Ancient Tyre: how to water an island AquaTyr

Jean Baptiste Yon

Research Director, CNRS (French National Centre for Research)

Prof Kosmas Pavlopoulos

Professor of Environmental geomorphology-Geology, SUAD (Leading as Co-PI)

The AquaTyr project aims at documenting how the Tyrians successfully organized the collection and distribution of water during two millennia, despite drastic paleo-geographic changes. Through the study of water management, the project will highlight the resilience and adaptation of the Tyrians to successive geopolitical, environmental, and demographic crises. The project combines the know-how of researchers highly experienced in the fields of archaeology, architecture, environmental chemistry, and coastal geology. 

Most of them already possess a good field-based knowledge of this UNESCO world heritage site. The novelty of the project resides in the coupling of onshore and offshore investigations, combined with a multidisciplinary tracking of water flow paths, from the sources, upstream of the piped network, down to their outlets at the sea, integrating Humanities and Earth Sciences. The understanding of water management at Tyre could inspire the design of modern, multi-usage water networks, aimed at preserving coastal aquifers. The project represents a considerable breakthrough in our understanding of the spatio-temporal evolution of Tyre; it will also allow a full reassessment of the extent of its archaeological structures currently buried under the sands of the peninsula.