Roman Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria)

The contemporary city of Varna originated as a settlement named as Odessos in the 5-th century B.C. by Greek settlers from Millet in Asia Minor.  The Pontic settlement was founded around 570 B.C.  In addition to the Greeks the inhabitants were Thraceans, Romans, settlers from Asia Minor and other ethnic origins.  Ruins are located in the ancient part of Varna not far from the sea

Roman Thermae

The Romans built the thermae (baths) that became significant and magnificent monuments of the ancient architecture during the end of the 2nd century AD.  The baths occupied an area over 7,000 square meters.  Surviving walls reach 22 meters in height at some locations.

DSC_3342 (2)

Photo taken at modern day entrance to site on west side of the thermae.

DSC_3543 (2)

Photo taken at modern day entrance to site on west side of the thermae.


Underground gallery  of shops on west side of thermae looking north

DSC_3533 (2)

Underground gallery of shops on west side of thermae looking south

DSC_3523 (2)

DSC_3537 (2)

Area of shops

DSC_3401 (2)

Looking to entrance

DSC_3364 (2)

Western apodyterium (dressing room)

DSC_3403 (2)

DSC_3395 (3)

Basilica hall

DSC_3380 (2)

Basilica hall – view from northwest

DSC_3382 (2)

Basilica hall – view from northeast

DSC_3426 (2)


DSC_3427 (2)


DSC_3351 (2)

Channel section

DSC_3462 (2)

DSC_3428 (2)

Hypocaustum or underfloor heating system – showing terracotta pipe.

DSC_3477 (2)


DSC_3457 (2)


DSC_3503 (2)

Praefurnium – service gallery

DSC_3514 (2)


DSC_3450 (2)

Caldarium (on south side)

DSC_3480 (2)


DSC_3484 (2)


DSC_3411 (2)

Carved marble cornice – fridgidarium

DSC_3441 (2)

Piscina – pool in fridgidarium

DSC_3507 (3)

Area outside praefurnium

DSC_3437 (2)

Hercules’ club – architectural detail


Sewer system at Odessos

DSC_3696 (2)


DSC_3686 (2)


DSC_3689 (3)

DSC_3680 (2)


Main aqueduct of ancient Odessos and the entry point into the Odessos Fortress were discovered by archaeologists in Varna at the site of an excavation for a building with the ground floor being a coffee shop with the aqueduct and fortress wall remains seen from inside the coffees shop through the floor and viewing wall.

DSC_3666 (2)

Aqueduct – 25 cm diameter

DSC_3668 (2)

Fortress wall and aqueduct

DSC_3649 (2)

Photo of aqueduct taken through glass floor of Muro Coffee Shop.

DSC_3672 (2)

Coffee shop (Muro) where main aqueduct was found during excavation for foundation of building.

More information of the aqueduct can be found in

We visited Assist. Prof. Dr. Hirsto Kuzov of the Varna Museum of Archaeology who was instrumental in the success of this excavation and protection of the remains.

Small bath of Odessos

DSC_3758 (2)


DSC_3759 (2)


DSC_3765 (2)


DSC_3776 (2)

Shows Black Sea









Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stratonikeia (Turkey)


Stratonikeia – also translated as  Stratoniceia , Stratoniki, and Stratonike and Stratonice

Stratonikeia is located in the Yatagan district of the Mugla province at the Eskihisar Village.  Stratonikeia has been inhabited continuously from the Late Bronze Age (1500 BC) to the present. The name of the settlement was Atriya during the Hittite Period, Khrysaoris and Idrias during the Classical Period and Stratonikeia during the Hellenistic Period. In 130/129 BC the region became a part of the Roman Republic Empire.   From the Early Byzantine Period The population started to decrease in the Early Byzantine period and during the Middle Byzantine period continued to shrink.

DSC_0509 (2)


DSC_0611 (2)


DSC_0625 (2)

Gymnasium – Total length of the building is estimated to be 267 m and  is the largest known gymnasium from the Ancient Period.

DSC_0614 (2)


DSC_0617 (2)


DSC_0631 (2)

Water channel to latrine

DSC_0639 (2)


DSC_0638 (2)


DSC_0547 (2)

DSC_0546 (2)


DSC_0643 (2)


DSC_0647 (2)


DSC_0432 (2)

DSC_0433 (2)


DSC_0598 (2)

Turkish bath






DSC_0587 (2)

Water storage facility

DSC_0591 (2)

Inlet for water storage

DSC_0593 (2)

Inlet for water storage

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ancient Sardes (Sardis) (Turkey)

Located 82 kilometers from Izmir with a history dating back to the 5000’s B.C.








Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heirapolis (Turkey)

Heirapolis, located about 24 kilometers from Denizli, is at the location of Pamukkali,  famous the healing waters.

Roman gate


Frontius main street

Tritons Fountain

Tritons Fountain


View towards theater showing channel at bottom


DSC_0622 (2)


DSC_0748 (2)





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ancient Laodikeia (Turkey)

The Ancient City of Laodikeia or Laodicea or Laodikya is located approximately 6 km north of Denizli near Pamukkale and Merkezefendi.  Laodikeia, located in the villages of Eskihisar, Goncali, and Bozburun, is surrounded by the Asopos, Kadmos, and Lykos Rivers on three sides.  Laodikeia dates back to around 5500 B.C.  The

Nine major earthquakes devastated Laodikeia during it’s history in 27 BC, 47 AD, 60 AD, during the reign of Antoninus Pius (138 – 161 AD), third century AD, during the reign of Diocletian (284 – 305 AD), 494 AD, during the reign of Valens.  The high times of Laodikeia was during the Roman Imperial Period and Late Antiquity when Christianty spread during the 4th to 6th centuries AD.

Extensive water systems were engineered and built during life of Laodikeia including castellum aquae (water distribution terminals), a siphon, baths, fountains, nymphaeum, latrines, street drain systems, pipe systems, and a baptismal.

DSC_1064 (2)


Colonnaded Syria street from Syria Gate westward to city center.


Location of drainage in middle of Syria Street.


Siphon was located across the valley.

On the right is the water distribution terminal I (castellum aquae) at 278 m above sea level, east of the south bath complex and built with travertine blocks.  Water was supplied to this location from the Baspinar spring via two travertine pipelines (siphons) on the west slopes of Eskihisar town.



Solid line is the approximate location of the siphon.

Castellum aquae I


Castellum aquae I

Castellum aquae I

Castellum aquae I

Water distribution terminal II (castellum aquae II) at elevation 291 m above sea level and 430 m north of the castellum aquae I.  This terminal supplied a much larger area of the city than terminal I.

Castellum aquae II

Terracotta (baked clay) pipe with deposits

DSC_1400 (3)South baths – gymnasium complex

DSC_1415 (2)South baths – gymnasium complex

Church of Laodikeia

DSC_1158 (2)

DSC_1155 (2)


DSC_1184 (2)


DSC_1147 (2)


DSC_1148 (2)


DSC_1193 (2)

Baptistery and baptismal font

DSC_1226 (2)

Terracotta (baked clay) pipe

DSC_1360 (2)



DSC_1376 (2)

DSC_1373 (2)



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ephesus 2017

Ephesus (or Ephesos or Ephes) is located in the western part of Turkey along the Aegean Sea near the historical town of Selcuk (Seljuk), which is between  Izmir (ancient Symrna) and Aydin.  Ephesus was originally constructed on a bay where the Kucuk Menderes River (classical Kaystros).  This is area is almost in the middle of ancient Ionia.  The Ioanians conquered Ephesus in the 11th century B.C.

The following photos of Ephesus were taken in October 2017.

CBI_8264 (2)

CBI_8213 (2)

Library of Celsus


CBI_8209 (2)

Library of Celsus


CBI_8218 (2)

CBI_8112 (3)



Curetes Street


CBI_8002 (2)


CBI_8007 (2)


CBI_8004 (2)


CBI_8010 (2)


CBI_7958 (2)


CBI_8021 (2)

Trajan Fountain along Curetes Street


CBI_8016 (2)




CBI_8024 (2)

Trajan Fountain along Curetes Street

CBI_8040 (2)


CBI_8051 (2)


Varius Baths


Varius Baths

CBI_8054 (2)

Scholastica Baths


CBI_8056 (2)

Scholastica baths


CBI_8074 (2)

Latrine (public toilets) part of the Scholastica baths


CBI_8086 (2)

Latrine (public toilets)


CBI_8092 (2)

Latrine (public toilets)


CBI_8093 (2)

Latrine (public toilets)


CBI_8094 (2)

Latrine (public toilets)

Terrace houses at Ephesus


Terrace houses under roof.


 Terrace houses at Ephesus where the wealthy lived during the Roman period


CBI_8123 (2)


CBI_8125 (2)





CBI_8160 (2)

CBI_8174 (2)


CBI_8181 (2)


CBI_8176 (2)




CBI_8205 (2)

Marble Street looking toward Great Theater


Marble Street with large underground sewer.

Roof in background is the location of the terrace houses.

CBI_8258 (2)

The Great Theatre


The Great Theatre

Show drainage system in theatre.





CBI_8273 (2)

The Ayasuluk Fortress is shown in the background.

CBI_8270 (3)

The column to the right is at the Temple of Artemis.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ancient Bidar Fort

Bidar Fort is situated in Bidar, India in the northern plateau of Karnataka, India. The fort, the city and the district all have the name Bidar. Sultan Alla-Ud Din Bahman of the Bahmanid Dynasty shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1427 and built Bidar fort along with a number of Islamic monuments, with over 30 monuments inside Bidar fort. Bidar fortress  (present day) was rebuilt using red laterite stone around the old fort in 1428 by Ahmed Shah Bahmani.

A karez was built in order to provide drinking water inside the Bidar fort.

CBI_9087 (2)

Inside of entrance to fort



Enter a caption

DSC_0298 (3)



CBI_9109 (2)




CBI_9165 (2)

Above the fountain is a cistern used to store water 


CBI_9166 (2)

Above fountain is a cistern (large rectangular shaped) used to store water 


CBI_9113 (2)

Enter a caption


CBI_9173 (2)

Pool below fountain and downstream channel


CBI_9169 (2)

View of flow surface of the fountain


DSC_0374 (3)



DSC_0385 (3)



DSC_0371 (2)



DSC_0322 (4)



CBI_9154 (2)










Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water features of Ancient Samos

Samos island is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey (modern city of Kusadasi), from which it is separated by the 1.6-kilometre (1.0 mi)-wide Mycale Strait Samos. The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, after whom the Pythagorean theorem is named, was from Samos. In classical antiquity the island was a center of the Ionian culture.

In the 6th century BC Samos was ruled by the famous tyrant Polycrates, during which time the engineer Eupalinus dug a tunnel through Mount Kastro. The purpose of the tunnel was an aqueduct to supply the ancient capital of Samos with fresh water.  Also the tunnel was the utmost defensive importance as it was not easily detected by an enemy who could otherwise cut off the supply.  The aqueduct is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pythagoreion.  Another post addresses the tunnel in more detail.

Ancient Samos was built using many ancient water technologies including aqueducts, reservoirs, cisterns,  swimming pool, drainage channels, wells, fountains, and a bath complex.  The Eupalinus tunnel was pre-Roman and the remaining photos of ancient Samos were of the Roman era.

CBI_7280 (2)

Tunnel of Eupalinas


CBI_7398 (2)

Reservoir along Eupalinus Aqueduct



CBI_7386 (2)

Eupalinus Aqueduct –  cistern



CBI_7390 (2)


CBI_7384 (2)


CBI_7418 (2)


CBI_7430 (2)



Pythagoreion – UNESCO World Heritage Site

CBI_7539 (2)


CBI_7546 (2)

Swimming pool

CBI_7549 (2)


CBI_7553 (2)



CBI_7567 (2)




CBI_7634 (2)


CBI_7561 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7557 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7671 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7675 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7684 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7680 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7683 (2)

Drainage channel

CBI_7614 (2)


CBI_7659 (2)


CBI_7651 (2)




CBI_7590 (2)


CBI_7592 (2)


CBI_7473 (2)


CBI_7522 (2)

Part of a fountain

CBI_7497 (2)





Samos Island (1574)

Giovanni Francesco Camocio. Isole famose porti, fortezze, e terre maritime sottoposte alla Sig.ria di Venetia, ad altri Principi Christiani, et al Sig.or Turco, Venice, alla libraria del segno di S.Marco (1574)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water Technologies at Ancient Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey)




Drainage channel

Retaining wall at end of channel

Retaining wall to store drainage water








Channel and cistern entrance at gate



Channel under stone slabs

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tunnel of Samos (Eupalinus Tunnel)


The Eupalinus Tunnel (Tunnel of Samos) was part of the ancient city of Samo’s aqueduct.  The tunnel was built in the mid-6th century B.C. and has been referred to as one of the most significant technical achievement of antiquity.  The tunnel was described by Herodotus the “amphistomon orygma” (double-mouthed tunnel) because of it’s two openings.  Project engineer for the tunnel was Eupalinus.  The tunnel was in use for at least 1,100 years and was abandoned when clay pipes became completely clogged allowing no water flow.

The tunnel was excavated, using hammers and chisels, through the limestone simultaneously from both the north and south sides and intersected in a fairly straight line.  Time to excavate this tunnel has been estimated in the range of 8 to 10 years (ca. 550 B.C.)  The tunnel is the central section of the Eupalinos Aqueduct having a length of 1,036 meters.  The overall scheme of the tunnel was the large tunnel (interior dimensions of 1.8 x 1.8 meters) below which a shaft (ditch) with a depth that varied from 4 meters at the northern end to 8.9 m at the southern end.  At the bottom of shaft is a corridor (ca. 0.60 meter wide). In the shaft the clay pipe was placed where water flowed.

Eupalinus Aqueduct


Eupalinus aqueduct started at the Ayades spring where water was collected in a rectangular reservoir covered by stone slabs.  From the reservoir, water was transferred from the reservoir by an underground 890 feet long clay pipe to the northern entrance of the tunnel.  Flow of around 400 cubic meters for the system has been estimated.  Water from the southern exit of the tunnel flowed in an underground channel, with manholes at various intervals, to the ancient city of Samos.  Reservoirs and fountains received the water.








Opening to access tunnel




CBI_7280 (2)

Shows modern-day metal grate over the vertical shaft.



Shows vertical shaft at the bottom of which is the corridor where clay pipe was placed.











Shows the positioning of the upper part of the tunnel and the excavated section below the tunnel where the clay pipes was placed.  On the right is the layout of the Eupalinus aqueduct.



Portion of Eupalinus aqueduct downstream of the tunnel.



Above two photo taken near outlet of the tunnel looking towards the modern day city.



Apostol, T.M. (2004) The Tunnel of Samos, Engineering & Science, No. 1, pp. 31-40.






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment