[More about my trip to Turkey, whether you want to hear about it or not]
On the way to Gocek, our guide, the wonderful Serra, pulled off the highway near Kalkan. A switchbacky dirt road took us up the side of a mountain. We went around a corner and beheld this.
It’s a Roman aqueduct that used to run about twenty miles, bringing the water from Akbel to Patara. There was no one there, no ticket booth, no guards, nobody selling souvenirs, no “Keep Out” signs, and no other tourists, only us. We could climb all over it, and we did.
Check out the Roman equivalent of the pipe that ran along the top.
Here’s a closeup of one section of the pipe.
The big hole on top was for the water. The little hole facing is an access hole so they could scrape out calcification in the pipe, and the pipes did calcify, as we saw in Perge.
No wonder the Romans ran the world for as long as they did. They built roads where no roads were before. They brought water to towns who until then didn’t have water if it didn’t rain. Was any empire ever more into civic improvements than these guys? The British? I don’t think so. Us? Not, at home or abroad.
I’d love to know who the guy was who first thought up an aqueduct. He was an engineer, for sure. He knew if he could find a big enough lever he could move the world. And he did. And without power tools.