guerrillas occupied the site, followed by the Vietnamese army. When an uneasy peace was restored in 1986, the Archaeological Survey of India took up the project, replacing much of the French work with more modern and less intrusive techniques. At the invitation of the Cambodian government, the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor began a four-year preservation and restoration project in November 1994, initially focused on the Bayon temple in Angkor Thom but extending to the outer buildings of Angkor Wat. Because of delays caused by the July 1997 conflicts in Cambodia, the program was extended into 1999.

Further reading

Fujioka, Michio Tsuenari Kazumori, and Chikao Mori. 1972. Angkor Wat. Tokyo: Kodansha International.

Mannikka, Eleanor, 1996. Angkor Wat: Time, Space, and Kingship. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Narasimhaiah, B. 1994. Angkor Wat, India’s Contribution in Conservation, 1986–1993. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India.

Appian Way


The Appian Way (Via Appia), the oldest and perhaps most famous Roman road, was built by the Censor Appius Claudius Caecus in 312 b.c. Enlarging a track between Rome and the Alban Hills and forming the main route to Greece and the eastern colonies, this so-called queen of roads (regina viarumeters) ran south from the Porta Capena in Rome’s Servian Wall to Capua. It passed through the Appii Forum to the coastal town of Anxur (now Terracina), 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Rome, to which point it was almost straight, despite crossing the steep Alban Hills and the swampy Pontine Marshes. In 190 b.c. it was extended to Brundisium (modern Brindisi) on the Adriatic coast—more than 350 miles (560 kilometers) from the capital and eighteen days’ march for a legion. Parts of it—now called the Via Appia Antica—remain in use after more than 2,000 years.

The medieval proverb “A thousand roads lead man forever toward Rome” was popularized in William Black’s Strange Adventures of a Phaeton (1872) as “All roads lead to Rome.” That was probably once true: the Romans built about 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) of paved roads throughout their empire, mainly to expedite movements of the legions. Inevitably, the system was put to wider use and eventually served all kinds of travelers: dignitaries, politicians, commercial traffic of all kinds, and even an official postal service.

Roman engineers efficiently developed road-building techniques to create enduring structures. Usually (but not always), roads were laid upon a carefully constructed embankment (agger) to provide a foundation—rubble laid in such a way as to provide proper drainage—for the base. The dimensions of the agger varied according to the importance of the road. Sometimes it may have been just a small ridge, but on major routes it could be up to 5 feet high and 50 wide (1.5 by 15 meters). For very minor roads no embankment was built, but two rows of curbstones defined the carriageway; the excavation between them was layered with stones and graded material, the topmost sometimes forming the pavement. Overall, the depth of a Roman road from the surface to the bottom of the base was up to 5 feet. It seems that road width varied according to function, importance, and topography. The widest (decumanus maximus) was 40 feet (12.2 meters) wide, while a minor road might be only 8 feet (2.4 meters). Rural thoroughfares were generally 20 feet (6 meters), but all roads became narrower over difficult terrain: some mountain passes, at less than 10 feet, were too narrow (and often too steep) for carts.

Although stone was sometimes transported from a few miles away, local material was normally used. Of course, that practice gave rise to differences in construction along the length of a road, as is evident in the Via Appia. At one place a 3-foot-thick (1-meter) bottom layer of earth and gravel from the neighboring mountains was consolidated between the curbs and covered by a thinner layer of gravel and crushed limestone, also contained by parallel rows of closely placed large stones. Elsewhere, a base layer of sand was covered with another of crushed limestone into which slabs of lava up to 15 inches (50 centimeters) thick were fixed. Stone surfaces were mandatory for urban streets after 174 b.c., but other