Created on November 20, 2023
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Summum Dorsum The summum dorsum was the top layer of the road which was made up of large stone slabs sat on concrete. This made the road surface smooth for anyone travelling along them.
Nucleus The nucleus is the second layer of a Roman road which was a mixture of concrete and gravel or compacted sand.
Rudus The rudus was the third layer in the road and was approximately 20cm thick. This layer was made up of crushed pebbles and broken stones.
Statumen The statumen was the base layer of the road which was made up of big stones. All the other layers sat on top of this layer so it needed to be strong.
Pavimentum This was a layer of sand or concrete which made sure the ground was level before the road was built.
Before the Roman invasion, roads didn’t exist in Britain. When the Romans arrived, all they found were muddy dirt tracks that didn’t provide clear routes to places. This wasn’t suitable for the Romans who needed to get to places quickly so they set about building roads just as they had in Rome. Interestingly, the roads were straight and made up of several layers which made them durable to all weather conditions. Similarly, they were durable to all methods of transport including walking, marching, horseback and even wagons. In addition to this, the roads were built on a slant with ditches at either side for the rain water to drain away. This stopped the roads from getting muddy. During their time in Britain, the Romans built over 9,000 km of roads connecting many major towns and cities. The introduction of straight roads meant that the Roman army could march to places quicker as well as transport all of their equipment more easily. It also meant their journeys were smoother and that there were clear routes to different destinations.