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Water Science & Technology: Water Supply Vol 13 No 3 pp 564–573 © IWA Publishing 2013 doi:10.2166/ws.2013.091

Major urban water and wastewater systems in Minoan Crete, Greece

A. N. Angelakis and S. V. Spyridakis

Institute of Iraklion, National Foundation for Agricultural Research (N.AG.RE.F.), 713 07 Iraklion and Hellenic Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Association, 41222 Larissa, Hellas (Greece) E-mail: info@a-angelakis.gr
Dept. of History, University of California Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA


During the Minoan era a number of remarkable developments occurred on the Greek island of Crete which have been widely recognized. However, one of the salient characteristics was the architectural and hydraulic function of its water supply, sewerage, and drainage systems in the Minoan palaces, cities, and other settlements. It might be inferred, therefore, that Minoan master craftsmen in Bronze Age Crete were aware of some of the basic principles of what we call today water and environmental technologies. The scope of this study is the presentation of the most characteristic examples of extant hydraulic works and related hydro-technologies in Minoan Crete. During Minoan times the focus of water management was on sustainable, small-scale safe, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly practices which might be relevant today, as the water supply and wastewater management problems of modern societies are not very different from those faced by Minoans.

Keywords: Bronze Age; drainage; Minoan Crete; sewerage; water management; water supply

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