Aqueduct

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Aqueduct, Roman PlovdivAqueduct, Roman Plovdiv
Aqueduct, Roman Plovdiv

When: The end of the 2nd to the beginning of the 3rd centuries

 

Total length: 30 km
Total capacity: 43,000 cubic meters per day
Where to see: Komatevsko Shosе


It was an ordinary day in the life of Roman Philippopolis. Merchants were doing their business at the forum. The taverns were full with patrons, as were the steamy halls of the public bath houses. Household slaves who couldn't afford water supply at home, queued up and gossiped around public water fountains. The young wife of a wealthy senator entertained her guests in the lavish atrium of her house; girls were splashing and laughing in the mosaic basin of an open air fountain.

Then the water stopped.

Naked men, who were about to take one final shower before leaving the baths, began to swear and curse, asking almighty Zeus to punish the person responsible for the trouble. Around the now quiet water fountains, slaves worried and wondered how they would return to their masters with empty vessels and what their undeserved punishment would be. The publicans forced their servants to just wipe the dirty dishes, hoping that drunk customers wouldn't notice. The gentle cheeks of the young senator's wife turned red with shame while her friends giggled at the silent fountain.

The 100,000 inhabitants of Philippopolis, who had been enjoying the civilized life of constant water supply, suddenly experienced a shock when they realized how easy was to take for granted something which actually needed both an effort and ingenuity to exist.  

Meanwhile, the people responsible for the water supply of Philippopolis were busy. They checked whether the tank at the acropolis, which collected and distributed the waters through the city pipe system was in order. They ensured that the huge reservoir for emergencies like this at the foot of that hill outside the city walls, now known as Dzhendem Tepe, can supply enough water.

Their next task was more difficult. They had to discover where the large water supply system leaked.

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