materials of mineral origin were well known to the ancients. Ordinary lime and gypsum plasters were the first to be recorded by historians. The next development was the discovery that certain limes would set under water, but the hydraulic property was not definitely attributed to the presence of clay in the limestone until many centuries later. The Romans advanced a step nearer to modern cement in the development of 'pozzuolana', a mixture of volcanic ash or trass with hydrated lime. The silicate of aluminium in the volcanic rock combined readily with the lime, forming a hydraulic mortar or cement which was widely used.
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