Casper’s Concrete

When The Life of Brian was first released in 1979 it was hailed by most as Monty Python’s finest parody and denounced by a few as the most blasphemous film of all time. But, with its unforgettable songs and its infinitely quotable script it has gone on to become an enduring cult classic. One of the more memorable quotes was:

“Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system, and public health … what have the Romans ever done for us?


Well, they also invented concrete by mixing lime, water and ash from volcanoes. Concrete was as strong as stone, and it set hard even under water. Take a look at the video . . . then consider the post by Middlesborough detectorist Graham Fox (Ghost ).

He asked members of a couple of detecting forums to look at his piece of floor (maybe ) and queried what it meant to them. He suggested that it might be Roman. This was met with derision and one member, a white-capped administrator jokingly replied that it was a section of the M1 Motorway. Another said it was part of a manhole cover. I even advised him to chuck it in the hedge, and played along with the teasing.

Please don’t underestimate the Ghost. This piece of ‘crap’ has been examined by the eminent archeologist Prof Paul Brad and electronically scanned by experts at the world famous Leominster Institute. The conclusion is that Casper’s piece of ‘crap’ is possibly a fragment of wall plaster from a Roman villa which dates from Circa AD 300 to Circa 410. The primary material is mortar or plaster and was hand made. They would like to know its provenance.

Great find . . . and I’m sorry for initially extracting the urine. Am I forgiven, Casper? Instead of jumping to conclusions the other guys should be ashamed of themselves. :D 

Casper’s piece of Roman floor

Looks as though Casper may have been right all the time. Don’t underestimate this spook. I’ve changed my mind. What he has found is probably a bit of Roman concrete. SEE HERE


Last Word from Casper

The article (in John’s link) mentions the Pantheon, Colosseum and other known amazing structures of Ancient Rome … I’ve also got pieces of all these structures in my garden.  It was fraught with danger, especially the wait to see if I was going to be pulled from my flight or stopped as I re-entered the UK.

The book on how these were acquired would be frowned upon but an exciting read nevertheless. I’ve seen secret catacombs along the Appian way that came about during a bizarre encounter with a local who lived along it. On my forearm I’ve a tattoo of the Greek fish with the secret Ixoye text, and the local spotted it as I stopped to take a picture . . . We chatted and he took me to his own property which had its own entrance to a part of the catacombs unspoiled and unseen . My eyes have seen some amazing ‘shit’.

Getting back to my concrete, £500 and it’s yours 🙂


15 thoughts on “Casper’s Concrete”

  1. I had no idea that the Romans made concrete, John…Learn something new every day….

    But the part wherein he describes how he has samples from the Colosseum, et al, gave me a chuckle. The things that we collect amazes me at times.


  2. Interesting stuff John, the Romans were so clever and on one of my permissions there is several plots / areas of archaeological recognised remains of Roman concrete bases of smelting furnaces and just like Ray Swinnerton has quoted there is evidence of crushed sea shells in the concrete.

  3. May I add John, that the items from Italy that now sit in my garden were given as gifts from those in authority.
    £10 And the concrete is yours mate ha

  4. Those Romans were bloody lazy if you ask me. They couldn’t even bother to take a quick trip to our shores, and drop loads of coins everywhere. LOL….

    Modern plumbing, heating systems are rather impressive, so I don’t know why I’m surprised to learn that they invented concrete as well. And if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t it their descendants that invented the concrete boots? 🙂

  5. Nice one to both John, and “Casper”, I must admit to being a tad unsure about the man, and we have lived with an unwritten agreement to disagree. But, this is not about us, it is about a man with convictions, and this time he has been proven to be right, for which I congratulate the old tart. Well done Graham, I bet that gave a CRAP signal, but it brought with it another mystery for all who love discovering our history.
    Thank you both, you obstinate buggers..

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