Concrete is a composite material composed mainly of water, aggregate, and cement. Often, additives and reinforcements are included in the mixture to achieve the desired physical properties of the finished material. When these ingredients are mixed together, they form a fluid mass that is easily molded into shape. Over time, the cement forms a hard matrix which binds the rest of the ingredients together into a durable stone-like material with many uses.
Famous concrete structures include the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal and the Roman Pantheon. The earliest large-scale users of concrete technology were the ancient Romans, and concrete was widely used in the Roman Empire. The Colosseum in Rome was built largely of concrete, and the concrete dome of the Pantheon is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
After the Roman Empire collapsed, use of concrete became rare until the technology was re-pioneered in the mid-18th century. Today, concrete is the most widely used man-made material (measured by tonnage).