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by Archaeology Newsroom

Ancient Waterproof Coatings in the Mining Laboratories in Lavrio

The ancient mines of Lavrio have a history of about five thousand years long. Wars have been won and major projects have been realized thanks to their silver production. The study of the technology applied in the mines of Lavrio shows a very advanced know-how that already existed long before the supposed Phoenician influence.

The article deals with the perfectly waterproof coating of tanks, channels and other structures pertaining to water, a rare and valuable element in the region. The ultra-red photographs of the waterproof layers showed differences in composition, while the analysis of selected samples proved that the Greeks were using a specific formula for making the waterproof coating; its basic components were pyrolusite, lithargite and sand, which, if heated, were vitrified, and, after being appropriately processed, they were applied on the surfaces to be waterproofed with a brush.