Egyptian and Greek Plumbing Systems

We are incredibly lucky in the western world to have sophisticated plumbing systems that allow us to access fresh water and to have our wastewater removed. This has allowed us to virtually eradicate waterborne viruses such as typhoid and cholera. These conditions still affect much of the developing world. The pipe networks in our homes are made from a combination of plastic and copper, with Copper Pipe Connectors like the ones from joining the pipes together.

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Plumbing systems have developed over hundreds of years. There were bathrooms on the island of Crete where Minoan kings had hot and cold running water in their bathrooms. During the Minoan period, the Minoan Palace of Knossos used ceramic bathtubs, as well as the world’s first flushing toilet complete with drainage system.

Historically, the first plumbing pipes were made from baked clay and straw, while the first copper pipes were developed by the Egyptians. The Egyptians dug wells as deep as 300 feet to find water, and the water wheel was born as a result of their search for water. Bathrooms were built for the dead by the Egyptians for the first and only time in history.

A great deal of progress was made in the art and science of plumbing by the Greeks. During the ancient Greek era, hot and cold running water, as well as bathtubs, were a part of everyday life. As a result of the Olympic games, the Greeks developed a technology that advanced their showers to provide athletes with a comfortable place to relieve themselves after the games, which consisted of overhead pipes and sculpted shower heads.

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The Romans then further developed these ancient technologies.

It is believed that the Romans built channels of water more than 1000 years ago, which carried water from the mountains to the city, which was then distributed through underground water supply lines made of lead, which carried water from the mountains into the city. This is where the term ‘plumbing’ originated from, as the word ‘Plumus’ in Latin means ‘lead’. There is also evidence that these lead pipes carried water to the Roman Baths, which were supplied with hot water, which was heated by wood and furnaces. As a result of pumping hot air through channels beneath the floor of these baths, elaborate steam rooms were created. The sewer pipes carried waste water to the Tiber river, which was then emptied into the water. As far as sewer pipes are concerned, the Cloaca Maxima, which had already been built half a century earlier, was by far the largest in terms of carrying wastewater.

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