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Rome's Ancient Aqueduct
January 30, 2010 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Rome's Ancient Aqueduct Found. "The long-sought aqueduct that delivered fresh, clean water to Rome nearly 2,000 years ago, is found beneath a pig pasture northwest of the Italian city."
posted by homunculus (29 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related.
posted by homunculus at 9:24 AM on January 30, 2010


Message to all Cabal operatives: Manziana refuge is compromised. Begin relocation work and set charges.
posted by Abiezer at 9:28 AM on January 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wait, I thought the video was about Rome, not French fries and America's passion for them!

Seriously, I love the pictures. So beautiful. How lost could this aqueduct have become when there was a chapel in part of it? It reminds me of a story I read mentioning a room in a Parisian house that was left in mid-usage, then completely forgotten for 150 years.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:30 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel this misrepresents the discovery somewhat. As fantastic as it is, the language in the FPP suggests that this was the aqueduct, as opposed to one of eleven that ran into the city. (And the six built during the late medieval period all the way until 1949)

That being said, this is the last of the ancient roman aqueducts to be uncovered, which is some pretty cool shit.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 9:33 AM on January 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Roman Aqueducts on wikipedia.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 9:34 AM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The source of water was 25 miles from Rome. Think of the poor slave digging in that tunnel, especially the bastard who had claustrophobia. Talk about dreading getting up in the morning!
posted by uraniumwilly at 9:40 AM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


cool post thanks! (I'm thirsty).
posted by evil_esto at 9:40 AM on January 30, 2010


Think of fresh, clean water allowing for the first recognizable-urban environment and supporting a million people.
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Edward O'Neill and his father Michael were searching for the Aqua Alsietina, Rome's lost aqueduct, when local people suggested investigating a long abandoned church known as the Madonna of the Flower.

Exploring the chapel, the documentary makers found a concealed door which led to a subterranean chamber.
It's not often that news reports are indistinguishable from H. P. Lovecraft stories.
posted by Kattullus at 9:48 AM on January 30, 2010 [19 favorites]


I have decided to build a nymphaeum in my house, after I finish the downstairs bathroom.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:58 AM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sorry, weapons-grade, I have all the nymphs at my house.
posted by spicynuts at 10:05 AM on January 30, 2010


So that's how Rome grew beyond size 8.
posted by meadowlark lime at 10:18 AM on January 30, 2010 [31 favorites]


They got beat to the Hanging Gardens by 3 turns. Sad really.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on January 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


"They were built to remarkably fine tolerances, and of a technological standard that had a gradient (for example, at the Pont du Gard) of only 34 cm per km (3.4:10,000), descending only 17 m vertically in its entire length of 50 km (31 miles)."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:04 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You gotta hand it to the Romans! 35 miles of tunnel in five years, two millennia ago, and the thing looks like it still works. Many thanks, homunculus. This was a perfect snowday distraction.
posted by steef at 12:05 PM on January 30, 2010


A thousands-years old hidden tunnel complex found through a concealed door in a ruined chapel? I've got a party of 5th level adventurers just ITCHING to dungeon crawl.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:25 PM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


This damn tunnel is *the* main reason Rome wasn't built in a day.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:30 PM on January 30, 2010


"They were built to remarkably fine tolerances, and of a technological standard that had a gradient (for example, at the Pont du Gard) of only 34 cm per km (3.4:10,000), descending only 17 m vertically in its entire length of 50 km (31 miles)."

This makes me wonder how they designed this thing. There would be no way to figure out they needed a 17 m drop, right?
posted by smackfu at 12:52 PM on January 30, 2010


I'd assume that they knew from previous aqueducts what grade they needed, and knew how far it was to Lake Alsietina, and could do the math (with more difficulty than we would, admittedly). The only missing element was how high up the lake waters were w.r.t. Rome, which would tell them whether the aqueduct was possible at all — I don't know how advanced their surveying ability was in that respect, but it doesn't seem unlikely that they could figure that out.
posted by hattifattener at 3:00 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


"The long-sought aqueduct that delivered fresh, clean water to Rome nearly 2,000 years ago, is found beneath a pig pasture"

from aqueduct to cloaca - the story of civilization
posted by pyramid termite at 3:15 PM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


More proof that when Rome was good, it was very good.

Coolness abounds.
posted by bwg at 3:50 PM on January 30, 2010


Wait, it's not lined in lead?
posted by Evilspork at 5:12 PM on January 30, 2010


They've just done Trajan on the History of Rome podcast I listen to, so this is well-timed for me. Great post and lovely pictures.
posted by immlass at 5:17 PM on January 30, 2010


Sorry, weapons-grade, I have all the nymphs at my house.

If Don Spicynuts controls all the nymphs, he must let us draw from the well. Of course, he may charge a fee for these services, after all, we are not Communists.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:25 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone here read Pompeii? The hero is a aqueduct engineer. Not a bad little book.
posted by JHarris at 5:46 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's awesome. That one photo of them standing at a doorway, I thought it was the Hollin gate to Moria.
posted by Goofyy at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2010


They've just done Trajan on the History of Rome podcast I listen to

Best. Podcast. EVER.
posted by inmediasres at 4:21 PM on January 31, 2010


I do love that podcast so much.
posted by The Whelk at 4:35 PM on January 31, 2010


Ancient East Asian Found in Roman Empire
posted by homunculus at 3:19 PM on February 4, 2010


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