What did early civilizations use for bridges?


Quick Answer

Early Greek and Roman civilizations used things like stones and logs to make their bridges. Mathematicians in early Greek and Roman civilizations worked out the problem of bridging the gap between land and building bridges strong enough to carry massive amounts of weight.

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Full Answer

The Romans are credited with building strong bridges. Architects of the Roman Empire designed and built strong bridges with arching shapes, which made the bridges stronger than those built by the Greeks. Building arched bridges out of stone allowed these bridges to hold more weight than it took to build them. During the Roman Empire's reign, more than 900 stone bridges were built across Europe, Asia and Africa.

Bridges back then were not built for pedestrian use. They were built to carry supplies and water from Europe to Italy. To build these bridges, builders created wooden arches in the measurements they would need for the finished bridge. Then, they would use those arches to guide them in the construction of the finished bridge. The Romans were the first to use mortar for bridge building despite the fact that it had to be imported. They used local stones for bridges, reducing the time it took to build a bridge. Many of the bridges built by the Romans are still standing today.

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