Definition characters description and diffusion
The roofed cisterns are underground cisterns shaped as monuments plunged into the ground with just the slopes of their roofs emerging above the surface. They are water production devices still in use in southern Italy, all over the Murge highland.
General characters description and diffusion
They were built at the bottom of a little impluvium to catch and harvest water microflows and the moisture of the soil. Thanks to their pitched roof and the frontons almost shaping a tympanum, these constructions gain architectural dignity and the form of temples or mausoleums. On the Tyrrhenian coast, the mythical founder's sacellum of Pasetum, a city dating back to the Greek civilization, has a structure very similar to the underground cisterns, which comes out of the ground with a sloping roof covered with limestone slabs. No archaeological survey has been carried out to prove the hydraulic function of this construction. However, the thickest vegetation marks the route of moisture towards the underground room. The roofed cisterns have a very large capacity that can reach up to 1,000 m3 of water. They are still used in farms supplying a considerable quantity of water. The technique has never been definitely abandoned and some cisterns have been built since last century. This is a practice of great utility and reproducibility that allowed the irrigation of arid soils.
Advantages and sustainability
Roofed cisterns are used to catch and store rainwater and water from other sources which is a sustainable practice and makes other vital processes possible.