PAVEMENT (OF. pavement, priment. Fr. parement, from Lat. parimentum. pavement, beaten floor, from pa vire, to heat, Gk. 7aierv, paiein, to beat, Skt. pH, thunderbolt). This term, in its broader sense, includes any firm, hard covering for areas subjected to the wear and tear of human feet, or of hoofs and wheels, designed to keep the feet or wheels from the ground or earth, and to present a more or less dry, durable, and smooth surface. Under this definition would be included the paved floors of cathedrals and other public buildings often of an ornamental character (see TILES), as well as the surfaces of courtyards, walks, streets, and highway., on which stones or other durable materials are placed. In the modern and more restricted sense. pavements are generally limited to the wearing surface of that portion of im proved streets lying between the curbs, thus ex eluding the -Hew:ilk..
The early history of pavements is involved in obscurity. Strabo says Babylon was paved 2000 years B.C., and Livy relates that about B.C. 170 Rome was paved from the ox market to the Temple of Venus. Before the Christian Era the Roman. had learned to construct solid and durable pavements. composed of several layers of stone, mortar, and cement, the upper surface being quite smooth. Portions of these early pavements are said to have been in use within comparatively recent times. 'Excavations at Pompeii reveal some of the old Roman streets just as they appeared when the city was destroyed A.D. 79. The stone blocks were large many-sided, with their vertical edges carefully fitted, the whole resting on a solid foundation, composed of several layers. The material used was lava stone. It is said that the streets of Cordova, in Spain. were both paved and lighted as early as A.D. 950. under the Caliph Abderrah man III., but most mediaeval cities were unpaved until about the twelfth century, and nearly all pavements from that time on until well into the nineteenth century were of rude construction, cobblestone being a common material.
Paris first had pavements, it is believed, about 11S4, when its population was estimated at 2200, 000. In 1698 the pavements of Paris were de scribed as being **of square stones of about eight or ten inches thick; that is, as deep in the ground as they are broad on top." Tillson says that the English Parliament ordered the London Strand paved in the fourteenth century, but adds: "It is said that the first regular pavements were laid in 1533, when the city had a population of 150.000. Holborn had some pavements in 1417. Square granite blocks were introduced by acts of Parliament for Westminster in 1701, and for London generally in 1760." In the United States, cobblestone pavements were laid as early as 1650, or thereabouts, in both Boston and New York.
During the second quarter of the nineteenth century the cities of both Europe and America began to look about for better pavements and to experiment with stone and wood blocks, and (in Europe) with asphalt. From 1850 to 1875 bricks were tried in America. During the period from 1S75 to 1900, and more particularly from IS90 to 1900, the theory and practice of street paving was put on a more satisfactory basis than ever before, and thousands of miles of new pavements were laid.
Asphalt was first used in Paris in 1838, but not on a large scale until 1S54. It was intro duced in London in 1S69. In both these cities the material was rock asphalt. What is believed to have been the first asphalt pavement in the United States was laid in Newark, N. J., in 1870, by E. J. de Smedt. In 1S71 some asphalt was laid in New York and a little later in Philadel phia. The material in each of these three cases was Trinidad asphalt. In 1S76-77 both rock and Trinidad asphalt were laid in Washington. The good results obtained in that city led to the rapid introduction of asphalt there and else where, but comparatively little rock asphalt has been laid in America.