The enclosure keeps people from falling down a well otherwise open at grade level. When fit with a cast iron lid, as traditionally in the public squares, or campos, of Venice, Italy, both the citizens and water supply were protected.
The classical puteal wellheads are made of carved stone, often marble in Europe. They are frequently decorated with bas-reliefs of classical Greek and Roman themes around their outer faces. An Ancient Roman one was in the Puteal Scribonianum structure in the Roman Forum, nothing remains.
- Wellhead — for all types (e.g., water, gas, oil)
- Fontus (Fons) — the ancient Roman god of fountains and wellheads
- Roman aqueduct
- Wishing well
- Wiktionary — Puteal
- Venetian Wellheads @ Venipedia . accessed 5.25.2012
- John Weale, Rudimentary Dictionary of Terms Used in Architecture, Civil, Architecture, Naval, Building and Construction, Early and Ecclesiastical Art, Engineering, Civil, Engineering, Mechanical, Fine Art, Mining, Sur-veying, Etc., to Which Are Added Explanatory Observations on Numerous Subjects Connected with Practical Art and Science. (London: J. Weale, 1849), pg. 364.
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