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Carthage cooling system for chariot races

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posted on Jul, 1 2016 @ 02:48 PM
So it turns out that, yet again, the ancient world was more advanced than we originally thought. At the Circus of Carthage, they found pit areas of sorts that were mortared with a water resistant mortar.

“This kind of mortar is called hydraulic mortar. It's a type of waterproof lime mortar mixed with crushed and pulverized ceramics that the Romans used in hydraulic engineering,” says Frerich Schön of Tübingen University, the water technology specialist who first spotted the material, to Haaretz.

The sprinklers, humans in this case, were charged with cooling the horses and the chariot wheels during the races at the turnaround points.

The discovery was made at the spina, the median strip of the circus, around the ends of which the charioteers would turn during races. The spina would often feature ornate columns and statues. As was the custom in ancient racetracks, water basins had been placed along the spina of Carthage, the archaeologists realized. Sparsores – sprinklers –would dip clay amphorae into the basins, from which they would sprinkle water on the chariots, says Dr Ralf Bockmann, who is directing the excavation Together with his Tunisian colleague, Dr Hamden Ben Romdhane.

At any rate, I found this to be a relatively innovative idea for people who were supposedly cripplingly primitive around two thousand years ago.

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