Posted by John W on August 27, 1998 at 05:37:07:
In response to Lime-pits, written by Caroline on August 20, 1998 at 14:34:13
It was probably a pit used to slake lime for use in mortar for building, if you think of the quantity involved in a pit big enough to accomodate a cow!. If limestone ( CaCo3) is calcined, calcium oxide, a highly corrosive solid is left. When slaked with water, calcium hydrate (CaOH2O) which can be used mixed with sand as mortar, or as a limewash for walls, is produced. Much heat is also given off so a pit in the ground was a safe way to carry out a dangerous operation.
The unslaked lime was used as a general antiseptic--for rotting corpses, for example, and to remove hair from skins for tanning into leather..
- Thanks, John! Caroline 15:26:29 9/08/98 (0)
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