Reservoirs and their history
Now an artificial reservoir, a decorative pond on a private plot is a common phenomenon, but once it was a rarity and the privilege of very wealthy people. Decorative ponds, as well as swimming ponds, experienced their own ups and downs. Let us consider how the history of artificial reservoirs began.
From ancient times to the present day, mankind always lives near water, which is our source of life. Be sure to close to the settlements had to be a river, lake or other body of water. This is understandable, since with the help of water people solved most of their everyday problems. The running water of the rivers was used, for example, for mills, and the hostess washed clothes in running water. Water was used for swimming, for cooking and other household needs, which over time became more and more.
It can be said with confidence that artificial reservoirs have a long history of development, which is calculated not for hundreds of years, but for thousands of years. One can easily imagine how many unexpected turns of events could happen during this time, and how many factors influenced the development of artificial reservoirs.
Artificial reservoirs are of different purposes – religious, recreational, technical and purely decorative. The construction of decorative ponds and recreational ponds has a history of more than one millennium. Artificial reservoirs for technical purposes, however, have a no less ancient origin.
For the first time, artificial decorative ponds began to be built thousands of years ago in the East. Usually, an artificial reservoir in antiquity had a rectangular shape, and only later the form became more diverse. In ancient Rome, artificial ponds were already divided into those used for bathing and recreation, and those used for decorative purposes.
Most likely, the first garden ornamental pond appeared in ancient Egypt, but the purpose of these ponds was very practical – they were used for breeding, waterfowl and growing plant food. At a time when Egypt was swept by a wave of religiosity, and magnificently furnished temples began to appear in large numbers, chic gardens were placed on their territory, where there was always an artificial reservoir of aesthetic purpose, I mean a decorative pond. Especially rich temples, and then simply rich families, could build not just one decorative reservoir, but several at once, which was ultimately a sign of status. The artificial pond was usually rectangular in shape – as a result of Egyptian love for clear geometric shapes.
It was also the Egyptians who invented a system of water irrigation canals, with the help of which the fields were irrigated with water from the Nile and the reservoirs were filled. In the II millennium BC construction of ponds begins to develop among the peoples of the East. In particular, there is documentary information about the Iranian garden Char-Bagh, which was divided by water channels into equal four parts. This simple layout helped save water and also symbolized the four rivers that flow from one source, but in different directions. This garden with its canals later became the benchmark for nearby countries in the construction of gardens and ornamental ponds.
In India, a decorative pond acquires new outlines, since here they learned to fit it into an architectural ensemble, creating a complete picture and significantly enhancing the aesthetic function of the pond.
The first artificial reservoirs for technical purposes – the digged reservoirs – appeared in Mesopotamia, India and other regions and were used as widely as the canals.
If we talk about Europe, here artificial reservoirs were needed, first of all, for water mills, and their development and construction was connected with this.