The Aqueduct Hunter Diary

Posted on February 24, 2010


Mike & Ted O'Neill

My name is Ted O’Neill, I come from Finchampstead in the U.K. and I am blogging from Rome, where my company is researching and filming the remains of the ancient Roman Aqueducts.

Ancient Rome was not only a Military Powerhouse, but also, in many ways an unsurpassed civilisation and healthy population centre, all powered by clean, fresh water.  There was more fresh water arriving in Rome in the year 110 AD than arrives in New York in 2010 AD.   The water was not only good to drink, coming from fresh mineral springs and aquifers around volcanic basins, but it was also a source of renewable energy to roman industry.
In the course of our research we have made some discoveries, and last week, we announced one of them to the world.   The Hotel Quirinale Press Conference was a highlight so far of this project, if not in terms of adventure, then definitely in terms of recognition and fun.
We had not closed our eyes for more than an hour in the three or four days before the press conference.   It was manic.   We had planned to use those days for editing video, but the journalists just didn’t give us a chance.
The conference was hosted by the Mayoress of Manziana, the little town where the chapel / nymphaeum and Traianic water source is located.  Archaeologist Lorenzo Quilici spoke of the unparalled importance of the site, as one of the only Aqueduct sources known in and around Rome, and how it remained unknown for so many centuries due to being completely underwater.
The Aqua Traiana was one of the last, and one of the greatest aqueducts built by the Roman Empire, and it flowed around Lake Bracciano – a volcanic lake to the north of Rome in a question-mark shape, taking pure aquifer water from sources around the volcanic basin, then delivering that water to Rome along a thirty-five mile long conduit.
In the coming weeks I shall be recounting our adventures – Hunting for the Roman Aqueducts, and evidence of their ancient power and engineering.
Images of our work can be seen at our flickr site:

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