Ancient hydraulic works

Dreros cistern

Hydrosystem:Crete Island
Use: Urban Water Supply
Construction era: Archaic
Types: Cistern
Operation era: Archaic
Location: Greece - Crete island - Neapolis
  • 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.

Dreros, a city-state of Classical Greek period, is near modern Neapolis in the eastern Crete. Like the neighboring Lato, it was erected on a saddle between two peaks, on the slope of mount Kadistos (Davaras, 1976). The archaic city had an agora (market place) about 30x40m² in size, including some moldering steps along the southern side and a retaining wall of the eighth century B.C., and further a huge open cistern. Myers et al. (1992) have reported that a cistern, the first and larger cistern ever known is that in the ancient Dreros. It is located in the agora of the city, had a rectangular shape with dimensions of 13.0 x 5.5 x 6.0 m³ and was used for water supply of the city . Davaras (1976) was reported that the depth of the cistern is 8 m. At Dreros the average annual atmospheric precipitation is 500 mm and the average cistern capacity 429 m³; to fill it would require the run-off of a roof or yard area of more than 860 m². Of course, this calculation is based upon the cistern being filled only once per year, and would require the inhabitants to live for a year on cisterns-full of water. More on this analyses are reported by Despotakis and Tsagarakis (2006).

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