Ancient hydraulic works

Knossos aqueduct

Use: Urban Water Supply
Construction era: Minoan-Cycladic
Types: Aqueduct
Operation era: Minoan-Cycladic
Location: Greece - Crete island - Knossos
  • A.N. Angelakis, Y.M.Savvakis and G.Charalampakis,Minoan Aqueducts: A Pioneering Technology, 1st IWA International Symposium on WATER AND WASTEWATER TECHNOLOGIES IN ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS, edited by A. N. Angelakis and D. Koutsoyiannis, Greece, 423-429, 2006.

The Minoans hydraulic engineers were interested in the solution of several problems related to the water and were in a position to provide the towns and the palaces with total water systems. (Based on the principle of connecting vessels). The knowledge that Minoan towns had potable water was developed mainly at the Knossos palace. The palace, that surrounded a town with 80000 people were at the slightly inclined banks of Kairatos River, adjacent to the small stream (Viollet, 2003). There are indications that the water system of Minoa Palace at Knossos, depended initially on the waters from the spring Mayrokolimbos. It is a spring purely from limestone that is located at a distance of 0,5 km south from the palace at a height of about 100 m while Knossos is at a height of almost 90 m from the sea level. The water from the spring was transferred to Knossos palace via channels and tubes. Due to the small distance a small inclined channel was used as it was mentioned by Evans (1921-1935) and Hutchinson (1950). The supply was via a network of enclosed channels, put underneath the palaces’ floors. The tubes were constructed into pieces of about 60 to 75 cm each. These tubes are dated back to the initial age of the structure and approach the modern types.

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