I've been lucky enough to have seen a few of the world's great sites and I am consistently amazed by how much ancient builders were able to accomplish back in the day. They gave us the pyramids of Giza, the Pantheon, and Notre Dame.
We gave the world -- the strip mall.
News junkies will know that archaeologists in Greece's second-largest city recently unearthed a stretch of Roman road built nearly 2,000 years ago and showed it off to the world on Monday.
A couple of things stand out about this road that perhaps could be applied to our current standards of design, construction, and aesthetics. It is built entirely of marble slab (just try to get that past the city council these days), and aside from the ruts of ancient carts, archaeologists maintain that -- with a little work -- it could be pressed into service today.
Of course it won't be, but portions of the road (and an even earlier Grecian one found directly beneath it) will be restored and made available for inspection by history lovers and the Greek people.
A couple of charming elements to the discovery: excavators said several of the marble slabs used in the roadway had been etched by children for use in local games (clearly ancient parents were less concerned about their kids "playing near the road" than we are), and that ancient builders had cared enough about their work to line the route with columns of marble. Their bases were found nearby.
Now that's style. We could learn something from that.