3 February 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

New Insights From Researchers About The World’s Longest Aqueduct

The Roman Empire’s aqueducts are magnificent specimens of the art of architecture. Although centuries have passed since these aqueducts were built, they continue to teach us new things in terms of both construction techniques and aesthetics.

Scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) studied the Aqueduct of Valens that supplied Constantinople with water and discovered new information on how this system was protected.

The architectural talents of the Roman Empire were undoubtedly far ahead of its time. The theaters, harbors, temples, and roads they built for Roman citizens were quite impressive.

“However, the most ground-breaking technical achievement of the Roman Empire lies in its water management, particularly its long-distance aqueducts that delivered water to cities, baths, and mines,” said Dr. Gül Sürmelihindi from the Geoarchaeology group at Mainz University.

The Romans were not the first to invent aqueducts, but it was they who popularized it. More than 2,000 long-distance Roman aqueducts are known to date, and many more are awaiting discovery.

Dr. Gül Sürmelihindi’s and her research team dissertation focuses on the most impressive late-Roman aqueduct, the water supply lines of Constantinople, now Istanbul in modern-day Turkey.

The 426-kilometer-long aqueduct system of Constantinople. ill./©: Cees Passchier
The 426-kilometer-long aqueduct system of Constantinople. ill./©: Cees Passchier

In 324 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great had an aqueduct built for Constantinople, which had difficulties in freshwater supply after making Constantinople the new capital of the Roman Empire. As the city grew, the size of the aqueduct grew. With this expansion, the total length of the aqueduct reached at least 426 kilometers, making it the longest aqueduct in the ancient world.

Sürmelihindi and her teams investigated carbonate deposits from this aqueduct, i.e., limescale shaped in flowing water, which can be used to learn about water management and the palaeoenvironment at the time. The researchers discovered that the entire aqueduct system housed only thin carbonate deposits, indicating about 27 years of use. However, according to the city’s annals, the aqueduct system operated for more than 700 years, at least until the 12th century.

In other words, it meant that the aqueduct was maintained during the Byzantine Empire.  “Carbonate deposits can block the entire water supply and need to be cleaned from time to time,” said Dr. Sürmelihindi.

The carbonate used in the canal dates from the Byzantine Middle Ages, despite the fact that the aqueduct is late Roman in origin. This prompted the researchers to consider alternative cleaning and maintenance solutions since cleaning and fixing a 426-kilometer channel means it would be unavailable for weeks or months, at a time when the city’s population is reliant on its water supply. The researchers discovered that 50 kilometers of the water system’s central section is built as a double canal, with one aqueduct channel over the other and crossed on two-story bridges.

More information:  DOI: 10.1002/gea.21853

Source: Phys.Org

Banner
Related Post

700 Years After Dante’s Death, His Handwritten Notes Are Discovered

11 July 2021

11 July 2021

Dante Alighieri, an Italian poet, and scholar are best known for his masterwork La Commedia (also known as The Divine...

Middle Ages living space uncovered at an altitude of 1,800 meters in eastern Turkey

20 December 2021

20 December 2021

A living space carved into a bedrock considered to belong to the Middle Ages was found at a point overlooking...

Homo Sapiens are older than we previously thought

16 January 2022

16 January 2022

Researchers have discovered that Omo I skeletons, previously thought to be less than 200,000 years old, are 230,000 years old....

Dutch Shrimp Fishermen caught a centuries-old carved wooden statue off the coast of Texel

17 August 2022

17 August 2022

A carved wooden statue in exceptional condition has been attached to fishing nets off the coast of Texel, one of...

Archaeologists are deciphering Roman history along Dere Street, one of the oldest roadways in Britain

17 July 2021

17 July 2021

Final archaeological finds uncovered as part of a major road improvement in the north of England have shed new insight...

1600-Year-Old Geometric Motifs Mosaic Found in Yavne

26 April 2021

26 April 2021

The Israel Antiquities Authority declared Monday that a 1,600-year-old mosaic discovered in Yavne, which archaeologists believe may have once graced...

Archaeologists Unearth Cisterns at Izmir’s Ancient “City of Mother Goddess”

2 June 2021

2 June 2021

In the ancient city of Metropolis, in western Turkey, in the province of Izmir, something that played an important role...

“Harbetsuvan Tepe”, the 10,000-year-old Neolithic Acropolis of Taş Tepeler

21 May 2022

21 May 2022

Harbetsuvan Hill is similar to the acropolises built on the hills near the ancient Greek cities. It was established in...

8000-year-old with balcony architectural structure belonging to the Prehistoric period found in Anatolia

31 October 2021

31 October 2021

During the excavations in Domuztepe mound, it was revealed that an architectural structure thought to be 7-8 thousand years old...

Library Wars in the Old Age!

12 February 2021

12 February 2021

One of, the world’s oldest and largest library, the other was born 100 years later as a rival to it....

Google Earth Helped Archaeologists Make İmportant Discoveries in Leicestershire

26 April 2021

26 April 2021

After Google Earth revealed traces of underground structures, archaeologists digging at a Roman settlement in Leicestershire say they have made...

45,000 years ago, Neanderthals in the Swabian Jura used complex tool-making techniques

13 September 2021

13 September 2021

Findings that will change our perception of Neanderthals’ sophistication A team from the University of Tübingen have proved that Middle...

Rare Elizabethan ship discovered at a quarry

2 January 2023

2 January 2023

An Elizabethan ship in “remarkable condition” has been discovered on the lake bed of a Kent quarry, one of only...

In western Turkey, inscriptions and 2,500-year-old sculptures were found

11 July 2021

11 July 2021

Two 2,500-year-old marble statues and an inscription have been found during excavations at the ancient city of Euromos, in Turkey’s...

The Enchanting Ancient City of Rome “Sagalassos”

18 May 2021

18 May 2021

The archaeological site of Sagalassos is a very important and well-preserved settlement located in a magnificent mountain landscape, 7 km north...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *