For centuries Pompeii has provided the
opportunity to study a single moment in 1st Century Roman Campania.
In recent decades many scholars have chosen to examine the development
of the city and began to excavate the strata below the AD 79 level.
Others, such as Sumiyo Tsujimura, who has surveyed the ruts and
commented on a system of traffic, believe that synchronic investigation
has not been exhausted.
This study continues and expands upon that theme and its evidence.
The examination of street intersections in Regio VI has identified
diagnostic patterns of wear on curbstones and distinct rutting which
demonstrate the direction of traffic. Markings on curbstones - caused
by the repeated abrasion of cart wheels in the same location - indicates
a presence and volume of wheeled traffic, locates that presence
along the right curb, and shows the direction which traffic turned
at intersections. Aggregation of the surveys at intersections, combined
with the linking evidence of ruts along the length of a street,
creates a synchronic 'road map' of traffic in the northwest region
Diachronic elements were not ignored, however, in this research.
Evidence for the evolution of the current street system has been
observed in its construction. Some paving events are distinguishable
in chronology by being discontinuous and abutting other paving events.
On some sections, the rutting adjusts to avoid datable (relatively)
objects such as fountains or is absent due to a blockage.