Plus ça change...

By SooB

Roman irrigation

A rare trip out today. Usually we're too hot and lazy to much more than lie around and flop in the pool occasionally - but every now and then we pile into the overheated car to explore a bit.

This time we headed a few valleys north from us where Mr MT had spotted on the map there was a lake that might be good for a picnic, with an acqueduct at it's head. The lake was, disappointingly, a half empty reservoir so we headed up to Ansignan to look at the acqueduct. We expected a ruin with maybe an information board, but actually found a fully functioning Roman acqueduct, still supplying the locals with their irrigation water.

The picture shows the inside of the lower level - which was a road bridge over the river, with the acqueduct itself above. It was a nice shady place for a picnic lunch with only a few other tourists arriving in the hour or so we were there.

After a discussion with our daughter about how old it was (we just guessed - there was no information at the site), she asked what was the oldest thing we know about. By happy coincidence, we were pretty close to Tautavel, which used to be the site of the oldest human remains found in Europe, until somewhere in Spain came up with earlier ones. So we went over there to have a look at the museum with all the animal skeletons and tools. Of course explaining how old everything is is hard when her oldest frame of reference is "Is it even older than Nana?"

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