Classroom activities will start with a brainstorming session. Students will be asked to think about what an aqueduct is and draw or descriptively write their interpretation on paper. Presentation and discussion of student interpretations will follow. Many students will undoubtedly describe the arcades, or arch-supported channels that are often mistaken to be the definitive aqueduct. However, in the slide show that follows, students will view examples of the many components of a typical Roman aqueduct: water sources, open and closed cement channels, siphons, arcades, pipe material, valves, fountains, baths, and cisterns. Students will react to this activity with reflective writing in their journals. For homework students will complete an assigned reading about the history of aqueducts and answer a few comprehension questions in their notebooks. On day two students will first review the homework and then view sides of aqueducts sites or ruins from Rome, Europe and the Middle East. Students will be assigned to teams and draw the names of Roman aqueducts. Students teams will be allowed a class period to research their aqueduct and prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation of their work. For homework students will be given primary source readings of Vitruvius and Fontenius and be given some comprehension questions (perhaps the assignment could be for students to come with five comprehension questions and answers from the reading). Students will present their presentations on the aqueducts in the next class session. (Perhaps groups of five could present on two aqueducts each) Students will have a chart to complete for each presentation.
Critical thinking and persuasive writing will be included in the unit activities. Students will work individually and in teams to problem solve on how to move fresh and clean water to a city that is 50 miles away and behind hilly terrain. Throughout the simulation students will be introduced to practical challenges that will require them to read for information, conduct research, make calculations, write descriptively and write persuasively. For instance students can be assigned to write reflectively in their journals about the process of measuring and calculating the resources and methods needed to construct the aqueduct. For instance, students can write about whether or not lead pipe, clay pipe, buried conduit, a siphon system, tunnels and/or arches should be incorporated. Students will also have to write a persuasive essay in which they must persuasively propose a particular aqueduct technology to overcome a problem and defend that choice with supporting evidence. In addition to acting as instructor, the teacher will play the role of arbiter and introducer of new challenges. The goal of the simulation will be to complete an aqueduct that will successfully move enough clean water over distance to supply each citizen with a defined unit of water. A full description of the model aqueduct building activity is included in this unit.
Students will be assessed according to a rubric. Rubric guidelines will contain scoring for their descriptive and persuasive writing, their calculations, and their ability to work cooperatively and individually.
The unit will be culminated with a field trip to the Regional Water Authority's water learning center in Hamden, Connecticut.
The anatomy of an aqueduct
Most components of an aqueduct were underground. Yet, the architecture of the visible components is still stunning. Water seepage from high ground, a spring, river, or lake, would be collected through feeder lines into a catch basin. Water might them proceed through a number of components- a covered trench, a bridge, inverted siphon, a tunnel, substruction, and an arcade before reaching the city distribution system (see figure 2) Sketches may not be included in the online version. For sketches please consult hard copy of the curriculum unit or refer to illustrations in Aicher or Hodge
Water flowed from the incoming aqueduct into a main castellum or settling tank (sometimes there was a second settling tank.). From there water traveled through underground piping to homes of the wealthy, places of business, public baths, and public fountains. Illegal tapping into the system was common but punishable offense.
Model Aqueduct Building Project
The goal of having students construct a model aqueduct will be to have students understand the concepts of basic design, scale, volume, and gravity. Students will also experience the coordination of various components of the building process. In order to introduce the conditions that Romans had to work under, the project will work off of gravity and employ the components of a typical Roman aqueduct. These components will include four components: 1) a device for tapping and gathering water from a source, 2) a covered subterranean channel 3) a channel through mountain rock 4) a siphon 5) an arcade, and an endpoint fountain or pool. Teamwork and cooperation will ultimately facilitate the challenges of creating a working model.
Objectives: Student teams will create a working component of a Roman aqueduct that when connected with the other components will allow for the provision of a calculated volume of water from one point to another. Students will write reflectively pre-during and post project. Students will be assessed according to a rubric
I gathered my materials from a home improvement store and from an arts and crafts store. I bought some material but later found some things around the house such as paint stirrers) that were free and substituted equally as well as bought materials.
I used 1'x 3'x 1" pieces of Styrofoam as a base. Any lightweight rigid material would serve equally as well. Listed below are materials I used as well as other materials I foresee could be used to complete this project or a project like this.
Styrofoam circles (cut in half for arches)
Small square pieces of tile
Toy building blocks such as Lego, Brio arches
1/4 inch pvc pipe
1. Show class pictures, diagrams, photographs of the different components of aqueducts- the source, subterranean channel, mountain channel tunnel, siphon, arcade, endpoint fountain or pool.
2. Organize the class into design and construction teams.
a. Water source catch basin
b. Subterranean channel
c. Mountain channel/tunnel
f. Endpoint fountain or pool.
3. Assign scale and rough dimensions. Show materials to work with.
4. Allow one day for designing. Then before construction have each group present their design and discuss how the designs will integrate. Students should write reflectively on how they see the design of each team fitting together.
5. Allow 90 minutes for construction. Troubleshoot as necessary
6. Connect all parts and test.
7. Have students write reflectively on whether the project turned out as they had expected. What happened as expected? What happened that wasn't expected.
Rubric for aqueduct model building activity.
(table available in print form)
Figure 1: Anatomy of an aqueduct
(image available in print form)
Figure 2: Water distribution
(image available in print form)
Cross section of an aqueduct.
(image available in print form)
Map of Rome's Eleven Aqueducts: Adapted from Aicher
(image available in print form)
Table 1: The Eleven Aqueducts that serviced the city of Rome (Compiled from Van Deman and Aicher)
(table available in print form)
The Eleven Aqueducts of Rome
The Aqua Appia
Built in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus and Caius Plautius Venox, the Aqua Appia had very little of the grandeur of later aqueducts. Most of the 16 km aqueduct is underground. Most authors attribute this to security concerns. Due to warfare with the Samnites, Romans feared poisoning of the supply if it were detected. Aicher describes it as having more similarities with the first drainage systems than later aqueducts. It is believed that springs (now covered) were the source.
Van Deman describes it as having " a square passage with a rounded roof cut in the soft tufa of the hill and lined with cut-stone walls with a broad shelf on both sides…The technique so far as reported was very crude"
She believes it was used for about 150 years before it fell into disuse and was subsequently modified and abandoned and modified again.
The Anio Vetus
Built between 272- and 269 B.C., the second of Rome's aqueducts drew its water from the river above Tivoli. Like the Appia, most of the original Vetus was underground. Funding for the aqueduct came from the spoils of victory over Pyrrhus. Apparently, the water was often muddy after storms and clouded in good conditions.
Van Deman devotes 38 pages to Anio Vetus. She summarizes the archaeological record of its remains.
The Aqua Marcia
The first of the aqueducts to make an architectural statement, it sat atop substructures and arches for the last 10km into Rome. Having defeated Carthage and Macedonia, security to the water supply was not a serious threat. Still 80 km of the aqueduct was underground. It is the longest of the aqueducts and with many restorations it was used into the 10th century. It collected subterranean spring water in small channels which led water to a holding basin which flowed into a main aqueduct.
Van Deman's 80 page chapter on Aqua Marcia describes the history of renovations done by Agrippa, Augustus, and Trajan. She includes some excellent photos.
The Aqua Tepula
While nothing remains of the original aqueduct, the waters are still known to be warm (60 degrees F.) Agrippa stopped using the channel and directed its waters to the Aqua Julia. It was one of the smaller aqueducts in terms of length and volume.
The Aqua Julia
Agrippa built Julia and mixed the waters of the Tepula with Julia. He put Julia on top of the larger Marcia for their entrance in to Rome.
The Aqua Virgo
Built to supply Agrippa's public bath near the Pantheon, the Aqua Virgo was unique in that it had feeder channels of drinkable water connected to it along its path. Although the water is chlorinated, portions of it are still used today for fountains. It was once used as a tunnel by the Goths who were planning an attack. In the 16th century ruling popes rediscovered the sources of water and modified the aqueduct so it could be used again.
The Aqua Alsietina
One of two aqueducts that have sources other than the Anio watershed; it begins at the Southern side of Lake Martignano. The water was not of high quality which raises questions as to why it was built. Aicher offers Frontinus' suggestion that the aqueduct provided emergency water when other aqueducts were closed for repairs, filled a basin for Augustus' mock sea battles and watered gardens along its path.
The Aqua Claudia
The emperor Claudius completed the aqueduct in A.D. 52; 14 years after Caligula had started its construction. It was known for the purity of its water and for the fact that it ran for 14 km (the longest run) on arches. It was the second highest aqueduct to enter the city. As a result it could supply all of Rome's fourteen districts after it was modified by Nero.
The Anio Novus
Also started by Caligula and finished by Claudia, the Anio Novus was the highest of the aqueducts. The source was modified by Trajan which greatly increased the quality of the water. It not only tunneled through mountain, it rode atop of Claudia's channel as it entered Rome.
The Aqua Trajana
Aqua Trajana successfully brought clear spring water to Rome from the hills North of Rome, (unlike the Alsietina which brought lake water from this region). There are no recorded data on the length, volume, and distance above ground due to its construction after the death of Frontinus. After being broken by the Goths in A.D. 537, it was repaired a number of times. In 1610, the Acqua Paola was built on the same route with some of the material of the Aqua Trajana.
The Aqua Alexandrina
Built in A.D. 226, the last of the large aqueducts has some arches that are 20 m high in places. It supplied water to the baths of Alexander Severus.
Water Facts and Figures:
· 5 million people -Number of deaths each year related to water related disease
(10 times the number killed in wars)
· 2.3 billion (1/3 of the world population) suffer from diseases associated with dirty water
· Most infant mortality worldwide is linked to infectious and parasitic diseases associated with water.
· Diarrhoel diseases have killed more children in the past ten years than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II.
· UN-HABITAT's new report
Water and Sanitation in the World's Cities,
estimates that in Africa as many as 150 million urban residents representing up to 50% of the urban population do not have adequate water supplies, while 180 million, or roughly 60% of people in urban areas lack adequate sanitation.
· In urban Asia, 700 million people, constituting half the population, do not have adequate water, while 800 million people, or 60% of the urban population is without adequate sanitation.
· For Latin America and the Caribbean 120 million urban dwellers representing 30% of the urban population lack adequate water. Those without adequate sanitation number as many as 150 million, or 40% of the urban population.
Water and Sanitation in the World's Cities; Local Action for Global Goals
By Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka,
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT
Appendix 2: Four main categories of adverse human health effects from water
Four main categories of adverse human health effects from water
1. Water -born diseases are caused by water contaminated by human, animal, or chemical wastes. Examples include cholera, typhoid, shigella, polio, meningitis, hepatitis A and E and diarrhea, among others. Washing hands can often prevent these diseases from spreading.
2. Water-based diseases are aquatic organisms that live part of their life in the water and another in a host organism. Examples of water based diseases include guinea worm, paragonimiasis, clonorchiasis, and schistosmiasis (caused by flukes, tapeworms, roundworms)
3. Water related vector diseases are transmitted by vectors, such as mosquitoes and tsetse flies that breed or live in or near polluted and unpolluted water. About 90 percent of the annual global rate of deaths from malaria occur in Africa south of the Sahara.
4. Water -scarce diseases exist where freshwater is scarce and sanitation is poor. Trachoma and tuberculosis are two examples. To serve the additional 5 billion people expected to live on the planet by the year 2050, there is a need to provide sewerage facilities to 383,000 new customers a day.
From: International Year of Freshwater 2003. UN.org