Water is an endangered resource, imperiled by population growth, mega-urbanization, and climate change. Scientists project that by 2050, freshwater shortages will affect 75 percent of the global population. Steven Mithen puts our current crisis in historical context by exploring 10,000 years of humankind s management of water. "Thirst" offers cautionary tales of civilizatiWater is an endangered resource, imperiled by population growth, mega-urbanization, and climate change. Scientists project that by 2050, freshwater shortages will affect 75 percent of the global population. Steven Mithen puts our current crisis in historical context by exploring 10,000 years of humankind s management of water. "Thirst" offers cautionary tales of civilizations defeated by the challenges of water control, as well as inspirational stories about how technological ingenuity has sustained communities in hostile environments.As in his acclaimed, genre-defying "After the Ice" and "The Singing Neanderthals," Mithen blends archaeology, current science, and ancient literature to give us a rich new picture of how our ancestors lived. Since the Neolithic Revolution, people have recognized water as a commodity and source of economic power and have manipulated its flow. History abounds with examples of ambitious water management projects and hydraulic engineering from the Sumerians, whose mastery of canal building and irrigation led to their status as the first civilization, to the Nabataeans, who created a watery paradise in the desert city of Petra, to the Khmer, who built a massive inland sea at Angkor, visible from space.As we search for modern solutions to today s water crises, from the American Southwest to China, Mithen also looks for lessons in the past. He suggests that we follow one of the most unheeded pieces of advice to come down from ancient times. In the words of Li Bing, whose waterworks have irrigated the Sichuan Basin since 256 bc, Work with nature, not against it. "...
|Title||:||Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World|
|Number of Pages||:||347 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World Reviews
A really enjoyable book in which archaeologist Mithen looks closely at several of the most accomplished hydraulic cultures of the past as a way of pointing out there is still much to learn from them.
In this book, Steven Mithen examines the history of water management in the ancient Levant, Sumer, Greece, Petra, Rome, Constantinople, China, Angkor, the Hohokam, Mayan civilization, and the Incas. His aim is to determine what present societies can learn from the past by examining how past societies and ancient civilizations have been affected by climate change and how they managed their water supplies and developed hydraulic engineering to do this.The book is fairly interesting, providing a brief overview of the various civilizations' rise and fall, as well as their water management methods. However, it could have been so much better if the author had included more technical or in-depth discussions of the engineering feats with cross-sectional diagrams etc. The book does include maps, photos and schematic diagrams, but doesn't illustrate in enough detail how the various engineering efforts functioned. It would also have been interesting if the author had included water management methods from Africa (besides Egypt)and Australia, assuming there are any, of course.For anyone interested in Mayan engineering, I recommend https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
KOBOBOOKSReviewed by The Guardian (6 Sep 2013)
I love Steve Mithen's books usually. I found this interesting but dry and disappointing in comparison to his other books.
333.91009 M6841 2012