5
   

The Ancient World's Longest Underground Aqueduct

 
 
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 07:52 am
http://i43.tinypic.com/2zgg4g5.jpg

Quote:
Roman engineers chipped an aqueduct through more than 100 kilometers of stone to connect water to cities in the ancient province of Syria. The monumental effort took more than a century, says the German researcher who discovered it.

When the Romans weren't busy conquering their enemies, they loved to waste massive quantities of water, which gurgled and bubbled throughout their cities. The engineers of the empire invented standardized lead pipes, aqueducts as high as fortresses, and water mains with 15 bars (217 pounds per square inch) of pressure.

[...]

The tunnel was discovered by Mathias Döring, a hydromechanics professor in Darmstadt, Germany. Treading on moss-covered steps, he squeezes his way into dark caverns plastered with waterproof mortar. Greek letters are emblazoned on the walls, and bats dart through the air. "Sometimes we have to stop working -- there isn't enough oxygen," says the project director.

Qanat Firaun, "Canal of the Pharaohs," is what the locals call the weathered old pipeline. There are even rumors that gold is hidden in the underground passageways that run up to 80 meters (262 feet) below the surface.
Döring has found a better explanation. It turns out the aqueduct is of Roman origin. It begins in an ancient swamp in Syria, which has long since dried out, and extends for 64 kilometers on the surface before it disappears into three tunnels, with lengths of 1, 11 and 94 kilometers. The longest previously known underground water channel of the antique world -- in Bologna -- is only 19 kilometers long.

"Amazing" is the word that the researcher uses to describe the achievement of the construction crews, who were most likely legionnaires. The soldiers chiseled over 600,000 cubic meters of stone from the ground -- or the equivalent of one-quarter of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. This colossal waterworks project supplied the great cities of the "Decapolis" -- a league originally consisting of 10 ancient communities -- with spring water. The aqueduct ended in Gadara, a city with a population of approximately 50,000. According to the Bible, this is where Jesus exorcized demons and chased them into a herd of pigs.

... ... ...

Full report
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 3,871 • Replies: 16
No top replies

 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 10:42 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Cool!
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 02:06 pm
@ossobuco,
Impressive! I bet that makes it onto PBS Nova, the History Channel, Science Channel or Discovery Channel (yikes, there's so many of them now and BBC HD is headed our way).
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 04:16 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I was in a series of Qanats in Libya and they are amazing. The ones I was in stretched from the Al Hamra to Tarabulus and you could stroll in them for miles before one ran into a sub t pool . I was always amazed at how accurately they determined the water tables rise and fall so that there was always water available for using shadoofs.
(I was there on a scholar to scholar sponsored by the Soviets in the Reagan years-kinda ironic)
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 07:19 pm
I'd wager it will end up on Discovery Channel's Extreme Engineering.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 07:29 pm
@Lightwizard,
I'm (finally over media flumes) more interested in sites that will elaborate on this aqueduct and its complexities, and what we can learn.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 08:07 pm
@ossobuco,
Qanats (foggaras) are some of the oldest engineered water carrying structures. They were developed in Saharan areas waaaay before the Romans . The places that they were used were near coastal and sandy inland areas where aquifers are less than 70 to 80 ft deep , so that the vertical shafts could be constructed by normal excavation. They exi st in the area surrounding the Arabian pensinsula in the near inland areas of Iran and down coast to the Afar of Africa. It looks like an idea, Like the atlatl, that spread. rapidly into early civilized areas.
Qanats omly work within certain bounds of saturated media, like sand desert areas where the water table exists in permeable media.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Mar, 2009 11:48 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
The lead pipes may be one of the causes for the decline of the Roman Empire thru lead poisoning. Emperor Caligula showed signs of mental problems. All the Roman emperors living in cities with lead pipes don't seem to have it quite in the head.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 12:13 am
@farmerman,
Listens to Farmer..
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 04:57 am
@ossobuco,
i love a long pipe , i'm as mad as a hatter for roman aqueduct builders

and it kept the soldiers occupied with thirsty work in the territory

of course archimedes screwed up
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 06:20 am
Heres a transposed web site into Wikipedia about qanats in Libya (where I saw them). They have so much tech built in that Im mmore impressed with qanats than I am with the pryamids. Digging the qanat shafts started as the foggara tunnels in Morocco and the technique of adding the "addits" was from the Saharan areas that surrounded Egypt. WHY? cause Egypt had this bigass river and they invented the shadoof so they really didnt need qanats as a solution to the no water problem. They merely just clustered around the river.


0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 04:46 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Greeks were in control of Syria and as the article says Greek letters were found. However, it must have been the Byzantium Empire that built it as they used Greek although it was the Eastern Half of the Roman Empire.

If lead pipes were used no wonder the present day Syrians act crazy.

Latin for lead is plumbum hence Pb for lead and the word plumbing comes from the Romans using lead for plumbing.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 05:13 am
@talk72000,
The technology, developed by the Persians, did spread to other civilizations wherever appropriate. Its far older than Roman expansion sites . Qanats were also constructed in the Atacama desert of South America. The Spanish brought the technology here. Im amazed that , unless its a labor cost thing, that qanats were never used in the CAlifornia desert. Weve built open topped aqueducts out there, this wasting 60% of the water to evaporation.

We use underground and covered aqueducts in the East (NYC water supply) but dont do it where the evapo is really high. This Ill never understand. Weve wasted way more water in CAlif than the cost of a series of underground aqueducts
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 05:20 am
@farmerman,
JEEZUS, these guys that wrote the article cant get anything right. They claim that this is a ROMAN INVENTION, Its not,(unless the Romans were too stupid to learn ferom the PErsians and Arabs). Also, this IS NOT the longest qanat (or foggara) in the ancient world. There are several that are 200 miles long

Quote:
Döring has found a better explanation. It turns out the aqueduct is of Roman origin. It begins in an ancient swamp in Syria, which has long since dried out, and extends for 64 kilometers on the surface before it disappears into three tunnels, with lengths of 1, 11 and 94 kilometers. The longest previously known underground water channel of the antique world -- in Bologna -- is only 19 kilometers long.



Wht a pile of crap. It goes to show that we must review these "slick" articles and filter them through the eyes of some damn lazy reporter who doesnt give a squat about the full story.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 05:29 am

Jings.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 05:47 am
underground may be the key word FM
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 05:52 am
@dadpad,
Nope, a Qanat IS an underground water tunnel. The ones in Libya are often 150 to 200 miles long and very deep with connecting tunnels. I think this was just another example of reporting thats just not factual. I didnt even read the article until this AM when I was responding to TALK.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, EVERYONE! - Discussion by OmSigDAVID
Who ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall? - Discussion by Walter Hinteler
ONE SMALL STEP . . . - Discussion by Setanta
Ultimate Green Leader - Discussion by gungasnake
History of Gun Control - Discussion by gungasnake
Where did our notion of a 'scholar' come from? - Discussion by TuringEquivalent
The Confederacy was About Slavery - Discussion by snood
 
  1. Forums
  2. » The Ancient World's Longest Underground Aqueduct
Copyright © 2014 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 07/30/2014 at 03:15:34