Academic journal article Social Education

Tough Stuff

Academic journal article Social Education

Tough Stuff

Article excerpt

SOCIAL STUDIES AND BUILDING MATERIALS

Have you ever thought about the social studies side of durable building materials? There might be a lot of history, anthropology, and geography hiding in there between the bricks. Test your knowledge of tough stuff.

1. When earthquakes hit Kavakbici, Turkey in 1999, the three modern buildings in that village were ruined. In traditional houses, however, brick walls that were braced with diagonal beams of this material safely withstood the shaking. A fissure opened up directly under one home, but the diagonal beams absorbed the shock. What were the beams made of?

2. Two thousand years ago, the Romans were mixing lime, volcanic ash, and water to make this "liquid rock." It could be poured into a mold and left to harden. When mixed with sand, it could he used as a mortar to bind blocks of stone. Aqueducts built by the Romans with the use of this material still stand after 1,500 years. What is this material?

3. Around 700 A.D., the Anasazi made shelters by covering wooden poles with mixed clay and sand. Later, they built square "pueblos" out of this earthen material. Traces of these dwellings can be seen in the Four Corners region of the USA (where the borders of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona touch). …

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