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Activity 1.1.1 History of Civil
Engineering and Architecture
Introduction
Can you name any of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Each was a feat of
civil engineering and architecture. What causes structures such as these to fill us
with awe even today? What is it that makes them seem more wondrous in our time
of modernization? These structures have paved the way for many new advances in
the design of the structures you see today.
In this activity you will learn about the history of civil engineering and architecture.
You will see differences between the two professions and learn of their beginnings.
Equipment

History of Civil Engineering and Architecture presentation
Procedure
In this activity you will investigate the history of civil engineering and architecture.
You will see differences between the two professions and learn of their beginnings.
1. Define civil engineering.
Construction of public buildings for example: bridges and dams
2. Define architecture.
Creating buildings designed for people to live in.
3. Describe the origination of the concept of architecture?
When Communities begun to form people started building habitable structures
architecture was born.
4. In ancient times how were building materials chosen?
They were chosen by climate and what was convenient to get.
5. Give two examples of vernacular architecture.
Igloo and Apache.
6. Name and describe the type of system used to create many early buildings.
Post and lentil construction – Horizontal beams placed on many vertical
posts.
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CEA – Unit 1 – Lesson 1.1 – Activity 1.1.1 – History Civil Engineering and Architecture– Page 1
7. What was the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids? Mexican pyramids?
Egyptian pyramids were tombs. Mexican pyramids were temples
8. What kind of construction method was used to build the Parthenon? Made a
simple sketch to illustrate.
Post and lentil construction
9. What problem in architecture led to this form of construction?
Not being able to add an entrance/exit without giving up support.
10. Explain how an arch is created.
All parts of the arch are supported by a keystone if it were to be removed it would
topple
11. How is the vault used in civil engineering?
A vault is a continuous arch which is used as a walkway or a tunnel
12. Give an example of an arch and dome system.
The Pantheon
13. Give an example of a modern material we have that was not available to the
ancients. How did this restrict construction in ancient times?
Glass. People in ancient times couldn’t mass produce glass so they wouldn’t be
able to make glass pyramids like in modern day France
14. What was the purpose of the Roman aqueducts?
The purpose of the Roman Aqueducts was to get fresh drinking water to the
people.
15. Compare ancient Greek roads to ancient Roman roads.
Greek roads were curvier than. Roman roads were very straight so that they
could transport their army.
16. Describe an ancient Roman bridge.
Most were made with stone and concrete
Project Lead The Way, Inc.
Copyright 2010
CEA – Unit 1 – Lesson 1.1 – Activity 1.1.1 – History Civil Engineering and Architecture– Page 2
17. How did building materials and methods change after the Romans?
Methods remained the same but eventually iron became cheap enough to use as
a viable material.
Conclusion
1. Give an example of a modern pyramid not shown in the presentation. How does
its function differ from that of the Egyptian pyramids? What do you think accounts
for this difference?
These pyramids focus on aesthetics. One example is the Transamerica Pyramid
2. Give an example of a modern structure that uses an arch and dome system.
The White House
3. What is the main purpose of modern roads? How is the cost of modern roadways
defrayed?
The purpose of modern roads is for transportation specifically by car.
Project Lead The Way, Inc.
Copyright 2010
CEA – Unit 1 – Lesson 1.1 – Activity 1.1.1 – History Civil Engineering and Architecture– Page 3