Technology in Ancient Greece

Drainning projects in the lake Kopaida (14th century B.C.)

The biggest technical project of the Mycenae civilization is the one of the drainning of the lake Kopaida in the 14th century B.C. The water from the rivers and the torrents that were overflowing the plain, were conveied through an irregular canal, the width of which was 40 -60 metres, and a system of banks at the NE side of the lake, where a concentrating trench(ditch) (total length of 9 kilometres) was carrying them away into deep holes. Those holes were not enougth to absorb all that water, so the Mycenae's technicians builted an underground inclined tunnel, dug into the rock, of total length 2230 m.!
The way these tunnel was builted is described here. Sixteen perpedicular squared wells, that were 100- 200 m. apart of each other, and in depth of 18 to 63 m. were dugged. When the technicians reached the desired depth, they began the sideway excavation , so as to join the wells. The tunnel was capable to drain large amounts of water, making sure the perfect drainning of the lake.
The project was destroied from the Thebians that were on war with the residents of the Orchomenos. The Thebians blocked the deep holes that were used to absorb the water and the cities were drowned and destroied.
During the time of G.Alexander, the hydraulic Kratis have tried to drain the lake again, but he left the project unfinished.


It is placed in the region of Boeotia, North of Athens. It was the biggest lake of Hellas. In nowdays it is drainned, by a project that were completed in 1931.

Last updated in Novembre 28, 1997

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