Man’s control over the elements of land and water for the purposes of agriculture was fundamental to the development of civilisations in the past, and remains so today. This volume deals with the processes of irrigation, and land drainage and reclamation, and illustrates the variety of technological and engineering solutions in a wide chronological and geographical perspective. The sophistication of many pre-modern systems is clear, as is the impact of modern technologies. Important points that emerge are that there was no steady or linear progression in techniques across time - instances of the transfer of ideas are balanced by cases of independent development - and that the correlations between irrigation systems and social structures demand more complex explanations than often proposed.
'The aim of Ashgate's twelve volume series is to bring together collections of important papers on particular topics from scholarly journals, conference proceedings and other hard-to-access sources. This is a wholly laudable objective. Some of the papers in the volume under review [The Civil Engineering of Canals and Railways before 1850] cannot be found even in abundantly-resourced academic libraries. The series opens up, directly or indirectly, debates over the nature of historical evidence which arise from the profoundly different approaches to the past of historians of technology, whose works are principally represented in these volumes, industrial archaeologists and social and economic historians.' Industrial Archaeology Review, Vol. XXI, No. 1
Contents; Introduction; Ancient Irrigation: Ancient irrigation and water management in the Indian Ocean region, K.N. Chaudhuri; Irrigation and land use in ancient Mesopotamia, Jacob W. Gruber; Irrigation In Europe And The Middle East: Water and soil from the desert: some ancient agricultural achievements in the central Negev, Yehuda Kedar; Roman dams in Tripolitania, Claudio Vita-Finzi; Hydraulic technology in al-Andalus, Thomas F.Glick; Giovanni Francesco Sitoni, an hydraulic engineer of the Renaissance, José A. GarcÃa-Diego; Irrigation in Norway and elsewhere in Northern Europe, Peter Michelsen; Land Drainage And Reclamation In Europe: History of the reclamation of the western fenlands and of the organisations to keep them drained, H. van der Linden; Land drainage and reclamation, L.E. Harris; Le marais Poitevin, R. d’Hollander; Boulton and Watt and the Norfolk marshland, Norman Mutton; The engineering works of John Grundy, 1719-1783, A.W . Skempton; The drainage and reclamation of the Somerset levels, 1770-1833, M. Williams; Irrigation In America And Asia: Surveying and hydraulic engineering of the pre-Columbian ChimÃº state: ad 900-1450, C.R. Ortloff; Technology change in a traditional society: the case of the desagÃ¼e in colonial Mexico, Louisa Schell Hoberman; Irrigation, agriculture and the landlord in early modern Japan, Isao Hatate; Water control in the Dongting Lake region during the Ming and Qing periods, Peter C. Perdue; Contributions of the British to irrigation engineering in upper India in the 19th century, Joyce M. Brown; Index.
From dams to cathedrals, from water supply to transport systems, and from land drainage to the design and construction of ever larger and more monumental buildings, the impact of civil engineering on human history has been immense. This series sets out to examine key aspects of its history, from antiquity to the early 20th century.
Studies in the History of Civil Engineering focuses on the following areas: the analysis of early structures to discover how ancient or medieval builders used the materials available to them, and the principles upon which they worked; the ideas and practices of design as employed by both engineers and architects; the development of new materials and techniques, from wooden trusses to cast iron and concrete; the investigation of the great engineering projects that began to burgeon with the 18th century, first in Britain, then elsewhere, underpinned by advances in science which provided a new theoretical framework upon which to base the engineering.
These volumes reveal the implications for the history of architecture of choices of material, technique and structure. They aim also to reflect the political and economic constraints which so often shaped what could be achieved, and the inter-relationship between the history of civil engineering and economic history: the engineering was both stimulated by, and made possible the spread of industrialization.
Not least, the series is concerned to examine the lives, attitudes and careers of the men who emerged to form the new profession of the engineer. Studies in the History of Civil Engineering comprises 12 volumes. Each focuses on a particular topic, edited by an expert in that field. They reprint a selection of papers which have proved of particular importance, and which exemplify the current state of knowledge and the historiography. Originally published in wide range of scholarly journals, conference proceedings and the like, many hard to consult, these papers are now reprinted together under hard covers, making them readily accessible, even for non-specialists. Each volume opens with a substantial new introduction by the editor, to assess the field and place the papers in their context, and is fully indexed. The series constitutes an authoritative reference library, not just for those interested in the history of civil engineering, but also those studying economic history and the history of science and, above all, of architecture.