Vast subterranean aqueduct in Naples once ‘served elite Roman villas’

Forty years ago, when children in Naples were playing in caves and tunnels under the hill of Posillipo in Italy, they didn’t know their playground was actually a Roman aqueduct. When they shared their memories with archaeological authorities recently, it kicked off an exploration of one of the longest, most mysterious examples of ancient water infrastructure in the Roman world.

Rome’s famous aqueducts supplied water for baths, drinking, public fountains and more. Built during a period of about half a millennium (roughly 300 BC to AD 200), aqueducts around the former Roman Empire are highly recognizable today thanks to their multi-tiered arched structure. But this marvel of ancient architecture represents only a small fraction of the actual water system; the vast majority of the infrastructure is still underground.

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