What Was Limestone Used for in Ancient Times?

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that has been used for various purposes since ancient times. It is composed mainly of calcium carbonate and is formed from the accumulation of shells, coral, and other marine debris. In this article, we will take a closer look at what limestone was used for in ancient times.

Building Material

One of the most common uses of limestone in ancient times was as a building material. The Great Pyramid of Giza, which was built around 2560 BC, is made mostly of limestone blocks. The ancient Egyptians also used limestone to build temples, tombs, and other structures.

In Greece, limestone was used to build the Parthenon and other famous structures. The Romans also used limestone extensively in their buildings, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

Agricultural Fertilizer

Limestone was also used as an agricultural fertilizer in ancient times. Farmers would spread crushed limestone on their fields to help neutralize acidic soils and provide essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium.


Limestone was also used for medicinal purposes in ancient times. It was ground into a powder and mixed with water or oil to create a paste that could be applied to wounds or skin irritations.

Artistic Medium

Limestone was also commonly used as an artistic medium in ancient times. Sculptors would carve statues out of large blocks of limestone, such as the famous Sphinx in Egypt or the Winged Victory of Samothrace in Greece.

Mortar & Cement

Finally, limestone was also used as a key ingredient in mortar and cement during ancient times. Mortar is a mixture of sand, water, and cement that is used to hold bricks or stone together. Cement is made by heating powdered limestone with clay and then grinding it into a fine powder.


In conclusion, limestone was a versatile and valuable material in ancient times. It was used for everything from building structures to providing essential nutrients for crops.

Its durability and strength made it a popular choice for construction, while its medicinal properties and use as an artistic medium demonstrate its versatility. Today, limestone continues to be a valuable material for various industries, including construction, agriculture, and medicine.