Asphalt concrete cores (ACC) have been used as seepage-control elements of embankment dams for a relatively short time, about 60 years. Relatively not many embankment dams with ACC have been constructed. However, at present, this type of dams is used more often. For assessment of advantages and disadvantages of dams with ACC we analyzed the history of their application. Materials and methods. For compiling a historical survey, there were used very old publications and modern sources. Results. The analysis shows that in the XX century, the dams with ACC were primarily constructed in European countries. In 1960-s in Germany, a reliable methodology of constructing diaphragms of compacted asphalt concrete permitted using this type of seepage-control element to construct high dams. In the XXI century, the dams with ACC became widely spread in all the continents. At present, the maximum height of dams with ACC reached 167 m. Another methodology of constructing diaphragms was developed and successfully applied in Russia, which was pored asphalt. This methodology is well adapted for use in severe climatic conditions of our country. The dams with ACC, their disadvantages, and the methods of their overcoming are analyzed. Conclusion. Dams with ACC are a very perspective type of embankment dams for use in severe climatic conditions; they are competitive with more spread types. Further refinement of structural designs of dams with ACC will be related to the enhancement of their safety.