roman road

This is a picture of the paving on a roman road. Not all roman roads were like this of course as local materials tended to be preferred and stone blocks such as these were not always available.

stone slabs on a roman road

These Basalt blocks are approximately a foot in diameter and extremely well laid together. They were durable too although continued use often led to parallel tram-lines being worn out by carts. Building the roman road was often left to the army as it conquered new areas and not surprisingly they preferred to use whatever materials were locally available.

Map of Roman Roads around RomeLaying slabs such as the ones shown was extremely time consuming and it was several centuries before the Appian way, the first roman road, was completely paved. The ancient road map on the left gives an idea of just how much roman road there was to be laid - and that's just around Rome! See a map of the roman road network throughout Italy (only major roads are shown).

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