Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press; Sew edition (November 26, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #476,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #80 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Hydrology #108 in Books > Science & Math > Nature & Ecology > Water Supply & Land Use #151 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Water Quality & Treatment
What does water mean for civilization? How important role does water take in creating culture? Steven Mithen quests for the evidence to the remains of ancient cities in the world. Water management was both critical and pervasive throughout the ancient world. People endeavored in controlling water not only for irrigating cultivated land and preventing flood but also securing water for drinking and bathing spiritually and physically. Water has long been a source of mechanical power. They even used water as a weapon and remained as such through history and into the present day. Water solidly incorporated into the ideologies and mythologies of the ancient world. Resultantly, water related motifs appear frequently in the iconography of the ancient world. The sight, the sound, the touches and the feelings of water was valued and of great importance in the past.The scale of ancient hydraulic engineering implies the existence of enormous power. Power lay in controlling access to water. There was a multiplicity in the relation between water and power. Some societies saw economical power in water, while others felt religious importance. Canals facilitating trade has always been, and still be, a social change driver. Taxation and/or warfare provided the fund to build new water controlling systems, which became a visual demonstration of their power. What makes Steven Mithen feel gloomy is the fact all of the ancient civilizations has been succumbed to climate change. Those regions, where they showed technical ingenuity and achievement in managing the ancient water supply, now faces the severe water crisis. The thirsting desire of our forebears have ravaged their environments, and went far beyond a balance between environmental sustainability and economic growth.
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