The 15th century architect and planner Leon Battista Alberti implies in his writings that dead-end streets may have been used intentionally in antiquity for defense purposes.
He writes: "The Ancients in All Towns were for having some intricate Ways and turn again Streets [i.e.dead-ends or loops], without any Passage through them, that if an Enemy comes into them, he may be at a Loss, and be in Confusion and Suspense; or if he pushes on daringly, may be easily destroyed".
The earliest example was unearthed in the El-Lahun workers' village in Egypt, which was built circa 1885 BC.
The village is laid out with straight streets that intersect at right angles; akin to a grid, but irregular.
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