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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Aqueduct Hunters: water and 2000 year-old mysteries

It's not often we go gaga over another blog, but the Aqueduct Hunters hit us in a sweet spot.

We're entranced by Rome and water (as those of you who've read even just a few pages of Rome the Second Time no doubt know - the first chapter is titled "The Waters of Rome"). We've also fantasized trying to find the source of some of the aqueduct waters, and have been close (Lago Bracciano, Horace's farm, etc.). But these Aqueduct Hunters are the real thing. Their recent discovery of the source of Aqua Traiana (as in Trajan's Aqueduct, from the 1st century AD) made international headlines. And, they've started a blog where you can follow them on video sloshing around inside these 2000-year-old aqueducts - one such slosh started at the Villa Medici atop the Spanish Steps - a cistern there is in the photo at right.

Recall we're the ones who located (with the help of some scholars) the 15th century eel trap for the Acqua Paola (Pope Paul's Renaissance aqueduct): that square building covered in graffiti in the midst of a traffic circle (no, we didn't put that on the itinerary -but at left, a photo). And, we try to interest you in the ancient cloaxa maxima, basically an old Roman sewer drain, even covered as it is now in old plastic bags and other detritus (photo below).

So naturally, these hunters appealed to us. Not to be missed: - we've added to our Other GREAT Rome websites on the right of the blog.

And, we've opened and closed this post with a couple photos from the Parco degli acquedotti - because it's above ground that they're so beautiful.

Dianne -

PS - and if you wonder why the Italian for aqueduct is sometimes acquadotto and sometimes aquadotto - it's the difference between the Renaissance ones (with the "c", the Italian spelling) and the Ancient ones (Latin, without the "c").

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