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A ruin of a clogged pipe. Abandoned and devoid of projections, residues, deposits in the riddle that is archaeology. Writing a story for the second aqueduct, a collage of projected fragments collected along its path, dowsing the ghost of the water that flowed in this pipe. This water channel ceased to function about 14 centuries ago, probably due to recurrent clogging of the pressure pipe, the best-preserved trace of the higher-level aqueduct. The pipe was built by the Roman Tenth Legion at some point during the second century AD, perhaps on the ruins of a Herodian aqueduct, in order to bring water back to the upper city, re-baptised Aelia Capitolina. Its function, to climb 40 meters of topography, spanning a distance of about 2 km, permitting the water to flow the straight way to Jerusalem, a short stretch of the historic artery that was the Patriarchs’ Road. Today, this north-south vertebra is the urban highway of Hebron road. The aqueduct, spanning a distance of 13 km, connects two obsolete pools, from the south of Bethlehem to the old city of Jerusalem. In between, the continuous urban fabric forms an urban “paté”, while miscellaneous infrastructures fragment the agglomeration, clogged in time and space. The genesis of Jerusalem happened around a spring at the fringe of the desert, around which a fortification was built some 5,000 years ago. Since then, the demography oscillated with the availability of water. The agglomeration as we know it today, is a manifestation of the latest phase of growth that started in the XIXth century. A city growing off its ancient water systems, off its ground, a fiction that is its own reflection. The spring grew into pools and aqueducts, gathering water from other sources, and ultimately into a machine pumping lakes and aquifers elsewhere to channel dreams into this insatiable city.

Still Waters. excerpt

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