By 1995, The Great Hedge of India was entirely forgotten, and it might have stayed forgotten indefinitely, if not for one librarian: Roy Moxham. Moxham followed up a footnote in an obscure text and re-discovered evidence of a 1,500-mile long hedge--a hedge that happened to be associated with a hated initiative of a brutal regime--that had inexplicably slipped the mind of an entire country.
About 300 years before Baby Jesus was born, the Romans wrote their name in the sidewalk of history as the perfecters of concrete. The new building material quickly won a following, and even spurred something of a revolution, which was dubbed "the Concrete Revolution" by a historian who was himself dubbed "least creative dubber of all time" by us.
It wasn't long before dicks were drawn in it.
It was during this revolution that the Romans perfected the arch, the vault and the dome, not to mention underwater architecture, which allowed Rome to bless the Empire with aqueducts and dams. And guess what? Head on over to Europe and there's a good chance you can still see some of this stuff.
But what we don't see are concrete dams, bridges and Pantheons from the Middle Ages, because, once again, something that the Romans figured out was immediately forgotten by an entire society of ADHD sufferers: The Europeans of the Dark Ages.
It wasn't until 1756 that concrete was rediscovered and quickly applied to another revolution:
The skating revolution!
How Could We Have Forgotten It?
They lost the recipe.
But to be fair, unless we're specifically talking about medieval Italians who lived near Vesuvius or other volcanoes, they weren't going to get the recipe right in the first place. Because the key to Roman concrete was the use of volcanic ash called pozzolana. The ash served as a binder so effective that, with a few steel reinforcements, would still be as durable as modern concrete. We can only assume that architects from the Middle Ages tried to mix up their own batches, left out the crucial volcanic ash, then cried themselves to sleep over the watery sidewalk stew that they ended up with. Eventually, they abandoned the formula altogether - presumably chocking up all those buildings people still lived in every day as some sort of pagan magic.
Finally, in 1756 a British engineer figured out that how to use something called hydraulic lime (you god damn British and your lime) to get the concrete party stared once again, and the rest is rebellious pre-teen and aging burnout history.
Skateboarding is not a crime! Maybe it should be.
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