Urban water supply in antiquity
4,000 years ago, “life style standards [related to water supply were] close to those of present day”… is this a good thing or bad thing?
A brief history of urban water supply in antiquity
Source: Water Science & Technology: Water Supply
Urban hydraulic systems started to develop in the Bronze Age and particularly in the mid-third millennium BC in an area extending from India to Egypt.
About the same time advanced urban water technologies were developed in Greece and particularly in the island of Crete where the Minoan civilization was flourishing. These included construction and use of aqueducts, cisterns, wells, fountains, bathrooms and other sanitary facilities, which suggest life style standards close to those of present day.
The technology matured and evolved during latter stages of the Greek civilization with a peak at the Hellenistic period, supported by the understanding of natural processes and the development of scientific concepts. The Romans developed high engineering skills and were able to expand these technologies on large scale projects throughout their large Empire.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the concepts of science and technology related to water resources retrogressed. Water supply systems and water sanitation and public health declined in Europe, which entered a period called the Dark Ages.