Using the recipe in SOTW I mixed the ingredients. I had my mom pick up the sand for me, she was at the store at the time anyway."I need it for a recipe" I said. Yum.
Then I added the hot water and mixed. My arm nearly fell off, the stuff gets THICK. If you do this yourself, keep a man near by unless your upper body strength is significantly better than my own. While I stirred, I read. These elevated arched aqueducts, called arcades, were really just bridges put up to carry the water channels through certain areas. They make up only 1/9 of the aqueduct system the Romans had.
While the sand dough cooled I cut out my template, altering it to have an even slope. The white paper at the top is my addition. They were sloped to help keep water moving and flowing through the pipes.
I laid out the two templates on the dough, and cut it out, at just under an inch thickness. In reality the bridges that carried water were 10-20 feet wide.
I set them together on a cookie sheet, molding them together with wet clay before I baked it. You can see the thicker support, third from the right, that's where I molded them.
Then I got an 15 inch length of copper tubing (actually hubby already had it as this was an impulse addition. The guide calls for a paper towel tube, the Romans used lead, I figured copper was a good in-between.) I enclosed it in sand dough, and attached it to the top of the aqueduct. I did this before baking. Turns out some Romans did know the danger of using lead, bronze was sometimes used instead, but for the most part the few that did give warnings about lead were not heeded and the concerns of lead were mostly forgotten for another 1500 years.
While it baked I tossed the yogurt container idea the book had and made a cement holding tank for the water using a metal can. I cut three holes in the bottom for the pipes to come out of. I was not current of my tetanus shot, but came out with nearly no injuries.
I then wrapped it in dough, put three copper pipes sticking out of it and baked it hard. The copper pies at the bottom show how the holding tank distributed the water (underground) to the cities and towns.
When the aqueduct was baked I let it cool and stood it up. It bakes up really firmly, there wasn't any risk of cracking. I stuck it in clay ball supports to keep it standing, I just let the supports air dry. You can see the piping sticking out from either side to show that the aqueducts had water flowing through the top. As I looked at this I of course wondered, how DID the water get in there in Roman times? A nice illistration from a Don Nardo book really helped.
The fact that the raised aqueducts only carried water part of the time, and that underground pipes got it there in the first place, really clears things up. Even though I feel the need to be very accurate and realistic, I decided I was NOT adding a reservoir to my project at this time.
I placed the holding tank underneath the low end (realistically the water would flow directly into the holding tank, called a castellum aquae, probably from an underground pipe.) The purpose of this tank was not just storage, but also filtering. I wrote up 5 little nuggets of information on aqueducts for the kids at class to learn and secured it to my display glass with contact paper. It was at this point I felt like a total geek for making this project on my own.