A GIS-based assessment of the Byzantine water supply system of Constantinople

Ruggeri, Francesca, Crapper, Martin, Snyder, Riley and Crow, Jim (2017) A GIS-based assessment of the Byzantine water supply system of Constantinople. Water Science and Technology : Water Supply, 17 (6). pp. 1534-1543. ISSN 1606-9749

Ruggeri et al 2017 WST Postprint.pdf - Accepted Version

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2017.062


Despite the extensive archaeological surveys carried out in the last decades, little attention has been paid to one of the longest water supply systems of ancient times - the Byzantine water infrastructure which fed Constantinople from the mid-late fourth century AD. This work uses modern satellite terrain data and Global Positioning System (GPS) data to assess this system and provide an improved description of its route, total length and gradient profile. 44 validated GPS Control Points were correlated with ASTER GDEM V2 digital satellite data and archaeological information in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. We concluded that the total length of the water supply system was 426 km, and possibly even 565 km if the fifth-century aqueduct continued in parallel all the way to Constantinople rather than merging with the fourth-century aqueduct. The gradient of the channels varied across their length, being steepest near the spring sources, with gradient mostly in the region of 5 m/km, and flattest at around 0.4 m/km in the most downstream section nearest the City. This reconstruction of the gradient profile provides valuable insight into the physical characteristics of the system, allowing future study of its hydraulic function.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The first version of this paper was presented at the 4th IWA International Symposium on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Ancient Civilizations, September 17–19, 2016, Coimbra, Portugal. The authors acknowledge the support of the Leverhulme Trust in carrying out this research, under grant agreement RPG-2013-410.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roman Aqueduct; Water Supply; Constantinople; GIS; Length; Gradient
Subjects: H200 Civil Engineering
K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 07:45
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 08:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/30185

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