Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Roman Bologna

Roman aqueduct

The Roman aqueduct, dating back to the Augustan period (end of the first century BC), is fueled by the river Setta and brought potable water to the city, until that moment replenished only from wells.

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When the aqueduct was built during a period of powerful building expansion, a very effective water network was set up in the city. Composed of an array of lead pipes that varied in capacity it was laid beneath the paving of the roads to facilitate maintenance and it carried water from the castellum, the distribution basin. Many fragments of these pipes, called fistulae, have been found on various occasions in different parts of the urban centre, but they are especially concentrated along the modern-day Via Emilia, Via Carbonesi and Via Indipendenza. Most of them bear inscriptions, impressed in relief using stamps, with the names of the magistrates responsible for the water supply (quaestores) or the workers who laid the pipes (vilici), as seen in this example citing the vilicus Lucius Publicius Asclepius, whose name appears on four other pipes found in Bologna.

Provenance: Bologna, centre of the city
Datation: Late 1st century BC–early 1st century AD
Material: Lead
Dimensions: lenght cm 47
Inventory #: CIL, XI, 733

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