Introduction

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EXHIBITS    >    The hydraulic technology of the ancient Greeks    >   

Introduction


In the art of hydraulics, the Greeks assimilated the techniques of other civilisations, developed them or devised new ones with great ingenuity such as the famous machines of the 3rd cent. B.C.: the hydraulic screw of Archimedes, the piston pump of Ctesibios, the fire-extinguishing pump of Heron, the sub-divided wheel and chained pump of Philon of Byzantium, etc.

In the constructions of the hydraulic networks, the most ancient drain network in the Kopaida area (14th cent. B.C.) impresses even today with its size (with more than 2300 metres of underground drain tunnel) while the tunnel of Efpalinos (6th cent. B.C) on Samos Island (with an underground tunnel of 1036 metres for the installation of a drinking water-pipe under the mountain) is one of the greatest achievements of antiquity with continuous function for more than 1000 years and an object of admiration especially for the method of construction (with the simultaneous opening at both ends).

By transferring principles from the art of hydraulics to other sectors, they created unbelievable constructions (e.g. The hydraulic musical organ "Hydraulis").