For 2,300 years, aqueducts have carried fresh running water to the city of Rome. You know these marvels of Roman engineering as long arched bridges or underground tunnels, but what are they like on the inside?

Let’s climb into the Aqua Traiana! 🇮🇹🏛⛲️


#rome #Archaeology
2/9 Unlike the other aqueducts in Rome, the Aqua Traiana begins at the volcanic Lago Bracciano to the city’s northwest.

Commissioned by the emperor Trajan, the 33km aqueduct began delivering water to Rome in 109 CE, an event that was commemorated on one of Trajan’s coins!
3/9 The aqueduct brought water to Rome’s Janiculum hill, where it powered a series of industrial water mills & public fountains.

After centuries of neglect, Pope Paul V renovated the aqueduct in 1612. The spectacular Fontanone celebrates this return of clean water on the hill!
4/9 A section of the Aqua Traiana that was not incorporated into the 17th c. renovations runs directly under the @AmAcademyRome.

Let’s climb down with @lclancaster14 and see what Roman plumbing was like two millennia ago!
5/9 Unlike the long vaulted bridges that come to mind when you think about aqueducts, this section of the Aqua Traiana was built by cutting into the local bedrock & building a watertight channel.

With its vaulted ceiling, the tunnel is even large enough to stand in comfortably!
6/9 The walls were built with opus reticulatum, a technique of ancient Roman bricklaying that resembles the patterns of a net. Atop this, a thick layer of watertight concrete made from volcanic ash, broken pottery, and stones was applied to keep the tunnel flowing smoothly!
7/9 Over time, construction on the Janiculum cut through this defunct section of aqueduct. One end is bricked shut while a section of much more modern plumbing runs right through the Aqua Traiana!
8/9 It may not look like it, but this section of the Aqua Traiana is one of the best preserved pieces of ancient aqueduct in all of Rome! From its amazing architecture, preserved plaster, and beautiful brickwork, it’s a textbook example of Roman engineering.
9/9 Next time you’re visiting one of Trastevere’s beautiful fountains or sipping cool water from a nasone, think about the 2,000 years of waterworks that make it all happen!

From the Emperors & Popes, to Bernini & beyond, there’s a lot of history behind this area’s H₂O!💧

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More from @LevineRx

31 Mar
In many ways, the outskirts of Rome are more spectacular than the ancient city itself.

From 2,000 year old roads to towering aqueducts, follow this thread to join 4 archaeologists on a long-overdue walk along the beautiful Via Appia!

#rome #archaeology #ClassicsTwitter #italy
The Via Appia Antica, or Appian Way, is one of the earliest examples of a Roman highway. Beginning in the Roman Forum, it runs southeast all the way to the southern Italian city of Brindisi on the Adriatic Coast!

But we’re starting our walk much closer to home!
Even though Rome’s strict #COVID lockdown has been partially lifted for a few short days, we’re still not permitted to leave the commune.

That means our trip along the Appian Way has to begin at the inconspicuous Capannelle Station, as far afield as we’re allowed!
Read 17 tweets
17 Mar
Today marks twelve months of on-again, off-again lockdown in Athens.

Want to know what this crazy year has been like in Greece from an archaeologist’s perspective? Check out this 12(ish) tweet #thread!


#greece #archaeology #ClassicsTwitter #lockdown
When we got word of the impending lockdown, I was on Crete with the @ASCSAthens for a whirlwind tour of the islands incredible archaeology (& beaches).

We had only covered one half of the island when we had to pulled plug and hoped on the next ferry back to Athens...
March 2020: Athens enters full lockdown & the city is silent for the first time in my memory. No one had any idea how #Covid_19 was transmitted and it felt like the whole city was working together to make sure that the Greek health wasn’t overwhelmed...and it was working!
Read 16 tweets
12 Mar
Statues break...a lot.

We’re all familiar with Ancient Greek sculpture missing arms, legs, or heads. But why do these busts look like they’ve been battered, broken, & burned? Let’s explore some peculiar Hellenistic sculpture from Kalydon in this #THREAD!

#greece #archaeology
2/ You may know about Kalydon from its mythological boar hunt. Before the Trojan War, Artemis sent a legendary boar to ravage the Aetolian countryside. The local hero Meleager was joined by some of the most famous heroes in Greece, and the huntress Atalanta struck the first blow!
3/ The myth of the Kalydonian boar hunt has been famous since the time of Homer, and has always been a favorite scene for artists. Representations abound: from Archaic vase painters, to Roman sculptors, and even the 17th c. workshop of Peter Paul Rubens!
Read 13 tweets
3 Feb
The Torlonia Marbles are on display for the first time in 50 yrs & yesterday I had the chance to see them!

A masterpiece collection with an incredible history, read on for a #THREAD on the exhibition, the collection, & some of my favorites!


#rome #archaeology @museiincomune
2/17 What’s all the fuss about? When Alessandro Torlonia dissolved the Museo Torlonia in 1976, one of the most famous collections of ancient sculpture disappeared from public view.

Now, 92 of the 620(!) sculptures from the collection are on display at the Museo Capitolini!
3/17 The collection itself has an incredible history, acquired by the Torlonia family from other Italian noble families like the Giustiniani in the early 19th century.

However, the modern history of some of these objects stretches back to the 1500s, recorded by artists in Rome!
Read 17 tweets
14 Jun 20
Music accompanied nearly all aspects of Ancient Greek life: religion, funerals, the harvest, military marches & of course poetry! Today’s #MuseumsUnlocked #thread highlights archaeological evidence for Greek #music & an excellent regional museum!
#archaeology #greece #art
The study of Ancient Greek music is a large field on its own, with scholars focusing on everything from musical theory to notation and everything in between!

Songs are preserved in texts and inscriptions like these from Sounion, Vrasna, & Volos, each with its own notation style!
What were the instruments of Ancient Greek music? There’s an excellent exhibition of artifacts and reconstructions at the Archaeological Museum of Arta in Western Greece, which give us the opportunity to see what the most common instruments looked like. Let’s do a quick review!
Read 12 tweets
8 Jun 20
If you’ve ever visited #Amman, you’ve definitely caught a glimpse of the colossal Temple of ‘Hercules’ standing tall on ancient acropolis. The architecture is amazing, but who was the temple actually for & was it ever finished?
#Archaeology #MuseumsUnlocked #ClassicsTwitter
The Amman citadel is an amazing site & I hope this thread inspires some visits! Occupied since the Neolithic period, the citadel is marked in some way by every phase of Jordan’s history.

It’s also home to an amazing archaeological museum, featuring an even wider range of finds!
The temple sits a conventional Roman podium on the southern end of the fortified citadel, and would have measured 30x24m. The most impressive aspect of the building is its vertical scale: each of its columns rises some 10m atop the stylobate, making it incredibly imposing!
Read 9 tweets

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