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Water 2013, 5(4), 1916-1940; doi:10.3390/w5041916

History of Water Cisterns: Legacies and Lessons

1
School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5306, USA
2
Department of Architecture, University of Patra, Patra 26504, Greece
3
Institute of Iraklion, National Foundation for Agricultural Research (N.AG.RE.F.), Iraklion 71307, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013

Abstract

The use of water cisterns has been traced back to the Neolithic Age; this paper thus presents a brief historical development of water cisterns worldwide over the last 5500 years. This paper is not an exhaustive presentation of all that is known today about water cisterns, but rather provides some characteristic examples of cistern technology in a chronological manner extending from prehistoric times to the present. The examples of water cistern technologies and management practices given in this paper may have some importance for water resource sustainability for the present and future. Cisterns have been used to store both rainfall runoff water and aqueduct water originating in springs and streams for the purpose of meeting water needs through seasonal variations. Cisterns have ranged in construction from simple clay pots to large underground structures.
Keywords: ancient civilizations; Byzantine period; Classical period; Hellenistic period; Maya; Minoan Crete; Roman period; Ottomans; Venetian period; Xochicalco ancient civilizations; Byzantine period; Classical period; Hellenistic period; Maya; Minoan Crete; Roman period; Ottomans; Venetian period; Xochicalco
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mays, L.; Antoniou, G.P.; Angelakis, A.N. History of Water Cisterns: Legacies and Lessons. Water 2013, 5, 1916-1940.

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