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Lake Moeris Quarry Road

Faiyum District, Egypt
 Built sometime between 26th and 22nd Centuries B.C.

Claim to Fame: The Lake Moeris Quarry Road is recognized as the oldest surviving paved road in the world. Dating from the Old Kingdom period in Egypt, it transported basalt blocks from the quarry to a quay on the shores of ancient Lake Moeris.

Lake Moeris Quarry Road

The Lake Moeris Quarry Road, in the Faiyum District of Egypt, is the oldest road in the world of which a considerable part of its original pavement is still preserved. This road was used to help transport the heavy blocks of basalt from the quarry 43 miles southwest of Cairo to the royal sarcophagi and pavements for the mortuary temples at Giza just outside Cairo. The road covered the 7.5 miles from the quarry to Lake Moeris which, at that time, was 66 ft above sea level. When the Nile flooded and its waters reached a gap in the hills separating the Lake from the Nile, the Egyptians were able to float the blocks down to Cairo.

The road averaged a width of six and a half feet and was created with slabs of sandstone and limestone. The builders even included some logs of petrified wood. Since the pavement stones bore no deep grooves or other marks, geologists have speculated that logs were laid over the stones as a sled was drawn toward the lake. The stones prevented the sled from sinking into the desert sand.