Back in 2004, in the Italian town of Noceto, a group of Italian archaeologists discovered what they would later name ‘Vasca Votiva’. The structure appeared to be a wooden water tank that was used for rituals during the Bronze Age.
The water tank was around 12 meters long, 3 meters deep and approximately 7 meters wide. The structure was caved on a hill and it had wooden structural parts, made of oak, elm and walnut. At the time of the discovery, archaeologists established the structure was built around 1600 BC – 1300 BC and that it could not have been a simple irrigation system since it was so complexly build and it lacked water distribution channels.
A new study sheds some light on the discovery
To further investigate the archaeological discovery, scientists specialized in dendrochronology have decided to date the woods used for building the water tank, Vasca Votiva.
To do so, the team had to study the growth rings of the timbers and compare them with the existing records of three growth during ancient times. This meant they had to determine the levels of carbon of each ring and when the result came in at -14, it meant that the ‘infinity pool’-like structure was actually built around the 15th century B.C.
During those times, the territory that nowadays is northern Italy, went through many changes in terms of culture and development; from small farms to larger man made constructions and farming systems.
Religion and water
The new data suggests that the water tank had the same shape and structure as a modern ‘infinity pool’. The pool is believed to have been used for religious purposes; the reflexion of the water would give the impression of stepping into another world.
The fact that it was built on a hill, just like infinity pools, meant that once near the pool, people were able to see through it and the things deposited inside the pool, such as pots, became clearly visible.
The rituals would have been carried for water and rain Gods and just like modern ‘infinity pools’ at Vasca Votiva the sky and the clouds would ‘emerge’ out of the water and would attract the favours of the mighty Gods.