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Fun Roofing Facts: From Ancient Roofs to Modern Roofing Choices

ancient roofs; Babylonia

When you think of ancient history, roofs aren’t the first thing that come to mind – but some of the most incredible roofs date back thousands of years. Here are three fascinating examples of ancient roofs, as well as insight into what’s most in demand in modern roofing today.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon evoke a romantic picture of lush greenery and colorful flowers cascading from the sky. The grandeur of their sight must have been awe-inspiring, which is why Herodotus would have considered them one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.”

Sounds spectacular, doesn’t it? Well, although some historians doubt the existence of these gardens, those who believe they did exist say they didn’t actual hang off anything. Instead, they were a “simulated mountain with rooftop gardens. They would have likely been multi-level terraces supported by baked brick columns. These columns would have been filled with dirt to allow large plantings and trees to root and grow.”

In other words, they were awe-inspiring examples of ancient roofs!

Stone Roof of the Cairn of Barnenez

This structure is believed to be one of the oldest man-made structures in the world (at least when including only those still standing!), about 2,000 years older than the Great Pyramids found in Egypt. describes this prehistoric monument in detail. Located on the Kernéléhen peninsula in northern Finistère, Brittany, France, this stone structure was carbon dated back to the first half of the 5th millennium BC, which was the early Neolithic period.

The volume of stone used in construction, measured in metric tons, is between 12,000 and 14,000. Tons, that is. Inside, objects found include pottery shards, polished stone axes and arrowheads, with drawings and carvings on the walls.

Ancient Roofs in Rome and Greece

ancient roofs in Rome

(Image from Library of Congress with no known restrictions)

Roofs in this era were initially crafted from baked clay, tiles constructed much like bricks would have been. In about 620 B.C., Byzes of Naxos introduced tiles made of marble, and these were used in temple construction, such as the Parthenon at Athens, Jupiter at Olympia and the Serapeium at Puteoli. What is so amazing about these marble tiles is that their dimensions were in “exact proportion” to the rest of the structures. And, according to, “The marble was white with a light ash colored shade with darker zones as well while sometimes ash colored grains were scattered all over the surface.”

Even more expensive roof tiles were created from bronze or gilt. You can find more information about these ancient roofs at And, Camden Roofing previously blogged about materials used by roofing contractors throughout history. This post includes multiple historic photos from the Library of Congress, along with numerous additional fun roofing facts.

Modern Roofing

Home and business owners alike have more choices in modern roofing materials now than ever before, including asphalt shingles, slate/synthetic slate and metal. There are shake roofs and rolled roofs, as well. New roofs are available along multiple price points, with plenty of environmentally-friendly options available. Quality roofs protect the entire structure, along with protecting everyone inside, providing the framework to keep you to keep warm and dry in the winter and cool in the summer.

Then there is the curb appeal! Interestingly enough, Owens Corning shares how the light, airy and very approachable color of Sand Dune is the color of the year for 2018. We love that color! Meanwhile, people choosing metal roofs – according to the Metal Roofing Alliance – are selecting intense colors. As an article by reveals, homeowners “aren’t shying away from vivid reds, bright whites, and deep blues. MRA also predicts that more homeowners will be drawn to bright titanium or stainless steel options, as well as the multi-tone hues of copper as it patinas over time.”

modern roofing: intense colors

(Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash)

If you haven’t considered a metal roof before, here are five advantages of them. And, if you’d like more guidance on how to choose the color of your roof, along with why that matters so much, here is a post we wrote to help you do just that.

Contact the Roofing Specialists in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina

Each building has unique roofing requirements and each person has his or her own preferences and tastes. So, let our roofing professionals guide you through the process of making the best choices for your needs, from materials to colors. You can contact the roofing specialists at Camden Roofing and Construction online or by calling 704-858-2141. We’re here to help!

(Opening image from the Library of Congress with no known restrictions)

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