From the Pyramids of Giza to your home: a brief history of limestone

Limestone has been used in some of history's most enduring structures.

From the Pyramids of Giza to your home: a brief history of limestone

From the Pyramids of Giza to your home: a brief history of limestone 1000 596 BauMart Natural Stones

What's important to you when selecting building materials? Do you want something that's beautiful? Or do you value materials with a longstanding reputation more? How about durability and timelessness? 

When you choose to build with limestone, you tick all of these boxes. Not only is limestone attractive and durable, but it's been one of builders' top choices for thousands of years. Let's take a look at this natural stone's unique history. 

How limestone forms

Limestone forms in clear, warm marine waters. A sedimentary rock, limestone is primarily made up of the mineral calcite, but it's also formed over time by shells, algae, coral and other debris. Although it's common throughout the world, not all limestone is appropriate for building. In order to be suitable for architecture, limestone must be:

  • Thick
  • Consistently layered
  • Attractive in colour 
  • Uniform in texture
  • Resistant to weathering
  • Durable 

At BauMart, we only import the finest limestone from Indonesia and everything we source has each of these characteristics. 

Most limestone forms in clear, warm, shallow waters. Most limestone forms in clear, warm, shallow waters.

How long has limestone been used in architecture?

Limestone can take millions of years to form, and it's been used in construction and architecture for thousands – making it one of the oldest building materials out there. Evidence of the abundant use of limestone in architecture is everywhere, including some of the world's most famous buildings and structures:

The Pyramids of Giza (2550 to 2490 BC) – These ancient tombs are filled with everything an ancient Egyptian pharaoh would need in his next life. Built completely of limestone, these pyramids are still very much admired today. 

The Pyramids of Giza today are a testament to how enduring limestone is. The Pyramids of Giza are a testament to how enduring limestone is.

The Parthenon (447-432 BCE) – Dedicated to Athena and built to protected her statue, ancient Greek architects Iktinos and Kallikrates chose to build the Parthenon's foundation of limestone because it was incredibly long -lasting and durable. 

The Great Wall of China (Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644) – The Great Wall of China was built over time from many different materials, including straw, earth and clay. During the Ming Dynasty, natural stone – including limestone and granite – was brought in to strengthen parts of the Great Wall.

Reconstruction of the Pentagon (2002-2003) – After the September 11 tragedies in the United States, the Pentagon was reconstructed using about 2.1 million pounds (just under one million kilograms) of limestone. Limestone was chosen as a symbol of strength. 

Ready to use limestone in your own home renovations? To find out more about importing top quality Indonesian limestone, reach out to the team at BauMart Natural Stone. We're glad to help you find the most suitable natural stone product for whatever you're working on.