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Wells and Bucket-Chains: Unforeseen Elements of Water Supply in Early Roman London

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2010

Ian Blair
Affiliation:
MoLAS, London, ianbl@molas.org.uk
Robert Spain
Affiliation:
MoLAS, London, spain@oldharbourland.fsnet.co.uk
Dan Swift
Affiliation:
MoLAS, London, dans@molas.org.uk
Tony Taylor
Affiliation:
MoLAS, London, tony.taylor33@btinternet.com
Damian Goodburn
Affiliation:
MoLAS, London, damiang@molas.org.uk

Abstract

Excavations by MoLAS at 30 Gresham Street and 12 Arthur Street in the City of London in 2001 have led to a complete reassessment of the provision of Roman London’s water supply. Four massive first- and second-century wells contained remains of two types of mechanical water-lifting machines or bucket-chain systems. The discoveries allowed identification of a similar bucket-chain from the Cheapside Roman baths, found 50 years earlier by Ivor Noël Hume of the Guildhall Museum. Archaeological and engineering analysis has revealed the water-lifting capacity of the machines, which could have supplied a significant proportion of the town’s population with clean water.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Ian Blair, Robert Spain, Dan Swift, Tony Taylor and Damian Goodburn 2006. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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