The Romans used tools that are familiar to us today. Nails, hammers, chisels, saws, trowels, folding rulers, dividers and plumb lines, were commonly used.
The Romans were highly skilled builders. In the second century BC, they developed concrete, using volcanic dust mixed with lime. They began using this in preference to traditional materials as it was cheap, would not catch fire, and opened new possibilities for building. It could be poured into and over timber frameworks, and enabled the Romans to build huge vaults and domes, aqueducts and bridges, amphitheatres and harbours. Rome itself was largely rebuilt in concrete, faced with brick, after the Great Fire in AD 64.
The Roman army placed great importance upon building, engineering and surveying. They constructed solid defences, and good roads to move troops and supplies. During peacetime they helped to plan and build towns, and the remains of many of these towns can still be seen. A typical Roman town included a wide variety of public buildings, as well as housing. The public baths had a hot room, a cold room, and a steam room to cleanse the skin. The forum was the central focus and meeting place of the town. The temple was a place of worship, and the amphitheatre was an open-air circular building similar to a sports stadium today, where fights and races were held.
Long straight nail length:15.3cm