Ancient hydraulic works

Cassope sewers

Use: Urban Drainage
Construction era: Classical
Types: Sewer Pipes
Operation era: Classical
Location: Greece - Epirus - Cassope
  • Angelakis, A. N., D. Koutsoyiannis, and G. Tchobanoglous, Urban wastewater and stormwater technologies in ancient Greece, Water Research, 39(1), 210-220, 2005.

Cassope, the capital of Cassopaea, an area in Epirus, NW Greece, with a climate characterized by significant amount of rainfall (as opposed to the Eastern Greece),was founded before the middle of the 4th century B.C. and its entire road system was designed having in mind the rain water draining; thus, the narrow roads among the houses, as well as main roads were properly formed to carry the water out of the enclosure (Dakaris, 1989). In most cases of rectangular sewers, it can be observed that no stone blocks were used in the lower side of the sewer cross section. Such construction was not only lower in cost and easier and faster build, but it also allowed infiltration of water into the soil, and, thus, reducing the quantity of flow and simultaneously recharging aquifers. Some techniques of the same type, known as ‘source control techniques’ have reappeared today, but have not become very common yet (e.g. Butler and Macsimovic, 2001). Sewers with even larger cross-sections were also built from stone masonry but with a vaulted cross section.

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