Aspects of Geoarchaeology

Speaker: Prof. Cees Passchier (University of Mainz- Institute of Geosciences) - Tuesday, 17th May – 4:30 PM | Aula Arduino


Geology and archaeology have many points in common, and many ancient sites benefit from a collaboration of geologists and archaeologists. Of specific interest are ancient water supply systems, probably the greatest technical achievements of antiquity. A specific fruitful topic to study such systems are freshwater carbonate deposits that form in water channels. These deposits can shed light onto many aspects of the function, maintenance, and final destruction of antique water systems, on the aquifers that fed them, and indirectly on climate. In this presentation, I will give examples from the 426 km long Roman aqueduct of Constantinople, the longest aqueduct of the ancient world; on the Roman watermill complex of Barbegal, France (photo), the earliest known industrial complex in Europe with some unique technical adaptations; the aqueduct of Ephesos (Turkey) with a complex history of earthquake damage and repair; and finally the use or Roman marble wall decorations from Ephesos to reconstruct sheath folds in mylonites and the way in which Roman interior designers solved their problems