Water Engineering in the Ancient World: Archaeological and Climate Perspectives on Societies of Ancient South America, the Middle East, and South-East Asia

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9780199239092: Water Engineering in the Ancient World: Archaeological and Climate Perspectives on Societies of Ancient South America, the Middle East, and South-East Asia
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Charles Ortloff provides a new perspective on archaeological studies of the urban and agricultural water supply and distribution systems of the major ancient civilizations of South America, the Middle East, and South-East Asia, by using modern computer analysis methods to extract the true hydraulic/hydrological knowledge base available to these peoples. His many new revelations about the capabilities and innovations of ancient water engineers force us to re-evaluate what was known and practised in the hydraulic sciences in ancient times. Given our current concerns about global warming and its effect on economic stability, it is fascinating to observe how some ancient civilizations successfully coped with major climate change events by devising defensive agricultural survival strategies, while others, which did not innovate, failed to survive.

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Charles R. Ortloff is a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago.

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