Water is something that all living things on Earth need to survive. Ever since our species began we have needed to find ways to find water. Humans began as hunter-gatherers and found their water anywhere they could. As humans began to move away from this lifestyle and began to live in settlements, the need for a reliable, sanitary source of water became a real issue. Humans rose to the challenge and developed water wells to provide water to communities. Examples of the earliest recorded wells in history exist in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and during the Neolithic period Europe.

Water Wells in Ancient Greece and Rome

The need for clean, uncontaminated water has been a concern ever since humans began to live in larger agrarian based communities. Some of the earliest attempts at providing sanitary water are the wells built by the ancient Greeks and Romans. They not only built wells, they even had fairly strict standards for the taste, color, smell, and temperature of the water that their citizens were to drink. The Greeks and Romans became experts at engineering and building wells to provide clean water for their citizens.

Water Wells in Ancient Egypt

Excavation of sites in Egypt have shown that the people that lived in ancient times actually had a fairly sophisticated understanding of well making techniques. People dug pits into the ground to a depth of 6-8 meters and then a layer of clay and limestone blocks were added to reinforce the well and prevent contamination of the water. Even in ancient times, Egypt was an arid, desert ecosystem and access to water was a precious luxury. Humans showed ingenuity in reaching the water table with these earliest wells.[1]

Water Qanats in Mesopotamia

Qanats were used in Mesopotamia (modern day Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) to provide clean drinking water to the people that lived in these areas. Qanats are a series of well-like vertical tunnels that descend a hill. Qanats work with the force of gravity to bring water to the surface for collection by humans. They were especially useful in irrigating land and helping with agricultural uses along with providing water for drinking.

Water Wells in Europe

In Germany, scientists have found significant archaeological evidence of an ingenious way of building wells. People in this area would dig into the ground about 6-7 meters, and after digging the pit they would take wood that had been fired and created a lining or barrier to keep in the water and keep out contaminants. These wells were in use all over central Europe from 6000-4000 BCE.[2]

The necessity of water for survival has required people to be innovative. All over the world people have created wells to meet their need for clean, drinkable water for their population. There are examples of early wells in Europe, Greece, Italy, and the Middle East to show just how proficient humans became at creating wells, and the methods different cultures used to build those wells. It’s truly fascinating.

Contact Us Before you Drill a Well

Today we have great technology that not only allows us to drill safe, stable wells, but to survey underneath the ground to discover if a particular place even has water, and how much of it. We’ve come a long way. To learn more about how to find water before you drill your well so you can save money by not drilling a dry well, visit us at www.wefindwater.com.

[1] Source:http://www.academia.edu/543256/Sherds_clay_and_clean_Water_Ancient_Egyptian_Well-technology

[2] Source:http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0051374