What do we know about water supply at Mirobriga (Santiago do Cacém, Portugal)? - An overview of the documented structures

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The first recorded mention of the site is by André de Resende, in 1593, in his "De Antiquitatibus Lusitaniae". The passage explicitly refers to a bridge; an aqueduct; an enigmatic «squared stone from whence water would have flowed»;
and little else.

In roughly 100+ years of on and off research excavations, a roman town emerged: With public buildings, several houses and workshops identified, as well some of the streets that connected them to each other and led to the outskirts.
However, if the bridge has been always somewhat visible, said aqueduct was never identified. And what to say of the «squared stone»?

In effect, water supply is a somewhat elusive subject since there aren‘t traces of a supply network and public fountains or wells are yet to be found.
With some water springs identified in the area, individual buildings seem to have depended on their own means of supply. The two known bath buildings had large reservoirs dedicated to their water supply and some of the houses had private wells, but the means of supply for the remainder of domestic and commercial activities is still largely unknown.

In this communication we address these issues and analyse the known water collection and storage structures how it matches up against the town’s documented water needs
Period31 Aug 2023
Event title29th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists - Session #414 - Water Management and Storage Systems in Antiquity: Archaeological, Historical, and Environmental Analysis of Hydraulic Structures
Event typeConference
LocationBelfast, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Lusitania
  • Mirobriga
  • Santiago do Cacém
  • Water supply
  • Abastecimento hídrico
  • Canalizações
  • Aqueduto
  • Aquecuct
  • Poço
  • Well
  • Arqueologia Romana
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Arquitectura Romana
  • Roman Architecture
  • Balnea
  • Termas Romanas
  • Roman Baths
  • Arquitectura Doméstica
  • Domestic Architecture