The aim of this paper is to propose a journey through the history of water and wastewater management technologies in the ancient civilizations, a sort of Appian Way (“Via Appia”, the “regina longarum viarum”) through the Centuries. Moreover, this paper is a sort of short summary of papers presented in the first two IWA Specialty Conferences on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Ancient Civilizations with particular emphasis on the later one. The main topics considered are: aqueducts and tunnels, cisterns and reservoirs, water distributions systems, fountains, toilets and other purgatory structures, drainage and sewerage systems, irrigation systems and, finally, qanats and other similar systems. Upon completing the journey, we have arrived at the conclusion that the meaning of sustainability in modern times should be revaluated in light of ancient hydraulic water and wastewater works and management practices.
Keywords: ancient civilizations, aqueducts, cisterns, drainage, fountains, irrigation, qanats, reservoirs, sewerage, toilets