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Via Stabiana, one the cardo streets of Pompeii
Via Stabiana, one the cardo streets of Pompeii

The streets of Pompeii vary in width from 2.5 to 4.5 metres and are made from large slabs of lava from Vesuvius, while the pavements, which are usually around 30 centimetres high, were surfaced with a mixture of broken terracotta and fat lime cement, most of which has been worn away by the millions of visitors, One interesting feature is the so called pedestrian crossings, made from stone slabs of equal height to the pavement, placed across the street. These allowed pedestrians to cross the road without getting their feet wet or dirty as the streets were often filthy due to the lack of a proper sewer network. However, the slabs were placed in such a way that carts could still pass, as can be seen by the ruts left in the road by the cart wheels.
In keeping with the definitions given to the street layout of Greek cities, in Pompeii the term decumanus used to describe the main streets running from west to east and cardo for the streets generally running from north to south to connect up the various decumani.