Reflexion on a method for Archaeology of technical machine: a multi-competences experience on roman wooden force pump of Perigueux

Abstract : This study is based on Roman wooden force pumps. It appears that they were used in small numbers to raise water from wells, and more commonly as portable pumps to fight fires. The force pump is attributed to Ctesibius of Alexandria (fl. c.270 B.C.). The earlier examples were made in bronze, but the original design was cleverly re-engineered in Roman times to make pumps easier and cheaper to make and maintain, by cutting apertures in a large block of wood, and making internal spaces pressure proof by plugging their extremities. Eighteen wooden pumps have been found, mostly in wells, and remains of thirteen survive. This study is based on examination of the remains, and of the reports of the Perigueux pump (Dordogne, France). Archaeologists want to fully study the pump, tacking into consideration its efficiency and the mechanical calculations of the possible performance and of the manpower required to drive it. Technical considerations affecting construction, operation, and performance are discussed and requires connections with knowledge fields such as mechanics. A detailed Report is provided on the pump, giving, so far as possible, a complete description of it and all that is currently known about it. Moreover, a model, size 1:1 of the pump had been built in order to validate the hypothesis. This paper will present the different sides of the multi-expertise for this archaeology and experimental archaeology validation.
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  • ARXIV : 1005.3903

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Nicolas Perry, Richard J. B. Stein, Robert Vergnieux, Cabot Laurent. Reflexion on a method for Archaeology of technical machine: a multi-competences experience on roman wooden force pump of Perigueux. VII International Scientific Students' Workshop of Industrial Archeology. Technology in Civilization's Past – Thinking of the Future, May 2010, Dzierzoniow, Poland. ⟨hal-00483664⟩

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