What is limestone? History of Art
Quatr.us answers questions

What is limestone?


Limestone is a kind of sedimentary stone that is very common all over the Mediterranean and Europe. Limestone is made out of the shells of zillions of little tiny sea snails and creatures like that. These snails and stuff lived in the sea, billions of years ago, and when they died they fell to the bottom of the sea and rotted, but their shells, which were made of calcium like your teeth, did not rot and just stayed there. Pressure from other shells, and from the water, and from sand being washed over the shells, squashed them all together into rock.
Many many years later, the sea changed where it was, and all this calcium-rock (limestone) was left on the land where people could quarry it (dig it up).

When limestone gets even more squashed, it can turn into travertine or marble.

Limestone is also the main way you get lime, which is one of the things you make cement out of. To get lime, you have to burn limestone in lime kilns, and then what is left is lime. In the Middle Ages, people burned most of the statues of ancient Greece and Rome to turn them into lime.

Bibliography and further reading:

DK Eyewitness Guides: Building, by Philip Wilkinson (2000).

Geology: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press, by Frank Rhodes (2001).

Quatr.us home

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

Help support Quatr.us!

Quatr.us (formerly "History for Kids") is entirely supported by your generous donations and by our sponsors. Most donors give about $10. Can you give $10 today to keep this site running? Or give $50 to sponsor a page?

For the US election, check out Quatr.us' page on the Constitution. From the Revolution on, people have fought for the right to vote. In the 1800s, Andrew Jackson got poor white men the vote; the Civil War and Lincoln brought the vote to African-American men. In the 1900s, women got the vote, and Martin Luther King Jr. fought to force white people to actually let black people vote.