Ancient hydraulic works

Pyrgos cisterns

Hydrosystem:Crete Island
Use: Urban Water Supply
Construction era: Minoan-Cycladic
Types: Cistern
Operation era: Minoan-Cycladic
Location: Greece - Crete island - Myrtos
  • Cadogan G., Water management in Minoan Crete, Greece: the two cisterns of one Middle Bronze Age settlement, Water Supply, 7(1), 103-112, 2007.

The two cisterns of Myrtos-Pyrgos are similar in construction and date. On the evidence of the sherds of ceramic storage jars (that would have been used for collecting the water) found in the bottom of each, their (first) use was in the Pyrgos III phase - or just possibly a little earlier, even late Pyrgos II. Both cisterns are circular and have vertical walls and a rounded bottom, where the last drops of water could collect in the concavity. Walls and bottom are coated with white lime plaster 1-2 cm thick. On the cistern bottoms the plaster was applied over a bedding of small river pebbles, on the walls against roughly hewn stone blocks. Neither cistern has evidence of any roofing or of supports (such as stone pillars) for awnings to prevent evaporation. However, it would not have been difficult to stretch awnings over them.

Two Remarks

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