Sunday, February 6, 2011


Journey to Italy

This week I want to share yet another personal trip that I took a few years ago at the same time of my Grecian trip.  The details I want to explain this week are from an engineering point of view.  So here are a few examples that I saw of how form met function and vice versa.

The Coliseum
The exposed innards of the roman coliseum display a great deal of the roman engineering capabilities.  The intertwined systems of pulleys, elevators, trap doors, and the many passageways show what a great feat this structure was and still is.  The engineering aspect behind this monument is what helped make the shows so spectacular and historical.  And let us not forget the capabilities of flooding this structure which speaks for itself.

Streets of Pompeii
The excavated ruins of Pompeii were incredible, especially with the seaside view of Mt. Vesuvius.  I like to make sure not to miss the small details of the past however such as the murals or the simple engineered streets of Pompeii.   Pictured here is one of the many “cross walks” of Pompeii.  What’s special here is how this is one of the oldest cities with an actual sidewalk and the street being lower than the walkways.  This way any waste and water drainage flows through the street and not where people walk.  Also the cross walks were made just so that carts could still travel through the streets unhindered.  The obvious sign of this traffic can be seen in the worn marks in the street.

Roman Forum
The forum in Rome is a very interesting site.  More in ruin than many of the monuments still intact from ancient Rome, this area is very large and open.  The engineering point on this is the layout of the forum.  Still today it is easy to traverse through the area and point out where the shops, meeting areas, and temples were located.  And structuring how this layout would function wasn’t easy because the forum isn’t a totally flat area.  As you can tell from my photo a few sides of the forum were traversing up sloping hills.  This would be akin to creating a strip mall on a hill without being able to level the ground too much.

Photos Credit (in order):
The Coliseum (myself), Roman Forum (myself),
Streets of Pompeii (

1 comment:

  1. Interesting point of view, and nice connecting it with your travels...still needs a connection with the readings (quoting roth and ching is always a good idea). Needs a title and concept that links to the readings.