Monday, October 31, 2011

The Roman aqueducts

Probably the greatest ancient builders of aqueducts were the Roman engineers, Italy, France and North Africa benefited from their engineering knowledge. Much is known about the works of these early builders, largely through the detailed writings of Sextus Frontinus and Vitrivius.
The accompanying table gives gives details on some of the early aqueducts. The dimensions listed are approximate. It was not possible to work to a high degrees of tolerance with the materials available, and therefore the size of the conduit and its slope varied considerably along it's entire length. The flows were computed by Claudio Di Fenizio(1916).
Man's work reflect his knowledge, his technical abilities, and the materials available to him. This is clearly illustrated by the construction of Roman aqueducts. The major portion of most of the early aqueducts was below ground. The technique of building great bridges had not been developed, the art of leveling had not been perfected, and there was a constant fear of destruction by enemies. Thus, ditches were dug in the ground, and large stone blocks,keyed with cement-filled slots, were put in the ditches. The bottom of the conduit consisted of flat blocks. The sides were two massive blocks cut to meet above the center of the channel. The channel was lined with mortar.