One day, people invented the wheel. It was about 6000 years ago. At that time, the wheel was not made to move. Then, much later, the wheel was put into operation, imposing itself as an essential component of the means of transport. Suddenly, at some point, the boys had to start working on the invention of the road. If the first so-called modern roads were born under the impetus of the Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, humans did not expect it to chart paths to facilitate travel. . Some of these clues still exist today. And no, we’re not talking about the Paris ring road.
1. The road to Giza (Egypt)
So yes, the oldest road in the world, which is about 4500 years old, still exists, but it is almost impossible to get there by car, bike or even electric scooter. Located north of the Fayoum Desert in Egypt, it was used to transport basalt that was used to build mortuary temples, more or less at the same time as the construction of the famous pyramids. It measures about 11 kilometers by 2 meters wide.
2. Nakasendo Road (Japan)
Built to connect Kyoto and Tokyo in the 17th century, this nearly 500 km road is still largely passable. And for good reason, some of its parts were restored. A real national monument!
3. The Silk Road
Crossing Asia to connect the center of the Roman Empire with China, this famous road was first used around 200 BC. A great trade route, which still exists today, in a more modern way, with asphalt and everything you need to drive safely behind the wheel of your hybrid car.
4. The Ridgeway (United Kingdom)
Britain’s oldest road was first mentioned in writings in the early 10th century. It was formerly used by traders who wanted to travel to Dorset. Nowadays, it is impossible to drive there, but it is highly recommended to go there. If only to admire the remnants of the Bronze Age and Iron Age that mark it.
5. Yuen Tsuen Road (China)
If today this road is perfect for walking, then, a long time ago, it was the only road that connected Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan to the New Territories of Hong Kong. .
6. The Great North Road (Australia)
Built by convicts to connect Sydney with the Hunter Valley between 1825 and 1836, this 260 km long road is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considered a true marvel of engineering, it only tells a whole part of the history of Australia and is full of very fascinating places.
7. The Old North Trail (USA)
Between Canada and Mexico, you can still visit this road made by the Blackfeet, an Amerindian tribe very present in the Mountains. Finally, only fragments because if it is difficult to date it accurately, one thing is certain: it is very old. Note that the Amerindians took about four years to make the journey on foot.
8. The Khmer Road (Cambodia / Thailand)
A historic road, considered sacred, served to connect the different temples and facilitate access. Mostly inflated by vegetation, it is still quite passable today.
9. The Via Augusta (Spain)
Named in honor of Emperor Augustus, this road was, at 1500 km, the longest in the region. It originally started in the Pyrenees, on the Mediterranean coast, and joined the city now known as Cádiz, at the southern end. It was built between 8 and 2 BC.
10. The Way of the King
Taken by the Hebrew people to the Promised Land, this trade route left Egypt for Heliopolis, then crossed the Sinai Peninsula before passing through the Negev, the Arabah, and the Transjordan Highlands. It is dotted with historical sites such as Gadara, Geraa, Salt or the must-see Petra and Wadi Rum, two places well known to moviegoers for hosting, among other classics, the filming of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Lawrence of Arabia.