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The Gadara Aqueduct, also called Qanatir Fir'awnor Qanat Fir'aun (Pharaoh's Watercourse), was a Roman aqueduct supplying water for some of the cities of the Decapolis. It serviced Adraha (known today as Dera'a in Syria), Abila (at Wadi Queilebh in Jordan), and Gadara (modern-day Umm Qais in Jordan). The aqueduct has the longest known tunnel of the Classical era.
There was one section of more than 106 kilometres (66 mi), constructed with qanat technology. In this special case, nearly all the shafts were diagonal at 45-60 degrees, with stairs to the real water channel inside the mountain. The line went along steep slopes and collected water from sources around the area. The first visitor who rode along the "Kanatir" was U. J. Seetzen in 1805.[ citation needed ]
There are gradients of 0.3 metres per mile (0.2 m/km; 1.0 ft/mi) for the tunnel section. The aqueduct starts at a Roman dam in Dilli (al-Dali, also spelled el-Dilli, Eldili, ad-Dili, c. 7 km north of the sub-district residence town of Al-Shaykh Maskin, Izra District, Daraa Governorate, Syria). From there, this part of the aqueduct line crosses several wadis via five-to-ten-metre-high (15–35 ft) bridges. During the last few decades, more than three kilometres (2 mi) of the remaining substructions were demolished on the plains between Dilli and Dera'a near the Syria-Jordan border.[ citation needed ]
East of Adraha was a 35-metre (115 ft) bridge. The remains of the bridge now can be found on the ground of the new Al Saad Dam located at the eastern suburbs of Dera'a. After a junction point with a side channel from the Muzayrib lake, the underground aqueduct begins. Three water systems have been found near Gadara (Umm Qais). The first and second were built with qanat technology, and the third was built as a channel along a street. It is believed that all three systems were used, but each at a different period.
Beneath the classical city of Adraha was an underground city, and was also part of the aqueduct. The inhabitants of the city collected water by jars on ropes, from the underground channel. Today, however, there is no sign of the "underground city" which was described by Wetzstein in 1860 and G. Schumacher in 1896.[ citation needed ]
The Decapolis was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in the southeastern Levant in the first centuries BC and AD. They formed a group because of their language, culture, location, and political status, with each functioning as an autonomous city-state dependent on Rome. They are sometimes described as a league of cities, although some scholars believe that they were never formally organized as a political unit.
A qanat or kariz, is a system for transporting water from an aquifer or water well to the surface, through an underground aqueduct. Constructed in Iran, Iraq and numerous other societies, this is an ancient system of water supply which allows water to be transported over long distances in hot dry climates without loss of much of the water to evaporation. The system has the advantage of being resistant to natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, and to deliberate destruction in war. Furthermore, it is almost insensitive to the levels of precipitation, delivering a flow with only gradual variations from wet to dry years.
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Abila, distinguished as Abila in the Decapolis, and also known for a time as Seleucia, and Raphana, was a city in the Decapolis; the site, now referred to as Qweilbeh, occupies two tells, Tell al-Abila and Khirbet Tell Umm al-Amad.
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The Pont d'Aël is a Roman aqueduct, located in a village of the same name in the comune of Aymavilles in Aosta Valley, northern Italy. It was built in the year 3BC for irrigation purposes and supplying water for the newly founded colony of Augusta Praetoria, which is now known as Aosta. The water was directed through a neighbouring valley 66 m above the floor of the Aosta valley, through a sophisticated system. The aqueduct is 6 km long in total. In addition to its unusual position, the construction, which was originally thought to be a three-story structure, shows more unique features such as a control corridor below the water line, as well as explicit private funding. Today, the water channel of the aqueduct serves as a public walking trail.
Umm Qais or Qays is a town in northern Jordan principally known for its proximity to the ruins of the ancient Gadara. It is the largest city in the Bani Kinanah Department and Irbid Governorate in the extreme northwest of the country, near Jordan's borders with Israel and Syria. Today, the site is divided into three main areas: the archaeological site (Gadara), the traditional village, and the modern town of Umm Qais.
Gadara, in some texts Gedaris, was an ancient Hellenistic city, for a long time member of the Decapolis city league, a former bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see.
An aqueduct is a watercourse constructed to carry water from a source to a distribution point far away. In modern engineering, the term aqueduct is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose. The term aqueduct also often refers specifically to a bridge carrying an artificial watercourse. Aqueducts were used in ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, and ancient Rome. In modern times, the largest aqueducts of all have been built in the United States to supply large cities. The simplest aqueducts are small ditches cut into the earth. Much larger channels may be used in modern aqueducts. Aqueducts sometimes run for some or all of their path through tunnels constructed underground. Modern aqueducts may also use pipelines. Historically, agricultural societies have constructed aqueducts to irrigate crops and supply large cities with drinking water.
Dium or Dion or Dia (Δία) was a city in ancient Coele-Syria mentioned by numerous ancient writers. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, the city was a foundation of Alexander the Great, and named after the city Dium in Macedon. It was also called Pella.