The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts in order to bring water from distant sources into their cities and towns, supplying public baths, latrines, fountains and private households. Aqueducts moved water through gravity alone, being constructed along a slight downward gradient within conduits of stone, brick or concrete.
Cities and municipalities throughout the Roman Empire emulated this model, and funded aqueducts as objects of public interest and civic pride, “an expensive yet necessary luxury to which all could, and did, aspire.” Most Roman aqueducts proved reliable, and durable; some were maintained into the early modern era, and a few are still partly in use.
Tyre aqueduct runs parallel to the main road to the city, and passes the hippodrome. Apparently, the arches formed the arcade that open up to the shops along the road.
The sources of the aqueduct were at Al-Ma’shook, east of Tyre, and in the south at Ras el-Ain and Al-Rashidiyeh (“Old Tyre”). This means that the water conduit was just seven kilometers long.