Ancient hydraulic works

Lato cistern

Hydrosystem:Crete Island
Use: Urban Water Supply
Construction era: Hellenistic
Types: Cistern
Operation era: Hellenistic
Location: Greece - Crete island
  • G. Antoniou, R.Xarchakou and A.N.Angelakis, Water Cistern Systems in Greece from Minoan to Hellenistic Period, 1st IWA International Symposium on WATER AND WASTEWATER TECHNOLOGIES IN ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS, edited by A. N. Angelakis and D. Koutsoyiannis, Greece, 457-462, 2006.

Also, in Lato named after Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis, a goddess with strong Minoan associations, is located in the eastern island; there is no spring at Lato. Thus, the basic water sources were rainwater. North of the little temple is the central cistern, in the agora (city center), which is more or less squared in plan, of side approximately 5m (Apostolakou, 2005). The area of the cistern is of 27.56 m² (Myers et al., 1992) and its depth is of about 6 m. It was originally covered by a roof supported by two Dorian colons. Its walls are coated internally with impervious plaster and built stairway on one side leads down to the bottom of the cistern. From the location and the size of the cistern, we can only conclude that it was the public cistern of the city. There are of about 15 more small cisterns. Myers et al. (1992) have reported that there is a similarity of that cistern, with the first and larger cistern ever known in the ancient Dreros. It is located in the agora of the city, and was used for water supply of the city.

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