The ancient Romans are awesome! This is a bronze double-action water pump from approximately the 3rd Century AD, found in Bolsena, Italy. An 1800-year old piece of plumbing!
We all know how great the Romans were at constructing their water delivery systems, from the huge, empire-wide system of aqueducts to their beautiful fountains, public toilets, and baths. Yet it’s easy to forget just how much engineering know-how had to go into making them all run. Here’s one small section of that system to get an idea of how much went into making everything work.
The original is housed in the British Museum, catalogue no: 1892,0517.1