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An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel (conduit) constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose.[1] In a more restricted use, aqueduct (occasionally water bridge) applies to any bridge or viaduct that transports water—instead of a path, road or railway—across a gap. Large navigable aqueducts are used as transport links for boats or ships. Aqueducts must span a crossing at the same level as the watercourses on each side. The word is derived from the Latin aqua ("water") and ducere ("to lead").


Ancient aqueducts

Although particularly associated with the Romans, aqueducts were devised much earlier in Greece and the Near East and Indian subcontinent, where peoples such as the Egyptians and Harappans built sophisticated irrigation systems. Roman-style aqueducts were used as early as the 7th century BC, when the Assyrians built an 80 km long limestone aqueduct, 10 m high and 300 m wide, to carry water across a valley to their capital city, Nineveh. In the new world, when the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán was discovered in the middle of the second millennium, it was watered by two aqueducts. Water ran down to the city from the mountains through one while the other was cleaned and maintained.

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