The ancient Roman architects were very good. They could dig a straight tunnel through solid rock,
measure rivers with out any tape measure or machines and they learned how to make arches very strong
and stable.

With the arches they were able to build very large buildings. Some of these buildings are still standing part
ways. The Colosseum in Rome, also known as the Flativan Amphitheatre held 50,000 spectators and the
people and animals that would be fighting. The plumbing was so good that they would fill the bottom with
water and have pretend sea battles. The Porta Nigra was the first Roman building on German soil. It was
made of stone blocks with iron clasps sealed together with melted lead. It had a courtyard that the enemy
would be trapped in if they got past the first gate. The Porta Nigra was the city gate to Treveres which, for
a while, was the home of the Emperor Constantine. It has never been taken by an enemy. They had to find
other ways in. It is mostly still standing in Trier Germany.

The roads were built in 4 layers. They were very long and have lasted a very long time. They were shaped
like a V upside down so that the rain would drain and not eat the road. But, probably the two most
important things that arches were used for were aquaducts and bridges.

The aquaducts were very important because they brought water to city’s from far away. Without them the
cities could not have been lived in or even built. The aquaducts were made of rows of arches built above
the ground and going downhill covered with a roof. The roof was there for two reasons. 1. To keep the
water from evaporating. 2. To keep the enemies from poisoning the cities water.
They built them underground when they could but, they were very hard to take care of.

To build bridges they used a thing called a cofferdam to start the bridge in the water. A cofferdam is a boat
thing that sealed the water away from the area that they were building in. They could build the pier up to
above the water level and then move the cofferdam to the next spot. These bridges helped the Romans in
trading, travel and making the Roman Empire bigger. Some are still standing and used throughout Europe.

The public baths had very modern plumbing and heating. The towns had sewage systems that went under
the streets and kept people from getting sick.