The Aqueduct at Caesarea

Ancient Caesarea does not boast springs. The only way to provide water for the citys inhabitants was to either build cisterns or channel water in from a distant source. There are two different stages to the Aqueduct system at Caesarea. The High-Level Aqueduct was built during the Roman period by Herod the Great. The planners began building the aqueduct at the Shuni springs, several miles away. The aqueduct partially cut through the kurkar ridge to the west of Caesarea in tunnel fashion. It was then channeled into clay pipes that were held up by a system of arches, known as an arcadia, which ever-so-slightly descended (some 20 cm for each km) in the direction of Caesarea. The Lower Aqueduct was added sometime in the Byzantine period. Waters from the Crocodile River, some 4 miles (5 km) to the north were damned up and channeled through clay pipes on a second arcadia built next to the early Roman one.


Looking through an Arch at the Aqueduct
Image Credit: Protasov AN
Looking West Along the Aqueduct
Image Credit: Protasov AN
Looking South Along the Aqueduct
Image Credit: Samson Tours

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