Investigation of ancient Dion hydrosystem's operation

E Sxoina, Investigation of ancient Dion hydrosystem's operation, MSc thesis, 75 pages, July 2020.



Dion, placed at the foothills of Mount Olympus, is characterized by a long-standing history, which starts from the prehistoric and stretches up to the early Christian times. He experienced two periods of great prosperity: the first during the reign of King Archelaus (end of 5th century B.C.) and the second when became a roman colony (30 A.C.). This is the period under study, because then the water supply system, is present in its finest, form according to excavation data, and the quantity of water offered for use, reaches its highest levels, due to the parallel operation of numerous baths, fountains, lavatories and villas owned by wealthy citizens. The simultaneous operation of all these water consuming facilities, was made possible by the construction of an aqueduct, which was supplied by one of numerous rushing torrents originating from Olympus and sometimes caused disasters. The area is well-known for the abundant groundwater, which, with the phenomenon of artesianism, reach the surface, mostly at the area of the sanctuaries. The climate is affected by the proximity of both the mountain range and the sea, resulting in several inflows into the hydrological basin. The flora is very rich and indicative of an area with a lot of water.
Dion consists of the city and the sanctuaries area. It is estimated, that inside the walls were living approximately 13.000 people, while the land owned by Dion had almost the boundaries of the Pieria county at its present form. The water supply system begins from the aqueduct and its tank, with separate inflows to three categories of water usage: public fountains, baths and villas. Then, the water is dispersed in the town, which is built according to the Hippodameian principals, with pressurized lead pipes, which are branched with the help of intermediate tanks and water towers. The sewer system is pantorroic, taking advantage of the grey water emitted from the baths, in order to clean the toilets and the sewing pipes, which ends up through a ditch at the Vafyras river. A total of 11 baths have been excavated, the largest number of baths in a Roman Macedonian city after Thessaloniki. Water consumption is affected by the numerous baths and is from 75-103 L/cap/d, similar to that of Rome. Finally, it was calculated, with reasonable assumptions, related to the real data and the bibliography, that the amount of water that the city received, seemed to be sufficient for its increased needs, even in the dry summer months.

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