Roman aqueducts


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Roman aqueducts

  1. 1. Roman aqueducts aqueduct aqua (water) ductus (channel)
  2. 2. Aqueducts The purpose of this project is to provide some information about Roman aqueducts. But first of all, what is an aqueduct? An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. The main purpose of an aqueduct is to transport water to a city so that it can be used from the local population
  3. 3. Aqueducts before the Romans Before the Romans, many other people had used aqueducts, e.g. the Egyptians, the Indians, the Assyrians, the Aztecs, the Persians and the Greeks. These aqueducts however, were very simple constructions and for this reason, they cannot be compared with the Roman aqueducts.
  4. 4. Tunnel of Eupalinos or Eupalinian aqueduct, Samos, sixth century BC
  5. 5. Aqueduct of Petra
  6. 6. Aqueduct of Methur, India (1966)
  7. 7. Aqueducts in Rome 1. Acqua Appia 2. Anio vetus 3. Marcia 4. Tepula 5. Iulia 6. Virgo 7. Alsietina 8. Claudia 9. Anio Novus 10. Arcus Neroniani 11. Traiana 13. Rivus Herculaneus 14. Marcia Antoniniana
  8. 8. Aqua Appia  The first Roman aqueduct was Aqua Appia, built in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus.  The aqueduct flowed for 14,6 km into the city of Rome through the Porta Maggiore and emptied into the Forum Boarium.  Nearly all of its length was underground for two main reasons: 1) it was necessary due to the relative height of its source and destination 2) it should be protected from the Samnites, who were at war with Rome at that time.  It dropped only 10 m over its entire height, which made it a great achievement for that time.
  9. 9. Aqua Appia
  10. 10. Roman aqueducts in Hispania
  11. 11. Segovia  1.The aqueduct of Segovia is definitely one of the best Roman aqueducts in Spain. It was built in Vacceos, a densly populated area before the Roman occupation.  The date of its construction is unknown because the aqueduct lacks a legible description but researchers believe that it was built between the second half of the 1st century A.D. and the early years of the 2nd century, which means during the reign of Vespasian or Nerva.  Its purpose was to transport water from a river called Fuente Fria to the city of Sergovia, which is a 32 km distance. The water gathered at a tank known as El Caseron at first. Then, it was led to a second towel through a channel. There it was naturally decanted and sand settled out before the water continued its route. After that, the water flowed on a 1% grade until it reached a rocky outcropping. Finally, it made an abrupt turn and headed toward Plaza Azoguejo.
  12. 12. Aqueduct of Segovia (Segontia)
  13. 13. Segovia  The aqueduct was build of unmortared, brick-like granite blocks. During the Roman period the 3 tallest arches displayed a sign in bronze letters which indicated the name of the builder and the date of its construction.  Only two nitches are still visible today. The total number of arches that the aqueduct has is 75 single arches and 44 double arches. The first section of the aqueduct contains 36 arches, organized in two levels which are decorated simply.  The pillars of the upper level are narrower and shorter than those of the lower level. However, their total width (5,1m) is bigger than the width of those on the lower level (4.5m). Moreover, the pillars gradually increase in circumference size. The lower pillars have a cross section measuring 1.8-2.5m while the upper pillars have a cross section measuring 2.4- 3m.  The whole structure is supported by moulds that hold the frame and on top of the structure water travelled through a channel. The aqueduct reaches the height of 28.5 m.
  14. 14. Aqueduct of Segovia
  15. 15. Segovia  In 1072 a part it was destroyed by the Moors but in the 15th century, it was reconstructed by the king Ferdinand.  In the 16th century the central niches were placed on the structure.  Nowadays, this aqueduct is Segovia's most famous landmark preserved in a relatively good condition.  In 2006, it was listed in the World Monuments Watch because of differential decay of stone blocks, water leakage from the upper viaduct and pollution.
  16. 16. Aqueduct of Segovia
  17. 17. Aqueduct of Segovia
  18. 18. Aqueduct of Mérida, Emerita Augusta  The Acueducto de los Milagros is a ruined Roman aqueduct in Mérida, Spain, formerly the Roman colony of Emerita Augusta  Only a relatively small stretch of the aqueduct still stands, consisting of 38 arched pillars standing 25 metres high along a course of some 830 metres . It is constructed from opus mixtum utilising a double arcade arrangement. The structure originally brought water to the city from a reservoir called the Lago de Proserpina, fed by a stream called Las Pardillas, around 5 km to the north-west of Mérida.  It is thought to have been constructed during the 1st century AD, with a second phase of building (or renovations) around 300 AD.  The aqueduct is preserved as part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  19. 19. Aqueduct of Mérida
  20. 20. Aqueduct of Mérida
  21. 21. Aqueduct of Mérida
  22. 22. Aqueduct of Tarragona, (Tarraco)  The Aqueducte de les Ferreres (also known as Pont del Diable in Catalan, English: Devil's Bridge) is a Roman aqueduct in Catalonia, Spain built to supply water to the ancient city of Tarraco. The aqueduct is located 4 kilometers north of Tarragona, in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. The aqueduct is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco, which was added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2000.
  23. 23. Aqueduct of Tarragona  The aqueduct took water from the Francolí river, 15 kilometers north of Tarragona. It probably dates from the time of Augustus. The aqueduct has a maximum height of 27 m and a length of 249 m, including the ends where the specus (water channel) runs atop a wall. It is composed of two levels of arches: the upper section has 25 arches, and the lower one has 11. All arches have the same diameter of 20 Roman feet (5.9m) with a variation of 15 cm. The distance between centres of the pillars is 26 Roman feet (7.95m).
  24. 24. Aqueduct of Tarragona
  25. 25. Aqueduct of Tarragona
  26. 26. Aqueduct of Tarragona
  27. 27. Aqueduct of Tarragona
  28. 28. Aqueducts in Galia Pont du Gard
  29. 29. Pont du Gard  1.The Pont Du Gard is an aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gard river in southern France.  It is part of a 50 km long aqueduct that was built in the first century A.D. near the city of Nimes, which had a population of 50.000.  The aqueduct carried water from its source at Ucetia to Nimes, where it was used at fountains and baths. It is estimated that about 27 hours were needed to carry the water and that 200.000.000 litres were carried each day.  Some historians believe that Agrippa, Augustus' son in law ordered the construction in 19 A.D. Others believe that it was constructed between 40 and 60 during Claudius' reign.  It is estimated that 15 years of hard work was needed and that more than 1000 workers took part in the construction. The estimated cost is more than 30.000.000 sestertii!
  30. 30. Pont du Gard  2.The Pont Du Gard was build at a period that Roman aqueduct technology was not fully developed. Its design's technique of stacking arches on top of each other is expensive as it requires a lot of stone. The architect is unknown.  The rout was planned by a surveyor using chorobates for levelling, gnoma for sighting and a set of measuring poles ten feet long. The architect would have recorded figures and perhaps drawn plans on wax tablets, later to be written up on scrolls. The builders may have used templates to guide them with tasks that required a high degree of precision, such as carving the standardised blocks from which the water conduit was constructed. They also used cranes and block and tackle pulleys to lift the stones. For ordinary blocks, sheers operated by a windlass were used. For large blocks a massive treadmill would have been used. A scaffold was erected to support the bridge as it was being built. Large blocks were left protruding from the bridge to support the frames and scaffolds used during construction.
  31. 31. Pont du Gard
  32. 32. Pont du Gard  The interior of the water conduit was as smooth as possible so that the water flow would not be obstructed.  The aqueduct was build in three levels, each one with different number of arches. Each level of arches was built independently in order to provide flexibility against subsidence. The water conduit was carried at the top of the third level. The second and the third levels of the bridge were curved in the upstreem directions so that they could strengthen the aqueduct against the flow of water.  The Pont Du Gard was constructed without the use of mortar or clamps. It contained about 50400 tones of stone that were carefully cut to fit perfectly together by friction alone. Thus there was no need for mortar.  The floor was constructed of concrete and the walls of the conduit of dressed masonry. Both were covered with a stucco incorporating minute shards of pottery and tile. It was painted with olive oil and covered with maltha, a mixture of slaked lime, pork grease and the viscous juice of unripe figs. Due to this material the surface was smooth and durable.
  33. 33. Pont du Gard
  34. 34. Pont du Gard  4.Although the distance between Ucetia and Nimes is only 20 km, the Romans had to take a winding rout because of the vegetation in the nearby hills. The Fontaine d'Eure which is 76 m above the sea lever is only 17 m higher than the delivery tank in Nimes and this provided a sufficient gradient to sustain a steady flow of water. Generally,the average gradient is 1 in 3000.  Like most Roman aqueducts, a part of it was built underground. It was constructed by building a trench in which a stone channel was built and enclosed by an arched roof of stone slabs. Later,it was covered with earth. Other sections were tunneled through solid rock. The rest of the sections were carried on the surface either on walls or arched bridges.
  35. 35. Pont du Gard
  36. 36. Pont du Gard  The maintainence of the aqueduct was not an easy task. First of all, vegetation penetrated the stone lid and obstracted the flow of the water.  Dangling roots introduced bacteria that decomposed producing concretions.  Carbonates also posed a problem as they precipitated out of the water.  During the 4th century the aqueduct's maintenance was neglected due to the barbarian invasions in the area. Soon it became clogged with debris, encrustations and plants roots, which reduced the flow of water. However, it is believed that it was still in use until the 9th century.
  37. 37. Pont du Gard  The Pont du Gard is well preserved although some of its stones were removed to be used elsewere. In 1620,it was damaged by the Duke of Rohan when he used the bridge to transport his artilery.  In 1702 an effort was made to renovate the aqueduct and in 1743-1747 a new bridge was built near the arches so that the road trafic would cross on this purpose-built bridge.  Napoleon also admired the aqueduct so he replaced the eroded stone and he infilled some of the piers with concrete to improve stability.  Nowadays, it is one of France's most famous tourist attractions. It has also been added to UNESCO's list of world heritage sites.
  38. 38. Gier  The aqueduct of Gier is one of the longest Roman aqueducts. It was built in eastern France, near Lugdunum i. e. the modern day Lyon. It is believed that it was constracted during Hadrian's reign in the early 2nd century or in the late 1st century.  This aqueduct drew water from the source of Gier and carried it to the city of Lugdunum which was located 42 km south west of the source.  Following a sinuous path, the aqueduct had a length of 85 km. Its route has been retracted in detail due to the numerous remains. Leaving the uplands of the pepartment of the Loire, the aqueduct huged the surface relief and crossed the department of the Rhone. In the end, its route ended at Lugdunum.
  39. 39. Aqueduct of the Gier river
  40. 40. Gier  In order to build this aqueduct, the Romans had to use a variety of techniques. To begin with,4 inverted siphon tunnels crossed the deep and wide river valleys on pipe bridges raised on high arches. In these, water filled a sunken tank tower called castellum on the brim of a slop. The tank allowed a transition between open channel flow and a lead pipeline. Pressurized water was carried from the castellum in a set of airtight lead pipes laid side by side with soldered joints.  There were 73 km of covered ditches which were laid with a concrete culvert 1,5 m wide and 3 m high, which was sunk 4 m beneath the land surface. Furthermore, the aqueduct passed through 11 tunnels. There were 30 streches in the open air and 10 streches were raised on walls and arches which are considered to be the most spectacular remains of the aqueduct. Finally, the aqueduct takes a slope of 0,1%.
  41. 41. Aqueduct of the Gier river
  42. 42. Aqueduct of the Gier river
  43. 43. Hadrian’s aqueduct in Athens  During the reign of Hadrian, many public works were constructed in Greece. One of the most important was the aqueduct of Athens.  Its construction started in 125 A.D. but it took 15 years to be completed during Antoninus' reign.  The purpose of the aqueduct was to serve a new quarter of the city. It transected the present-day municipalities of Acharnes, Metamorphosis, Maroussi, N. Ionia, N. Psychico, N. Philadelphia and Ambelokipi.
  44. 44. Hadrian’s aqueduct in Athens
  45. 45. Hadrian’s aqueduct in Athens  The aqueduct collected water not only from the initial source, but also picked up additional quantities from other sources along the way. For this reason, it had branches of the water-carrier, supplementary tunnels or smaller aqueducts.  The aqueduct began at the foot of mount Parnes. Then, it collected more water form Kifissia and transported it to a stone reservoir on the hill of Lycabettus. It is believed that this reservoir had a capacity of 500 cubic metres of water. The Romans managed to maintain constant flow and pressure in their aqueducts by manufacturing cisterns near the sources. The transportation of water was achieved by using vaulted departments with a 1:1000 gradient.  The aqueduct consisted of channels, tunnels and water bridges. The main part was an underground tunnel which a length of 25 km. These underground tunnel sections were constructed in rectangular shaped venues with an arched cover, 0.70m width and 1.60m height. At 35m intervals, square or circular cross-section shafts were created in order to create access points for cleaning ventilation.
  46. 46. Hadrian’s aqueduct as it survives nowadays. Model of a water bridge of Hadrian’s aqueduct (below)
  47. 47. Hadrian’s aqueduct in Athens  It has been the main source of water for the city of Athens, till the city’s occupation by the Ottomans.  During the Greek revolution against the Ottomans a part of the aqueduct was destroyed.  After the revolution, in 1840, the aqueduct was cleaned and repaired. Later, in 1870, a new reservoir was built that increased the capacity of the old one to 2.200 cubic meters.  The aqueduct was still in use until 1940. During the 20th century, the population of Athens increased at an unprecedented rate, especially after 1922. As a result, a new source of water was needed and for this reason, the dam of Marathon was built. Hadrian’s aqueduct is no longer in use.
  48. 48. In the photo you can see the column bases of Hadrian’s reservoir
  49. 49. Conclusion  The aqueducts are undoubtedly a field were the Romans have made the biggest contribution. The fact that these aqueducts were still used throughout the medieval times and the fact that they couldn’t even be maintained after the decline of the Roman empire is enough to prove it. For this reason, we should all be proud of our Roman ancestors!
  50. 50. References:  Aqueducts     Images: wikimedia commons
  51. 51. Thank you for your attention  Orestis, Πειραματικό Λύκειο Αγίων Αναργύρων, Atenas  Raquel Montes, IES de Poio  Sandra Villaverde, IES de Poio