This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Carthaginians used air conditioning during chariot races

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Chariot racing in the painting
Chariot racing in the painting

Archaeologists who once conducted excavations in the capital of Carthage at the Circus there discovered that the Punians used an advanced system to cool horses and chariots.

The key to the discovery was that the structure used a waterproof mortar mixed with broken and powdered ceramics. The mortar was used in an oblong object located in the centre of the arena, the so-called spins around which rivals made laps. This building was usually richly decorated with columns, ornaments and statues. Among these facilities, there were sprinklers (sparsores), which drew water from tanks located underground. It is possible that chariot drivers like this could count on a little cooling in the hot climate. However, as scientists say, “ancient air conditioning” may have been primarily intended to cool the wheels of chariots and horses.

The Carthage Circus was the second-largest circus in the Roman Empire, 500 meters long (80 meters shorter than the Circus Maximus in Rome ) and could probably hold over 100,000 spectators. The ancients were extremely fascinated by chariot racing, a sport as popular as football is today.

As it turns out, the cooling technique was also used in other circuses in the Empire, including at the Maxentius circus near Rome, on Via Appia.


IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.


News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: