Roman aqueduct discovered in Armenia

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Roman arched aqueduct during excavation work on the Hellenistic royal city of Artashat-Artaxata in ancient Armenia.

Excavations were conducted by the University of Münster and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, with the results of the study published in the journal Archäologischer Anzeige.

The study unearthed monumental foundations of an unfinished aqueduct bridge built by the Roman army between AD 114 and AD 117 at the city of Artashat-Artaxata. During this period, the Roman Empire was at its greatest extent, ruled by Emperor Trajan who was known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors.

Artaxata was intended to become the capital of a new province of Armenia, in which Prof. Achim Lichtenberger from the Institute of Classical Archaeology and Christian Archaeology at the University of Münster said: “The aqueduct remained unfinished because of Trajan’s death in AD 117 and because his successor Hadrian relinquished the province of Armenia.”

- Advertisement -

The researchers used a multidisciplinary combination of methods from the fields of archaeology, geophysics, geochemistry and archaeoinformatics to examine the monument.

The area of the Hellenistic metropolis of Artaxata in the Ararat Plain was first studied geomagnetically. At this stage, experts surveyed and charted any anomalies which showed a conspicuous dotted line. Additional drillings provided evidence of further unfinished or destroyed pillars of the aqueduct which were documented three-dimensionally.

“We used satellite pictures and infrared images from a drone to visualise the course of the aqueduct’s pillars and was able to reconstructed the planned course of the aqueduct by means of a computer-assisted path analysis between the possible sources of the water and its destination.” says co-author Dr. Mkrtich Zardaryan from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia. Find out more


Header Image – The excavation section shows a pillar of the unfinished aqueduct – Image Credit : Artaxata project

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Preserved temples from the Badami Chalukya era found in India

Archaeologists from the Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology, and Heritage (PRIHAH) have announced the discovery of two temples dating from the Badami Chalukya era.

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Neanderthals created stone tools held together by a multi-component adhesive

A new study published in the journal Science Advances has found evidence of Neanderthals creating stone tools that are held together using a multi-component adhesive.

Roman funerary altar found partially buried in Torre river

Archaeologists have recovered a Roman funerary altar which was found partially buried in the Torree river in the municipality of San Vito al Torre, Italy.

Post-medieval township discovered in Scottish forest

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a pre-medieval township in the Glen Brittle Forest on the Isle of Skye.

Geophysical study finds evidence of “labyrinth” buried beneath Mitla

A geophysical study has found underground structures and tunnels beneath Mitla – The Zapotec “Place of the Dead”