Harbor sediment core samples offer historic evidence of ancient Rome's plumbing

phys.org | 8/29/2017 | Staff
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A small team of researchers from France and the U.K. has found evidence of lead pipe construction by the early Romans in soil samples taken from harbors near ancient Rome. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group outlines their study, which included extracting core samples from Ostia and Portus harbors and analyzing them.

The ancient Romans were well known for their water management techniques. Many of the aqueducts they built to carry water from nearby mountains to Rome still remain today. But the Romans also developed innovative techniques to distribute the water once it reached the city and for carrying sewage from the city to nearby ocean harbors for dumping. Prior research has shown that the water was carried by terracotta or wooden pipes during some time periods. But there was also a period when lead pipes were used, and the researchers with this new study have found further evidence of them.

Evidence - Pipes - Researchers - Sites - Ostia

To find evidence of the lead pipes, the researchers drilled down into 177 sites at the nearby Ostia and Portus harbors, pulling sediment samples from each. They then carbon dated the cores and subjected them to chemical analysis. In so doing, they were able to date...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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