Plan of the City
The Ruins
Colonnaded Streets
Nabataean Remains
Civic Bulidings
Ecclesiastical Architecture
Moslem Architecture
Bosra Today



Reservoirs. Bosra had two great reservoirs, one towards the east at a short distance beyond the city walls, which has been almost completely destroyed and which is not shown on our plan of the city, and another in the southeast quarter of the town (See Plan of Bosra), probably within the walls, which is in an excellent state of preservation (111. 204} and still contains water, from time to time, when the season allows.

There have been differences of opinion as to the age of these reservoirs. Some writers, like Porter, maintaining that they are Roman in origin, others, like Burckhardt, contending that they are Arabic, and belong to the period of the Castle. I am inclined to believe that the opinion of those who assign these structures to the later period has been influenced by the fact that the reservoirs and the castle were alike built of draughted masonry. That the castle was built out of material taken from the ancient Roman city walls there can be no reasonable doubt, and it is my belief that the reservoirs were built at the same time as the walls. Both of them were placed in the higher quarter of the city with the intention of supplying the baths and public fountains of the city in Roman days. Had they been planned only to meet the requirements of the great caravan of mediaeval days, they might more easily have been placed in the lower level of the city. Mr. Norris, in his survey of the city, shows a conduit which he was able to trace from the Southeast Reservoir to the South Baths. These baths, though they may have been used after the Moslem conquest, were, certainly erected in the Roman period, and would appear to have depended upon the reservoir for water supply. Both reservoirs are built of draughted masonry, like the reservoir at Umm idj-Djimâl; their walls average about 3 m. in thickness. The north and east walls of the Southeast Reservoir, and part of its south wall, were built against excavated sides to hold the sides in place, and make them water-tight. The remainder of the south wall and all the west wall are, in part at least, independent walls. The inside facing of this reservoir is composed of alternating buttresses and spaces of about equal widths, the buttresses measuring about 2.90 m. the spaces 2.85 wide.

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