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The Challenge For A Medieval Center Of Industrial Growth: Ypres And The Drinking-Water Problem

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Chapter Summary

In order to be able to sketch the problems regarding water management in the town of Ypres during the Middle Ages, one first of all need to discuss its demographic, industrial, and topographic development during this period. During the Middle Ages, the most efficient and cheapest way of transporting bulk goods such as wool or cloth was by water. The remarkable nature of the Ypres situation is due to the fact that many other towns could rely on ground water reserves, or were supplied by more natural supply systems. Quite a large quantity of relatively clean water was used for various industrial activities. Recent research has discovered the route of such a (mainly open) sewer throughout the eastern part of the town center. This sewer discharged in the Ieperlee, which clearly indicates that the Ieperlee was also used as a discharge canal.

Keywords: Ieperlee; industrial growth; water supply system; Ypres



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