“At the third Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Ancient Civilizations (WWTAC) held last week in Turkey, attendees from Libya to Australia and Israel revealed technologies used by their respective ancestors that were in many cases far more sustainable than our modern interventions. Case in point: a 56 km 2,800 year old earthen water well from Eastern Anatolia that still works today!
Ancient water works
Today’s Zaman explained that throughout the three day event held at the Barcelo Eresin Hotel in Istanbul, leading academics discussed an enormous variety of water technologies employed by ancient civilizations, including the Hittite Ponds of Hattusa, the Nomad Cisterns in Antalya, to the Ancient Greek method of water conservation.
Professor Unal Oziş told attendees of his “Water Works of Four Millennia in Turkey” discussion that water systems built three millennia ago, such as the Şamran Canal basically made out of clay, continue to be used today. By contrast, modern people replace their technologies every few years and we have built our programs with obsolescence in mind.
Cradle to Cradle and other design philosophies – and conferences such as WWTAC – will hopefully compel us to revisit more sustainable approaches to water management such as those practiced by theBerbers in Morocco, but another key concern for water specialists is the rate at which modern society depletes water supplies.
“To think that an earthen canal is still in use after 2,800 years is a miracle,” Oziş told the paper, adding that “our ancestors could live with very little water, whereas we are of course monsters in this regards.”
Read more: Green Prophet