The low water availability in several regions of southeastern Hellas and particularly in several islands, such as Crete, has resulted in the construction of various water reservoir types for collection and storage of rainwater, since their very early habitation. Ever since technologies for the construction and use of several types of cisterns have been developed. In Crete during the Minoan Era, water cisterns were very well practiced as a basic mean for water supply in several settlements. The Minoan water cistern technologies were further developed, mainly by enlargement of the scale of water systems, at subsequent stages of the Hellenic civilizations. Furthermore, more advanced water cistern technologies were invented, with a peak during the Hellenistic period that followed Alexander the Great, during which time they spread over a geographical area from Hellas to the west and to the east. The Romans inherited the cistern technologies and further developed them mainly by changing their application scale from small to large. Characteristic paradigms of Cretan cisterns are considered which justify the significance of that technology for water supply in areas with low water availability during the whole Cretan history. Herein, nowadays climatic conditions and water resources management in Crete are presented and discussed.
- Bronze age
- classical and Hellenistic periods
- flood risks
- modern and future times
- rainwater harvesting
- Roman and post-Roman times
- First received 10 February 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 29 April 2016.
- © IWA Publishing 2016