2. Invention

Who invented the Roman aqueducts?
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  1. Who invented the Roman aqueducts?
  2. What makes aqueducts Roman?
View into the 1050m long aqueduct tunnel (6th c bc) made by the Greek Eupalinos of Megara, supplying water from Agiades on the one side of the Kastro mountain to the other side, in paricular the ancient town Samos, present Pytagorion, on the island of Samos (Greece).
The water was carried in a pipeline at the bottom of a trench alongside of the floor of the main tunnel.
© Torben Bolhoj
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Aqueducts were not a Roman invention. They were developed from older water conveying systems like the Persian qanat, a subterranean channel that taps a water bearing layer deep under the surface. The water is often used for irrigation and sometimes (also) for consumption. Some qanats are 4.000 years old.
One of the earliest known aqueducts built above ground was the aqueduct of Jerwan. King Sennacherib of Assyria started construction on this aqueduct in 691 bc. This huge aqueduct carried water from the Greater Zab River to the king's fields and garden in Nineveh, which was over fifty miles away. A 30 foot high arched bridge was needed to support this aqueduct as it passed over a valley.
In 530 bc an interesting aqueduct including a tunnel of 1030 m in length was built on the island of Samos (Greece). The city of Rome (Italy) got its first Roman aqueduct in 312 bc: the Aqua Appia. Although aqueducts were not their invention, Romans were very good engineers and brought the design and construction of aqueducts to an all time high.