Many thousands of years ago there were no houses such as people live in today. In hot countries people sometimes made their homes in the trees and used leaves to protect themselves from rain or sun. In colder countries they dwelt in caves. Later people left their caves and trees and began to build houses out of different materials such as mud, wood or stones.
Later people found of that bricks made of mud and dried in the hot sunshine became almost as hard as stones. In ancient Egypt especially, people learned to use these sun-dried mud bricks. Some of their buildings are still standing after several thousands of years.
The ancient Egyptians discovered how to cut stone for building purposes. They erected temples, palaces and huge tombs. The greatest tomb is the stone *pyramid of Khufu1, king of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians often erected their huge constructions to commemorate their kings or pharaohs.
The ancient Greeks also understood the art of building with cut stone, and their buildings were beautiful as well as useful. They often used pillars, partly for supporting the roofs and partly for decoration. Parts of these ancient buildings can still be seen today in Greece.
Whereas the ancient Greeks tried to embody the idea of harmony and pure beauty in their buildings, the Roman architecture produces the impression of greatness, might, and practicalness. The Romans were great bridge, harbor and road builders. In road works the Romans widely used timber piles. They also erected aqueducts, reservoirs, water tanks, etc. Some of their constructions reused till now. It is known that the manufacture of lime is one of the boldest industries used by man. Lime is a basic building material all over the world as today so in the ancient world. One of the Marcus Porcius Cato, gave an idea of a kiln for lime, production: it's shape and dimensions. They are rough cylindrical or rectangular structures, built of stone in a hillside with an arched caning at the front to enable the fire to be made and the lime to be with drawn. Such kilns were fired with wood or coal and were extremely inefficient. There are still many remains of kilns in some places of Great Britain as well as roads and the famous Hadrian all, which was erected to protect the Romans from the Celtic tribes in the first century A.D. Britain was a province of the Roman Empire about four centuries. There are many things today in Britain to remind the people of the Romans: towns, roads, wells and the words.
By the way, Hadrian, the Roman emperor, was also the one who suggested the absolutely new for that time idea of building the Pantheon with a dome. He constructed it, and alongside with a number of other outstanding buildings such as the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla, it is still there in Rome. Many ancient buildings in K-Ome were designed by Hadrian as well as by other Roman empire.
In a period of 800 to 900 years the Romans developed concrete to the position of the main structural material in the empire. It is surprising, therefore, that after the fall of the Empire, much of the great knowledge should have disappeared so completely. The knowledge of how to make durable concrete has been lost for centuries, *but creation was made of it in the writings of architects from time to time . Fusion of Roman and North European traditions in construction was reflected in many ways. Buildings combined the Roman arch and the steep peaked roof of Northern Europe. Roman traditions were continued in the architectural form known as Romanesque. London Bridge, finished in 1209, took thirty-three years to build. It consisted of nineteen irregular pointed arches with its piers resting on broad foundation, which was designed *to withstand the Thames current.
The Romanian period was followed by other periods each of which produced its own type of architecture and building materials. During the last hundred years many new methods of building have been discovered. One of the most recent discoveries is the usefulness of steel as a building material. Nowadays when it is necessary to have a very tall building, the frame of it is first built in steel and then the building is completed in concrete. Concrete is an artificial kind of stone, much cheaper than brick or natural stone and much stronger than they are. The earliest findings of concrete building fragments belonging to prehistoric times
were discovered in Mexico and Peru. The Egyptians in the construction of bridges, roads and town walls employed it. There are evidences that ancient Greeks also used concrete in the building purposes. The use of concrete by the ancient Romans can be traced back as far as 500 B.C. *They were the first to use4 it throughout the
ancient Roman Empire *on a pretty large scale5 and many constructions made of concrete remain till nowadays thus proving the long life of buildings made of concrete. Of course, it was not the concrete people use today. It consisted of mud, clay and pure lime, which were used to hold together the roughly broken stone in foundations and walls. It was the so-called "pseudo concrete". The idea of such building material might have been borrowed from the ancient Greeks as some samples of it were found in the ruins of Pompeii.
Пояснения к тексту.
1... .pyramid of Khufu ['ku'fu:] — пирамида Хуфу
2. ...to withstand the Thames current. — ...чтобы противостоять течению Темзы.
3. .. .but mention was made of it in the writings of architects from time to time — но время от времени можно встретить упоминание об этом в работах архитекторов.
4. They were the first to use... — они первыми использовали
5 on a pretty large scale— в довольно широких масштабах
Слова к тексту
art of building — искусство строить
brick [brik] — n кирпич
borrow ['borou] — v (from) занимать, заимствовать
concrete ['konkrit] —n бетон,
dome [doum]—n купол
dwell [dwel] — v жить, проживать
embody [im'bodi] — v олицетворять, воплощать
find [faind] — v (out) обнаружить, найти
kiln [kiln]— n обжиговая печь, сушильная печь
pile [pail] — n свая, столб
pillar [pils] — n столб, колонна
remains [ri' meinz] — л pi остатки, руины
tribe [traib]—n племя