Ever wonder about the history of stone? Who was the first to use stone, when did it happen, what was it used for, where was it used? If so, keep on reading as we dive into the history of stone and uncover what we believe to be 5 milestones of stone throughout time.
Stone has evolved tremendously over the years. Nowadays, we are not solely reliant on building with big blocks of stone. Instead, stone veneer is one of the most popular building materials used within the construction industry. Known for its sense of permanence, versatility and prestige, stone continues to be a go-to product for many architects, builders, designers and homeowners. But before we dive into stone and how it’s used in the present day, let’s take a look at where it all began:
Stone Age (? – 3300 BCE)
It may be hard to believe, but the material most commonly used during the Stone Age was, you guessed it – stone! The people of the Stone Age primarily used stone for building and constructing. Stone was also used for additional resources like weaponry, religious art and structures such as the Stonehenge, and in other daily activities.
Ancient Egypt (3100 BCE – 332 BCE)
Many of the Egyptian ruins from centuries ago that are still admired today, were built with stone. The Ancient Egyptians used both limestone and sandstone as their primary building materials. The Egyptians valued stone so much, they chose stone to build their most important structures like the Pyramids, structures dedicated to their gods and ensuring the safe passage into the afterlife of their pharaohs. During this era is where we begin to see certain types of stone being elevated to a prestigious status. Some stones were more preferred that they would be quarried and transported a great distance to build magnificent buildings, which seem impossible to replicate today.
Ancient Rome (753 BCE – 476 CE)
Experimentation with stone started becoming popular during the Ancient Roman civilization. A world-renowned example of how the Romans incorporated stone with innovative architecture is the Colosseum. The Colosseum is one of the first applications of marble and travertine limestone. The Romans were the first to use stone as purely decorative and as a status symbol. The Roman era brought stone from being simply a raw construction material to a beautifying element!
Victorian Era (1837 – 1901)
Stone was a very popular material during the Victorian Era. It was a period of expression, unique fashion, and quirky colors, and stone was used to distinguish and set houses apart from one another. The Victorian Era used stone as both a building material, and as a decorative piece. Interestingly, during this time, given its strength and simplicity to make in large quantities, brick became a very popular building product during this age.
Alas, we meet again in present day! It was nice taking a trip through the ages to see how stone was used throughout time. It’s safe to say that stone was a crucial material during each age, and that it has drastically changed overtime as each era learned from one another.
In the present day, our use of stone stems the Victorian Era. Stone has evolved from being a full bed to a thin veneer, and is mainly used for beautification and uniqueness. These days, stone veneer is used in many applications like residential homes, commercial buildings, multi-family estates and outdoor living projects. Whether it’s on the exterior, or interior accents like a fireplace, feature wall, or even a backsplash, stone continues to be a popular product that holds and/or increases property value. Over the past 50 years stone veneer has continued to develop and gain traction. It is now used globally and often the preferred choice because of its versatility and availability in many styles, shapes, and colors. With developing technology, stone veneer can be easily sourced naturally from a quarry and even manufactured within a factory. New possibilities with ease of installation are emerging as stone becomes more and more lightweight, and developed into products targeted for the do-it-yourselfers - like modular stone panels and stone siding that installs with screws/nails.
Stone has come a long way since the cavemen days. As one of North America’s largest distributors of stone veneer, we feel fortunate for the many millennia of evolution that stone has gone through to be where it is today! We’re excited to see how stone will develop over the next year, decade, and millennia!