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Pompeii - The Streets
cwo3ward @ 11/ 25/ 2009

When walking around in Pompeii, you notice that the streets have big stones in the middle of them. I wondered why they were there. I finally found out that the streets were flooded occasionally to keep them clean. The water could wash away animal waste and anything else that could be a hazard to the general population. By putting the stones in the street, people could step across and avoid the water and any mud.  You can see also that there are pedestrian sidewalks and the stones allow people to cross the streets without having to step down into the street and then back up.  Pretty smart!

 

Streets that had only one stone were one-way streets and must have been marked with the direction somehow.  Two stones meant that carts and chariots could go in either direction. Streets with three stones were wide open to traffic. It was interesting to see the various streets and how they intersected. The pictures I took clearly show how the wheeled carts and chariots passed over the stones and left deep grooves in the rocks from wear. You can imagine how high the carts needed to be to clear the stones as they moved around Pompeii. 

 

The steep road at the entrance to the city walls didn't show any wear from wheeled vehicles.  It is thought that because the street was so steep, carts didn't travel up or down it.  Instead, they would enter the city through another gate.  I have a picture of this road and there are no visible wear marks from cart wheels,  See the pictures below!

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
The streets are well worn in many places and so well preserved. Pompeii is like a time machine that takes you back thousands of years. You can almost imagine the people riding their carts and wagons filled with various items.
Italy, Pompeii, Pompeiian Streets
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Pompeii  Streets  
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