Humans have long constructed monuments to mark their existence. In Britain in 2500 B.C., farmers dragged 50 ton stone pillars for miles to build a circle commemorating nature, the living, and, the dead. The oldest parts date from 8000 B.C.
Great Pyramid (02:46)
In Egypt in 2500 B.C., Pharaoh Khufu constructed a monumental tomb to attain divine status and transport his spirit to the afterlife. It took 70,000 workers 20 years to build the ancient world's tallest structure.
Roman Aqueduct (03:17)
In 52 A.D., Rome faced a water shortage. Emperor Claudius pioneered the use of concrete to construct a canal system transporting water 46 miles. Man-made "stones" could be molded in any form and remain the most popular building material today.
Empire State Building (02:27)
Humans need to build the seemingly impossible. In 1931, New York builders constructed a 1,454 foot concrete skyscraper reinforced by a steel framework in 14 months.
Engineering Venice (01:59)
The floating city was built by Romans fleeing barbarian attack. They sunk wooden stilts into the mud and used concrete platforms to support buildings. Without natural resources, Venetians became merchants and bankers, protected by military ships.
Hoover Dam (03:52)
In 1931, Americans built the world's largest concrete structure on the Colorado River. Engineers ran cold water in steel pipes throughout the structure to help cure the concrete. The project symbolized U.S. ingenuity and determination to weather the Great Depression.
Las Vegas (01:47)
The Hoover Dam provided water and electricity to construct a new city in the desert. The Great Pyramid was re-imagined in steel and glass; the Luxor Hotel has the brightest light on Earth.
Burj Khalifa (02:38)
In 2010, Dubai's 2,716 foot skyscraper became the tallest building on earth. New building techniques enabled crews to dig 164 foot deep foundations to support the tower. Humans have built monuments for spiritual, political and financial reasons. (Credits)
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