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The aqueducts and the water wisdom of the ancient town of Larnaca, Cyprus


Cyprus throughout its history has been known for its frequent and long droughts and low rainfall levels that cause severe water scarcity – a main feature of the island.

This particular case study examines the water management systems developed in antiquity in the city of Larnaca on the south coast of Cyprus. The area has been inhabited since the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The site of the city was selected due to its excellent natural port facilities and because of its proximity to the great civilizations of the Bronze Age. It was certainly not chosen on the premise of availability of water, however important a factor this was for the establishment of early settlements.    

So, although Larnaca soon became the island’s major port facilitating all export and import trade of Cyprus, its inhabitants, have always had to deal with water scarcity. Since antiquity and up until today they have constantly needed to find ways to secure water for their ever growing needs. 

The city has survived on exactly the same dry site without any interruption for 4000 years. This record is partly due to the excellent water wisdom its local authorities were compelled to develop through the ages.