A SOPHISTICATED TOWN (Illustration) Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Famous Historical Events Geography Social Studies STEM World History Disasters

In this image we see the "Street of the Tombs," as it appeared  sometime between circa 1890 and circa 1900. This illustration helps us to understand how the people of Pompeii laid-out their roads. Picture from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J Foreign Section. Online via the Library of Congress. Click on the image for a better view.


Surprisingly sophisticated, Pompeii was laid out in a grid. It had a three-stream running water system. One stream went to public fountains, another to public baths and a third traveled to homes of wealthy residents. People in Pompeii even had a version of indoor plumbing, but they did not have a good sewer system.

Flowing through lead pipes from a central water tower (called the Castellum Aquae), the water delivery system was ingenious for its day. (Follow the link to see how Pompeii’s engineers directed three different water streams from the Castellum Aquae.)

When water supplies were low, the town stopped the flow of water streams in order of priority. First the wealthy homes were without water, then the public baths. Public fountains were shut down last.

People in ancient times used mill wheels to grind flour, and they stored food in large terra-cotta jars. To maintain the food at constant temperatures, all but the top of a jar was buried in the ground.

Pompeii had outdoor food bars where its citizens could enjoy a snack and a cool drink. Shops were clearly marked with carved signs: A goat for the dairy, grapes for the winery, bread for the bakery. In the baker’s house one could find a fresco of a man selling bread.

The fertile, volcanic slopes of Vesuvius (the link takes you to NASA’s satellite view) provided an ideal climate for grapes and olive groves. (Follow the link to view an olive press uncovered in Pompeii.)

Since the mountain had last erupted long before anyone alive at the time had been born, people must have thought living near the most recognizable landmark looming over the Bay of Naples was completely safe.

They were wrong.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Dec 12, 2016

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"A SOPHISTICATED TOWN" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2002. Dec 15, 2019.
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