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Quora UserQuora User, почемучка (asks a lot of quest... (more)
11 upvotes by Joshua Engel, Anne K. Halsall, Aaron Telian, Quora User, Quora User, (more)
Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply by A. Trevor Hodge

This is an amazing introductory work on water engineering in the ancient world from water source all the way through to drainage.  While it focuses on the Roman aqueducts, it also covers some other water technology in other parts of the ancient world.  I highly recommend it for those looking for a book on the topic.


Some Quora questions inspired by this book:

Some new vocabulary I learned while reading this book:
  • clepsydra - literally "water thief" in Greek; (1) a water clock (2) a device for drawing liquids from vats too large to pour, utilizing air pressure
  • entrain - to pull or draw along by the flow of a fluid
  • hypocaust - underfloor heating, floor raised on pillars
  • insulae - island
  • naumachia - reenactment of naval battles and the theatrical basin in which they took place
  • penstock - sluice, gate or intake structure that controls water flow, or an enclosed pipe that delivers water to turbines
  • spate - overflow, inundation
  • stopcock - valve that regulates flow

Places I really want to go after reading this book:
  • Barbegal, France - Quora User, have you ever visited here?  I was completely intrigued by the 16 waterwheel set up that once operated there, and the gravestone inscription in the Alyscamps cemetery at Arles about Quintus Candidius Benignus who may or may not have been the engineer who built Barbegal.
  • Perachora, Greece - there is a deep water source and how the Greeks lifted the water remains a mystery.  Quora User and I have had fun kicking around some ideas for how to solve the mystery.
  • Side, Turkey - absolutely brilliant water engineering to provide water to the aqueduct there.  See also Quora User's answer to What are some interesting examples of harnessing natural water flow for human use?
... and a whole bunch of Roman aqueduct sites.
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