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The Spanish Acequias of San Antonio

Cox, I. Waynne

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ISBN 10: 189327134X / ISBN 13: 9781893271340
Published by Maverick Publishing Co., San Antonio, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Steven G. Jennings (Spring Branch, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Spanish Acequias of San Antonio

Publisher: Maverick Publishing Co., San Antonio

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Printing

About this title


This is the first book on the remarkable 50-mile Spanish-era acequia system that supplied water to early San Antonio. It is believed to have been the most extensive such network within the present-day United States. One of the acequias, serving lands near Mission Espada, remains in use. Its 1730s stone aqueduct is a significant tourist attraction.

New towns throughout the semiarid Spanish southwest depended for water on medieval systems designed by Spanish engineers using techniques brought to Spain from North Africa by the Moors. Their acequias, or irrigation ditches, used a variety of ingenious techniques such as hollowed logs, diversion dams and stone aqueducts to coax water from nearby streams to homes and fields.

San Antonio’s founding was due to the presence of two major sources of water, San Pedro Springs and the headwaters of the San Antonio River. From these was developed perhaps the most extensive acequia system within the present-day United States. The network leading from six acequias originally served both the civilian community and five Spanish missions. Their often erratic courses determined property lines and the winding paths of many present-day streets.

Longtime archeologist Waynne Cox, who uncovered many forgotten remains of the system, outlines acequia technology as well as the construction, evolution and, in most cases, the closing by the early twentieth century of San Antonio’s acequias. His pioneering account draws from a wealth of new information unearthed in the city’s earliest municipal records. The book's 23 illustrations include 8 maps, plus notes, a bibliography and an index.

About the Author:

Waynne Cox spent 26 years as a research associate with the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His excavations frequently, and unexpectedly, uncovered remains of the city’s acequias, causing him to take a particular interest in them and become a leading authority on the subject.

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