Being the main source of life for humankind, water had different vital, cultural and symbolic values throughout ages. Conservation of historic water structures and interpretation of past hydraulic engineering and architectural technologies that had been embedded into city planning principles is one of the important missions of cultural heritage studies. Today; there is a high number of historic water heritage sites enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage List in order to transmit their information - to next generations and integrate them into sustainable water management systems for future studies. Erdemli-Silifke coastal region, which had developed as the Olbian Territorium between Lamas (Limonlu) and Kalykadnos (Göksu) rivers since 3 century BC, possess rich and diverse context of archaeological settings defining a wide and continous cultural heritage context today. Due to its natural, geographical and political advantages within the Mediterranean basin, the region housed high number of ancient settlements located in economical and strategical relation with each other. Supplying fresh water for the settlements and agricultural activities had been a challenging task. Draught and rainless climatic condition of the region was coped with hydraulic engineering and architectural merits. There were two techniques of water supply systems in the region: springwater transmitting systems and rainwater harvesting methods. The purpose of this study is to display hydraulic principles and architectural edifices of ancient water systems in Erdemli-Silifke region with a specific focus on Lamas-Korykos waterwork. The paper continues with discussions on protection and management problems that threaten the integrity of this significant water heritage. Finally, it concludes with proposals related to development of sustainable conservation and heritage interpretation strategies for the recognition of this valuable cultural heritage remains as the significant water heritage resource of the region. Site surveys, which have provided important data basis for the discussions carried out in this paper, have been conducted under the implementation project TR62-18-TG-0020 Development of Culture Routes and Rural Tourism Focuses in Ancient Olba Region supported by Mersin University, Erdemli Chamber of Commerce and Trade and Çukurova Regional Agency.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Water, Heritage, Conservation, Management, Erdemli, Silifke