Archaeologists find what might have been the largest Roman water basin, and it boasted of recycled features!

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_11

Months ago, we talked about the Roman aptitude for engineering by mentioning Istanbul’s gargantuan open-air cistern that had later been transformed into a full-fledged football stadium. And now, archaeologists have dug up what might probably be the largest Roman water basin ever found, this time in the civilization’s mother city of Rome itself. Excavated some 65 ft below the foundation of the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the basin boasts of an area of 115 ft by 230 ft.

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_1

The massive 26,450 sq ft irrigation basin was originally lined with hydraulic plaster, and constructed during the Republic epoch in 3rd century BC. Numerous structural improvements were later made in the 1st century AD, with the additions of crucial components like water-wheels. The historians (led by Rossella Rea) also found other agriculture-aiding objects, including a three-pronged iron pitchfork and baskets deftly crafted from willow twigs.

But the most interesting finds related to the ambit of recycling – with jars cut opened on both ends and arranged to form makeshift conduits, and proper ‘low-impact’ usage of older tiles for the canal construction. The site also revealed signs of peach tree cultivation, with the seeds originally imported from Middle East – a legacy of the extensive Roman realm. Oddly enough, the entire farm land was destroyed by the later part of 1st century AD, with the basin being demolished and unceremoniously buried under rubble.

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_2

And quite incredibly, the main area of the original basin most probably extended beyond the current site of excavation. According to Rossella Rea –

It’s so big that it goes beyond the perimeter of the metro work site. It has not been possible to uncover it completely. On the basis of the size that had been determined so far, it could hold more than four million liters (1 million gallons) of water.

In any case, the slew of findings are expected to be divided and displayed, with the preliminary objects being exhibited at the St. John’s subway station, and the more important artifacts showcased at other Roman museums.

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_3 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_4 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_5 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_6 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_7 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_8 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_9 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_10

Via: USNews

Image Credits: Soprintendenza speciale per i beni archeologici di Roma.

  Subscribe to HEXAPOLIS

To join over 1,200 of our dedicated subscribers, simply provide your email address:


ps_menu_class_0
ps_menu_class_1
ps_menu_class_2
ps_menu_class_3
ps_menu_class_4
ps_menu_class_5
ps_menu_class_6

Archaeologists find what might have been the largest Roman water basin, and it boasted of recycled features!

Months ago, we talked about the Roman aptitude for engineering by mentioning Istanbul’s gargantuan open-air cistern that had later been transformed into a full-fledged football stadium. And now, archaeologists have dug up what might probably be the largest Roman water basin ever found, this time in the civilization’s mother city of Rome itself. Excavated some 65 ft below the foundation of the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the basin boasts of an area of 115 ft by 230 ft.

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_1

The massive 26,450 sq ft irrigation basin was originally lined with hydraulic plaster, and constructed during the Republic epoch in 3rd century BC. Numerous structural improvements were later made in the 1st century AD, with the additions of crucial components like water-wheels. The historians (led by Rossella Rea) also found other agriculture-aiding objects, including a three-pronged iron pitchfork and baskets deftly crafted from willow twigs.

But the most interesting finds related to the ambit of recycling – with jars cut opened on both ends and arranged to form makeshift conduits, and proper ‘low-impact’ usage of older tiles for the canal construction. The site also revealed signs of peach tree cultivation, with the seeds originally imported from Middle East – a legacy of the extensive Roman realm. Oddly enough, the entire farm land was destroyed by the later part of 1st century AD, with the basin being demolished and unceremoniously buried under rubble.

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_2

And quite incredibly, the main area of the original basin most probably extended beyond the current site of excavation. According to Rossella Rea –

It’s so big that it goes beyond the perimeter of the metro work site. It has not been possible to uncover it completely. On the basis of the size that had been determined so far, it could hold more than four million liters (1 million gallons) of water.

In any case, the slew of findings are expected to be divided and displayed, with the preliminary objects being exhibited at the St. John’s subway station, and the more important artifacts showcased at other Roman museums.

Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_3 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_4 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_5 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_6 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_7 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_8 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_9 Archaeologists_Largest_Roman_Water_Basin_10

Via: USNews

Image Credits: Soprintendenza speciale per i beni archeologici di Roma.

  Subscribe to HEXAPOLIS

To join over 1,200 of our dedicated subscribers, simply provide your email address: