Archaeological remains around the world are testament that large-scale construction projects have been successfully carried out for millennia. This success is particularly evident through the great infrastructural works of the Roman Empire, yet, it was when the capital was moved from Rome to Constantinople in late antiquity that the largest of these projects was undertaken. This megaproject of the fourth- and fifth-century water supply was made of hundreds of kilometres aqueduct channels and bridges that brought fresh water to the city’s complex system of reservoirs and cisterns. Unlike projects of the previous centuries, we are left with no written record of how this titanic project was undertaken and existing archaeological and historical commentaries on structures of this period do not provide details of organisation of construction. We explore the nature of building Constantinople’s water supply through the application of agent-based modelling— a method for simulating the actions, interactions and behaviours of autonomous agents and the resulting emergent properties of the system in which they are a part. This paper demonstrates the ability of ABM to develop and test richer hypothoses about historical construction organisatione and management than the sparse or missing physical and historical evidence on their own.
|Journal||Construction Management and Economics|
|Early online date||18 Dec 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- Project management
- Byzantine Constantinople
- Archaeological Engineering
- Agent-based modelling