The Temporary Exhibition of the Mechanism and the Antikythera shipwreck...>>
   
 
   
 

Water pipe

Material: Lead
Provenance: Antikythera shipwreck. Recovered in 1900/1 and 1976 (15 November, at a depth of 50m)
Date: First half of first century BC or earlier
Dimensions:
Preserved length: 0.415m, max. diameter: 0.08m, thickness of oxidized wall: 0.0125m, max. preserved length of nails: 0.04m, diameter of nail heads: 0.008m.
Inv. no: Athens, National Archaeological Museum X 19014
Room:Temporary Exhibitions Wing, Room I

For the most part, when found in association with reservoirs, they are identified as belonging to pumps (Gr. , , Lat. sentinaculum) used for discharging water from leaks or rainwater gathered in the hull (Gr. , Lat. sentin).

The earliest lead pipe from a water bilge pump was identified in the 300-270 BC shipwreck at Serce Limani. Most such finds, however, come from the stern of first-century BC wrecks (Grand Congloue, Albenga, Titan, ahdia, Madrague de Giens). The development of such a device requires a keel and a deep hull. Water was removed from the bottom of the boat by a pair of vertical rollers, one fixed on the deck and one inside the hull, with the aid of a rope to which were attached wooden disks positioned at intervals. When the operator (Lat. sentinator) turned the upper roller with a handle, the rope transmitted the movement to the lower roller, submerged beneath the water. The water was pulled by the discs through a wooden tube up into a lead water reservoir on the deck. Lead pipes attached to the reservoir's base emptied the water from the boat depending on its list. Archaeological evidence suggests that such pipes could also run below deck. The device's efficiency depended on the pipe's diameter and the speed at which the wheels were turned.

Wheat freighters were in greater need of pumping installations than other ships because of the sensitivity of their cargo, which was either packed in sacks or shipped in bulk. It is believed that Archimedes (Athenaeus,

 
 
 
 
 
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