Podcast Season 2, Episode 4: Going with the Flow: Water Systems in North Africa with Mark Locicero

Dr. Mark Locicero sitting in from of a column.
Dr. Mark Locicero

In this episode of the Peopling the Past podcast, we sit down with Dr. Mark Locicero, a research fellow at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Locicero earned his PhD from Leiden University and he was most recently involved with the excavations at Ostia Antica as a primary field researcher.

Listen in, As Dr. Locicero takes us through his research on water systems in North Africa, most notably at the site of Volubilis, and the ways in which water was used in both public and private contexts.

Looking for additional research on this topics? Check out this book by Dr. Locicero:

Liquid Footprints: Water, Urbanism, and Sustainability in Roman Ostia, Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2020.

Looking for a transcript of this episode? Click here.
Panoramic view of Volubilis, looking west. There are several marble structures visible in the photo amidst vast fields of crops. Mountains are visible in the background.
Panoramic view of Volubilis, looking west.
(CC BY-SA 2.0 – Иерей Максим Массалитин; derivative work: Prioryman)
Plan of Volubilis which , indicating some of the most notable buildings, including the House of Orpheus, the Capitoline Temple and the Forum.
Plan of Volubilis (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Photograph of the interior of the north baths at Volubulis. A bath with convex and concave shapes is at the centre of the composition. Two columns are also visible.
Interior of the North Baths, fed by the aqueduct (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Additional Resources Related to this Podcast

Locicero, M. 2020. “Waters Waters Everywhere: Exploring the Flexibility and Sustainability of Roman Water Supply Systems”, in C. Schliephake, N. Sojc, and G. Weber (eds.) ‚Nachhaltigkeit‘ und Umweltverhalten in der Antike: Die Environmental Humanities‘ aus archäologischer und althistorischer Perspektive, 57-74.

Locicero, M. 2020. Liquid Footprints: Water, Urbanism, and Sustainability in Roman Ostia. Leiden University Press.

Locicero, M. 2020, “Downdrains and Floating Sewers: An Updated Assessment of Drainage Systems in Ostia”, in G. Wiplinger (ed.) Internationales Frontinus-Symposium 10. – 18. Nov. 2018 Rome, BABESCH Suppl. 40, 373-385.

Locicero, M. 2017, “Under Pressure: A New Water Tower in Roman Ostia”, in G. Wiplinger, and W. Letzner (eds.), Wasserwesen zur Zeit des Frontinus, Bauwerke – Technik – Kultur, 40 Jahre Frontinus Gesellschaft Tagungsband des Internationalen Frontinus- Symposiums Trier, 25.-29. Mai 2016 Germany, BABESCH Suppl. 32, 363-372.

Locicero, M. 2017, “Sustainable Romans? Exploring the Flexibility of the Urban Water Cycle in Roman Ostia”, in R. O’Sullivan et al. (eds.), Archaeological Approaches to Breaking Boundaries Interaction,Integration & Division, Proceedings of the Graduate Archaeology at Oxford Conferences 2015–2016, British Archaeological Reports 2869, 117-125.

Digital Resources

Water Footprint Calculator

Calculate your personal water footprint

UNESCO: Archaeological Site of Volubilis

University of Oxford: Manar al-Athar (Images of aqueducts at Volubilis)

Interested in learning more about water systems in the Mediterranean world? Check out this podcast by Dr. Dylan Rogers on monumental water displays at Nikopolis.

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