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: Ҿҡ˹ѧظ Discovering Ayutthaya
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The Water Supply in Ayutthaya Period

The tubes of water supply in the Ancient Palace of Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya

The relation between Thailand and France was the most prosperous in the reign of King Narai. A lot of academic matters and new technology were brought from France to Thailand, for example building fortresses in French style, astrology and training soldiers in French style.

Similarly, the water supply in Thailand came into existence in the reign of King Narai with the help of France. The first engineer who succeeded in building the water supply system was an Italian supreme patriarch named Dagoli. He cooperated with a French engineer in building the water supply system during 1682 1684, and the water supply in Lop Buri was firstly finished, too.

Regarding the water supply at the Ancient Palace in Krung Si Ayutthaya and the other places, although it was not indicated clearly which engineer built them; foreign annals indicated that there had already been water supply and fountains in Krung Si Ayutthaya during 1685 1686. This might have involed the two engineers mentioned above.

Lop Buri topography had advantages over Ayutthaya because the water resource for the water supply was on the land higher than the city. As a result, water from the resource was sent to the city by the canals and tubes made of baked clay to tanks of water in the city. Then water would have flowed naturally down according to the gravitation. On the contrary, Ayutthaya had to use water wheels called “rahad witnam” to draw water to the water tanks.

The form of water wheels or the instrument to bail water up to water tanks was not mentioned in any document. But comparing to the water wheels used in Thailand in the present, there are two types of them. The first one is called “Luuk” used in the north and the northeast of Thailand. The second one is called “Rehad Chokmuay” used in the flat land in the middle region of Thailand. Considering the relation between Thai and Hollanda who had closely made contact with Thailand, water wheels using wind of Hollanda was another one. It might have been used for the water supply in the Ancient Palace of Krung Si Ayutthaya. In the same way, there is no evidence about the form of this water wheel in any document.

With regard to the water supply in Krung Si Ayutthaya ancient palace, a water wheel in any form had to be situated in the river, and bailed water up to a water tank and then supplied the water for various usages.
(The Water Supply in Krung Si Ayutthaya Ancient Palace in Ayutthaya Period)

By Pratheep Phengtako