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Ancient Rome
Arches and Concrete in Ancient Rome



Arches and Concrete in Ancient Rome
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 2 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.04

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    chariot, original, ruts, volcanic, races, maker, great, concrete, builder, paste, messy, whatever, easily, track, were, blob
     content words:    Roman Empire


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Arches and Concrete in Ancient Rome
By Colleen Messina
  

1     The Romans were great builders. Many things you see today have been inspired by ancient Rome. Even though they copied some things from the Greeks, the Romans had many original ideas.
 
2     The Romans used arches extensively. An arch is a curved structure that can hold a lot of weight. Arches helped Roman architects a great deal. With arches, they could build over windows and doors. With arches, they could build huge structures called aqueducts. Aqueducts brought water to the city of Rome from the hills.
 
3     The Romans invented concrete. Concrete comes from lime and water. A Roman builder would make a mushy paste. Then, he would add volcanic sand and pebbles. You would have to stir this mixture hard. You would have to be strong. It would turn into a big, messy blob of gray stuff with little lumps in it. Then, you would mold it into whatever shape you wanted. The concrete would dry. It would get hard. It would never get soft again, even in the rain. The Romans built an enormous structure called the Coliseum with concrete. They used the Coliseum for chariot races and other events.

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