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Journal of archaeology and ancient architecture

Tag Archives: cisterna

Aqua Marcia: per il cocciopesto un’applicazione sperimentale

Author: P. Montanari

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A recent analysis of the Aqua Marcia situated into the Parco degli Acquedotti of Rome (July-September 2019), near the Casale di Roma Vecchia, has lead to the discovery of a new use of cocciopesto. In addition to the cocciopesto coating applied to the specus, Roman architects of the 2nd cent. BC used the same mixture of tile fragments of pozzolana, lime and sand for a different purpose: creating a further waterproofing system. Along the short side of every block of the duct, into the middle, rises a vertical groove filled with cocciopesto. As a matter of fact, this work belongs to the first phase of the aqueduct (144 BC) and seems to represent the oldest manifestation of this particular use in an opus quadratum monument. Both the Aqua Appia and the Anio Vetus, to the best of our knowledge, do not display this construction technique. Although the cocciopesto made its appearance long time before, as shown, for example, in Latium Vetus, by the Segni Project, we can argue that the Aqua Marcia presents a revolutionary solution: the use of cocciopesto within the flutes, added to the linings of the channel, gave the work an extra waterproofing power.

La rete idrica della Kos di età romana: persistenze e modificazioni rispetto alla città ellenistica

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In the town of Kos, the excavations carried out by the Italian archaeologists between 1912 and 1945 and the new investigations by the Greek Archaeological Service have revealed a complex system of water supply based on the integration, occurred during the Roman period, of a water network already set up since the foundation of the city, that took place in 366 BC on the basis of an urban Hippodamian scheme; this defined also a urban drainage system for the disposal of stormwater designed together with the road network. The water supply could rely on abundant natural springs located in the hills south-east of the city, supplemented by private wells and cisterns. The water usage involved public fountains and nymphaea, and, especially in Roman times, several bath buildings, whose first installation dates in a period between I and II cent. AD, with later changes until the mid-fourth century, when some of them changed their function and were transformed in religious buildings. To fed the thermae, an aqueduct was built in imperial period, although the baths were always equipped with storage tanks to compensate any reduction of the flow; to rationalize the use of water, the discharge of the thermal baths was conducted through pipes to flush the sewers of public latrines, always built nearby, while the houses were equipped with private sanitary facilities whose sewers used the drainage channels in the middle of the streets, later reworkings of the original channels of the first Hellenistic age. In conclusion, the water supply systems and wastewater disposal witness the remarkable persistence of the original Kos town water systems and above all attest to how the study of water management systems of a city may improve knowledge of its topography at the different stages of development.