J 79. Advanced Minoan Water-system ; Pipes and Conduits ;
Fountain of Fresco; Cylinder-built Well with Minoan Signs and
Mklian Parallel; Sumerian Comparisons.
Advanced Minoan water-system; Sections of terra-cotta water-pipes;
Minoan Wells; Discovery of M.M. /a well by Villa Ariadne; Well com-
posed of clay cylinders—Incised signs on rims of clay drums; Repetition of
Minoan linear sign; Cylinder-built well of Late Mycenaean date, Phylakopi ;
Evidence for Greek or Greco-Roman origin of Knossian example—Glass
fragments in exterior clay filling; Was there here a surviving tradition of
Minoan craftsmen ? Oriental origin of cylinder-built wells—examples at Ur
in association with primitive stage of ' tholos' tomb; Fresh evidences of
Minoan indebtedness to early Chaldaean civilization.
These runnels with their parabolic curves following the turns of outer
stairways, the further scheming- of their channels to secure the precipitation
of sediment in intermediary catch-pits, the whole elaborate method of collect-
ing the maximum amount of rain-water, freed from impurities, so as to use
it for washing or other purposes in a tank below—all this is only one side
of the highly skilled hydraulic knowledge to which the Minoans had attained.
The elaborate drainage system of the Palace 1 and the connected sanitary
arrangements"- excite the wonder of all beholders. The terra-cotta water-pipes
with their scientifically shaped sections, nicely interlocked, which date from
the earliest days of the building3 are quite up to modern standards. The
practical knowledge that they imply of the law by which water finds its own
level has since, indeed, been further illustrated by the discovery of the
Minoan conduit heading towards the Palace from the pure limestone spring of
Mavrokolybo4 and implying a descending and subsequently ascending
The slightly tapering form of the sections of which the terra-cotta
pipes were composed, illustrated by the examples from the South Porch 5
and of the Upper Eastern terrace, known as the ' Corridor of the Draught-
board' 6, here repeated in Fig. 173, were admirably designed to impart a shoot-
1 P. of M., i, p. 225 seqq. (§ 10).
2 Ibid, pp. 228-30, and Fig. 172.
3 Ibid., p. 141 seqq., and Figs. 103, 104.
4 Ibid., ii, Pt. II, pp. 462, 463, and Fig. 273.
5 Cf. ibid., i, pp. 141-3, and Figs. 103, 134,.v
6 Cf. ibid., i. p. 143, Fig. 104, B.