Roman technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, processes, and engineering practices utilized and developed by the civilization of ancient Rome (753 BC – 476 AD).The Roman Empire was a technologically advanced civilization of antiquity. The Romans incorporated technologies from the Greeks, Etruscans, and Celts. The technology developed by a civilization is limited by the available sources of energy, and the Romans were no different in this sense. Accessible sources of energy determine the ways in which power is generated. The main types of power accessed by the ancient Romans were human, animal, and water.
With these limited sources of power, the Romans managed to build impressive structures, some of which survive to this day. The durability of Roman structures, such as roads, dams, and buildings, is accounted for the building techniques and practices they utilized in their construction projects. Rome and her surrounding area contained various types of volcanic materials, which Romans experimented with the creation of building materials, particularly cements and mortars. Along with concrete, the Romans used stone, wood, and marble as building materials. They used these materials to construct civil engineering projects for their cities and transportation devices for land and sea travel.
The Romans built dams for water collection, such as the Subiaco Dams, two of which fed Anio Novus, one of the largest aqueducts of Rome. They built 72 dams in just one country, Spain and many more are known across the Empire, some of which are still in use. At one site, Montefurado in Galicia, they appear to have built a dam across the river Sil to expose alluvial gold deposits in the bed of the river. The site is near the spectacular Roman gold mine of Las Medulas. Several earthen dams are known from Britain, including a well-preserved example from Roman Lanchester, Longovicium, where it may have been used in industrial-scale smithing or smelting, judging by the piles of slag found at this site in northern England. Tanks for holding water are also common along aqueduct systems, and numerous examples are known from just one site, the gold mines at Dolaucothi in west Wales. Masonry dams were common in North Africa for providing a reliable water supply from the wadis behind many settlements.
The Romans built dams to store water for irrigation. They understood that spillways were necessary to prevent the erosion of earth-packed banks. In Egypt, the Romans adopted the water technology known as wadi irrigation from the Nabataeans. Wadis were a technique developed to capture large amounts of water produced during the seasonal floods and store it for the growing season.
The Romans also constructed the world’s first arch dam in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, now modern-day southwest France, in the 1st century BCE
The dam was about 12 metres (39 ft) high and 18 metres (59 ft) in length. Its radius was about 14 m (46 ft), and it consisted of two masonry walls.
The Romans successfully developed the technique further for a larger scale.
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Presented by Romano Pisciotti