Skip to main content

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society


Flow through time
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Image provided by Bruce Fouke Lab

Research funded by Total Oil Company

Aqua Anio Novus, built almost 2000 years ago, was one of the greatest aqueducts of Rome. As water flowed through the aqueduct, it left behind thousands of thin layers of precipitated minerals. The travertine rock produced by these mineral deposits and the microbes that live in them is shown here, sampled in cross-section to show the record of water flow from the era of ancient Rome to modern times. Studying the composition of these layers will provide new insights into the history of the Roman water supply.