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Four out of the seven wonders of the ancient world credit Greek architecture for its aesthetic value and sublime taste for perfection. Greek mythology and the democratic form of government are a few of the numerous contributions of this ancient civilization to the modern world. The Greeks were believed to be the foundations of Western civilization with their significant role in literature, philosophy, and the sciences (Baxevanis). What then makes a great and influential society? The community and its culture, the geography, and even the climate of the particular region can give a lasting effect on the development of a group of people. Greece is generally a peninsula that extends through the Aegean and the Ionian Sea making a great fraction of the country close to the bodies of water (“Greece”, 2007). This kind of geography both directly and indirectly affect the physical development of the great civilizations including Greek cities.
Different water supply management techniques were used in ancient times to cope up with the dry spells of the Mediterranean (Laureano) A series of long and narrow canals that serve as basins of water for irrigation were made that has become a prototype for modern irrigation techniques. The most popular technique used worldwide even in ancient times is the terracing of landmasses that allows efficient use of available water. In the Chinese city of Yang Cheng during the Zhou dynasty (Du), an advanced clay piping system was discovered to have been existent for a long time now. These discoveries gave assurance of how significant having water management in city-states.
According to Tassios, “there is no Greek city without an elaborated water supply system” and some earlier built aqueducts are still present today (2007). It is thus a question as to why the government prioritizes or even makes a fuss over the efficient management of the water supply. Obviously, this is a very important requirement for a city to develop. The most superior water supply management strategy was very evident in the Greek city of Pergamos owing to the advantageous developments in science and economics. They have created an efficient design for conduits that will later be applied to other ancient cities.
The earlier question about the significance of creating a vast water management system across the city can now be addressed. The ancient period is a perfect time for discovery, progress, and evolution of ideas. It is fortunate that the Greeks are at the helm of this objective that they had to make sure that development runs smoothly and continuously. Efficient water management prevents the occurrence of floods in the business districts of the cities; provides enough water for irrigation thus enough food production, and assures an adequate amount of potable water for the citizens. Accordingly, businesses can go on with their transactions, people are kept safe from contaminated water and the incidence of drought is prevented. The resulting technology such as the aqueducts also provides an additional attraction and magnificence in these cities. Vestigial edifices are now classic structures of the rewarding past.
Today, Greece’s maritime industry is one of the world’s best, and their cities are one of the most traveled destinations for tourists. They have mastered the art of living near the seas that they have taken advantage of their natural geographic attributes by assuring the efficiency of the water supply management passed on to them by their ancestors.
- Baxevanis, John J. “Greece”. World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 8. 1982. “Greece”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2007.
- Laureano, P. “Ancient Water Catchment Techniques for Proper Management of Mediterranean Ecosystems.” Water Science & Technology: Water Supply (2007) Vol 7 No 1 pp 237–244.
- Tassios, T.P. “Water Supply of Ancient Greek Cities.” Water Science & Technology: Water Supply (2007) Vol 7 No 1 pp 165-172.
- Du, P & H. Chen. “Water Supply of the Cities in Ancient China.” Water Science & Technology: Water Supply (2007) Vol 7 No 1 pp 165-172..