Cuando Sir Arthur Evans inició los trabajos en Cnosos en 1900 se encontró con los vestigios del segundo palacio que los cretenses habían levantado en ese lugar, allá por el siglo 17 a. C.
Debajo de él se encontraban enterrados los restos más antiguos del primer palacio, edificado en torno al año 2000. A medida que el investigador inglés iba profundizando en las excavaciones tomó conciencia de que las vigas y columnas de madera que sostenían los pisos superiores del palacio se destruían muy rápidamente al contacto con el aire, por lo que se hacía preciso dotar con urgencia de una adecuada sujeción a las zonas excavadas. Con esa finalidad Evans no dudó en hacer colocar vigas de hierro cubiertas con cemento, que si bien resultaban especialmente agresivas en el contexto en que se insertaban, sobre todo si las comparamos con los modernos medios de restauración, lo cierto es que impidieron que los vestigios de Cnosos se desplomaran causando su ruina. Todavía, además, se puede argumentar, en favor de Evans, que en otro caso esos vestigios no habrían podido resistir los efectos del durísimo temblor de tierra que en 1926 sacudió Creta.
Los muros del primer palacio de Cnosos se levantaban sobre un zócalo de mampuesto, con alzados de madera, siendo ese mismo material el utilizado por los minoicos para realizar los fustes de las columnas, debido, probablemente, a que eran conscientes de que la madera tenía mas elasticidad a la hora de soportar los terremotos, tan frecuentes en la isla. Motivos que no se han llegado a identificar, pero probablemente relacionados con un fortísimo seismo, hacen que en torno al año 1700 ese primer palacio de Cnosos quede totalmente destruido, lo que acontece, igualmente, con todos los demás palacios ubicados en la isla.
Conducciones del palacio de Cnossos
En ese momento, sin embargo, Creta tiene recursos de sobra para, inmediatamente, proceden a levantar una segunda oleada de palacios, lo que se lleva a cabo de forma rápida y eficaz, aprovechando ahora los arquitectos minoicos las enseñanzas aprendidas en el pasado para hacer que los nuevos palacios resulten más atractivos para sus moradores. Es indudable que en el momento de la destrucción de los primeros palacios Creta se encontraba en un momento de especial esplendor, recuperándose inmediatamente del desastre sufrido. Los “Segundos Palacios” que se mantendrán hasta el año 1450, aproximadamente, respetan el esquema arquitectónico anterior pero están dotados de una mayor complejidad y se distinguen por el empleo de una mejor técnica, los muros se levantan con aparejo de sillares, y por una bella decoración de pinturas al fresco que ornamenta las paredes de las habitaciones. Sorprenden, teniendo en cuenta la antigüedad de las fechas en que nos movemos, los vestigios de la red de saneamiento que la arqueología ha descubierto: tuberías de terracota destinadas a dotar de agua a las habitaciones y que recogían las aguas sobrantes del circuito sanitario.
La complicada red de instalaciones sanitarias causó estupor en la época de su descubrimiento por su modernidad. El sistema de cloacas no ha sido superado hasta los tiempos modernos, ni siquiera por los romanos. Los inodoros privados desaguaban en alcantarillas centrales de arcilla cocida y piedra.
- The Orkney Islands are the location of excavations that show early drainage systems.
- First lavatory-like plumbing systems were fitted into recesses in the walls of homes — with drained outlets.
- Certain liquid wastes drained to area(s) either under or outside of buildings/homes.
- Had stormwater drain systems in the streets; drains were constructed of sun-baked bricks or cut stone. Some homes were connected. [The need for proper disposal of human wastes was not fully understood -- but there was a recognition of some of the benefits (less odor, etc.) of taking these wastes away from homes.]
- In Babylon, in some of the larger homes, people squatted over an opening in the floor of a small interior room. The wastes fell through the opening into a perforated cesspool located under the house. Those cesspools were often made of baked perforated clay rings — ranging in size from 18″ to 36″ in diameter — stacked atop each other. Smaller homes often had smaller cesspools (18″ diameter); larger homes … more people … had larger diameter cesspools. The annular space (1′) outside of the cesspools’ walls were often filled with pieces of broken pottery to better the percolation rates.
- Origin of the earliest known pipe: Babylonia was documented by many as one of the first places to mold clay into pipe (via potter’s wheel). Tees and angle joints were produced and then baked to make drainage pipe … all as early as 4000 BCE.
Source: Cast Iron Pipe, by United States Cast Iron Pipe & Foundry Company, 1914.
- Mohenjo-daro: “The Mound o
- of the Dead.”
Public well, Harappa (Indus River Civilization, 2600-1900 BCE). A large public well and public bathing platforms were found in the southern part of Mound AB at Harappa. These public bathing areas may also have been used for washing clothes as is common in many traditional cities in Pakistan and India today. Photo by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer and/or Richard H. Meadow.
Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin – Madison. See www.harappa.com
- View of the great bath, Mohenjo-daro. (Indus River Civilization, 2600-1900 BCE)Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin – Madison. See www.harappa.com
- The great bath and granary at Mohenjo-daro. (Indus River Civilization, 2600-1900 BCE)Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin – Madison. See www.harappa.com
- Well-evolved society: commerce, wheeled vehicles, domesticated animals, cotton cloth.
- Wealthy lived well; peasants lived in hovels (but many had sanitation facilities).
- Drainage systems were located in the streets (masonry; rectangular x-sections).
- At the ends of the drains were wooden “bar screens.” Liquids entered brick-lined cesspools (soak-pits) or were conveyed to the local river for discharge.
- Homes had bathrooms — on the street sides — connected to sewers in streets.
- Bathrooms and latrines were often located next to each other (wells were often nearby, in an adjacent room) inside each home on the street side of the home. The bathroom being located next to the latrine indicates that people understood the importance of cleanliness. Water was used for flushing.
- Second-floor bathrooms existed, with terra-cotta piping and vents. Some homes had garbage chutes.
- Solids traps were located along plumbing lines and also along street drains (sewers).
- Some homes connected to underground soakage (perforated) jars.
- Manholes (with stone covers) were positioned along the street drains.
- Crete was an island of variable climate and geography; it also had steep slopes.
- Knowledge of “hydraulics” was quite evolved.
- Until Roman times, Minoan plumbing and drainage were the most developed in what was then the Western World.
- Drainage systems of terra-cotta pipe (clay pipe with bell & spigot joints, sealed with cement) and open-topped channelized drainage systems built of stone conveyed storm water primarily, but also human wastes. Some of the sewers were large enough for people to walk through.
- Bathtubs with no drains were used. Latrines were flushed with water from large jars.
- Many of the drains from 2000 BCE are still in beneficial service today on Crete.
- The Royal Palace at Knossos had a latrine on the ground floor with a rooftop “overhead” water reservoir (which collected rainwater): the first flush toilet!? The toilet consisted of a wooden seat, earthenware “pan,” and the rooftop reservoir as a source of water.
- Certain homes of aristocrats had copper pipes that carried hot and cold water.
- Many religious ceremonies included bathing.
- Complex public waterworks were constructed in Palestine.
- Later, religious aspects of bathing were strengthened by Jews under Mosaic Laws. Bodily cleanliness equated with moral purity under the rule of King David and King Solomon.
- In Egypt, certain more well-to-do homes had “toilets” — the toilets used beds of sand to catch/contain the wastes. Servants cleaned the sand regularly.
- 726 years before the birth of Christ (in the reign of King Hezekiah), the City of Jerusalem built a “pool” and a conduit to bring water to the city [II Kings, Chapter 20, 20th verse].
- Pipes of lead (of lengths of 10 feet or more) and bronze were used by the Greeks to distribute water.
- The sizes of lead pipe in the early years took their names, not from the resulting internal diameters, but from the width of the sheet of lead before it was bent into a pipe. The linear joint was soldered with an alloy of lead and tin.
- Greece had a system of aqueducts, but for the most part, few above-ground structural arches were incorporated; a lot of tunnels through hills, siphons under valley/rivers, etc.
- Sewers in Athens delivered storm water and human wastes to a collection basin outside of town.
- From the basin, the storm water and wastes were conveyed through brick-lined conduits to fields to irrigate (and fertilize) fruit orchards and field crops.
- The contents of a tomb of a King of the Western Han Dynasty shows the presence of an antique latrine, complete with facilities for running water, a stone seat, and a comfortable armrest.
- Complex drain systems evolved (initially, and primarily, for storm water and for draining marshes).
- Public latrines were used by many people, but for the most part, human wastes were thrown into the street.
- First sewer constructed between 800 and 735 BCE.
- Rome had extensive street washing programs (water supplied by aqueducts, the first being built in 312 BCE). Only a few homes had water piped directly from the aqueducts. The vast majority of the people came to fountains to gather their water. Even though not many homes were directly plumbed into the sewers, when the wastes were thrown into the street, the street washing resulted in most of the human wastes ending up in the sewers anyway!
- Direct connection of homes to the sewers was not mandated until nearly 100 CE. (Cost was a factor; also mandating such a connection was then considered an invasion of privacy.)
- Sewage resulting from the public baths and the included latrines was discharged into sewers. It is worth noting that the Romans recognized the value of their water (which had been transported to the city via aqueducts, often over a distance of 20-30 miles); as such, any wastewater from the public bath facilities was often re-used, frequently as the flushing water that flowed continuously through the public latrine facilities. From the latrines, it flowed to a point of discharge into the sewer system.
- The Romans were proud of their “rooms of easement” (i.e., latrines). Public baths included such rooms — adjacent to gardens. There Roman officials would sometimes continue discussions with visiting dignitaries while sitting on the latrines. Elongated rectangular platforms with several adjacent seats were utilized (some with privacy partitions, but most without). These latrine rooms were often co-ed, as were the baths. As noted earlier, water from the public baths, or brush water from the aqueduct system, flowed continuously in troughs beneath the latrine seats; the sewage (along with waste bath water) was delivered to the sewers beneath the city, and eventually to the Tiber River.
Source: Courtesy of Steve Harding, 1998, Ephessos, Turkey.
- In Rome, water was distributed with lead pipes. To make pipe, sheets of lead were cut in ten-foot-wide strips and bent around a wood mandrel and joined by solder.
- The 11′ x 12′ Cloaca Maxima (“Main Drain” — finished in 510 BCE, and made of hewn stone, no cement) drained to the Tiber River. Its original purpose was to drain a marsh … upon which a large portion of Rome was eventually built. The sewer has remained in service for over 2400 years.
- Thievery of water was a significant problem:
A quote from Frontinus, the Water Commissioner of Rome:
SKARA BRAE PLUMBING – 4500 BC, the world’s first.
Channels dug into the floors, running from inside to outside, likely served as basic sanitary plumbing.
Was this the world’s first sewer system or fresh water plumbing? Put this into perspective, this was 6.5 thousand years ago.
Hidden from view by a massive sandstorm that buried this stoneage settlement, now carbon dated to 4500 B.C., this is one of the best preserved archeological sites in Britain and possibly the world.
When you think of civilization, architecture and indoor plumbing you need to learn that it began in Skara Brae and then spread to Rome.
Early refrigerators were built into the floor where foods would be closer to the frost layers. All of the units were connected with covered passageways so one could visit others without having to go outside. Underneath the settlement was a crafted stone system that delivered fresh water to each unit. Was this the world’s first sewer system or fresh water plumbing?
Put this into perspective…this was 6.5 thousand years ago! How could these people be so advanced when the world would be plunged into the darkness of ignorance that lasted beyond 1400 A.D.?
Each bedside had recessed whale-oil lights. Gaming pieces, such as bone dice and whistles were found. They were very knowledgeable about plants such as puffballs that contain a blood clotting agent to stop bleeding.
The biggest mystery remains…who were they and why did they leave? Some archeologists believe that the peoples of Skara Brae had emigrated from Ireland because of the similarities of homes and tombs. This is only an assumption, so it could be wrong.
Let me recommend a book called: HABITATIONS OF THE GREAT GODDESS: By Cristina Biaggi, Ph.D.
She writes specific chapters about the Orkney sites that resemble those of Malta near Sicily, Italy. It was once believed that the Malta site was older, but carbon dating proved that the Orkney site was 1,000 years older!
So when the Romans were defeated and pushed out by the early English, civilization regained it’s status in England, if you consider Skara Brae at 4500 BC. Clearly civilization began in England at 4500 BC and then spread to Rome.
You need to revise the court Jew historian version of history.
Amarna, Bathroom in one of the smaller houses (dug in 1924)
Amarna, Bathroom in one of the smaller houses (dug in 1924)
Amarna,Lustration slab in one of the smaller houses (dug in 1924)
Amarna,reconstrucción de un baño completo
reconstruccion moderna de una villa de Amarna, Egipto , h,1400 a.C.