2000 Years of Old Water Use Regulations found in Laodicea

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During the excavations carried out in the Ancient City of Laodicea nearby Hierapolis (Pamukkale), a fountain built in the name of Emperor Trajan and a marble block on which the rules for the use of water were scribed were unearthed.

Water Pipes in Laodicea
Water Pipes in Laodicea

The water sharing law consisting of 30 lines written on a marble block in front of the fountain and fountain made in the name of Emperor Trajan is well-preserved.

Baths of Laodicea on the Lycus

In 114, the Laodicea Council prepared this law and then submitted it to the proconsul in Ephesus for approval, and the proconsul approved the water law on behalf of the emperor. The law contains very severe penalties for issues such as pollution of water, damage to waterways or reopening of pipes that have been sealed with lead.

Church of Laodicea

“Nobody can remove or distribute the water in city fountains or pipes under any pretext. It is for the prohibition of the retention of the water coming to the city or the prohibition of changing the road and the allocation of the use of water for the public benefit. Whoever steals the city’s water for his own personal use or damages the water system, he has to pay 5 thousand dinars to the emperor’s treasury.”

From the 2000 Years of Old Water Use Regulations found in Laodicea

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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