The Hydraulic State: Science and Society in the Ancient World, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Hydraulic State

Science and Society in the Ancient World, 1st Edition

By Charles R. Ortloff


416 pages | 24 Color Illus. | 157 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367858087
pub: 2020-08-07
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The Hydraulic State explores the hydraulic engineering technology underlying water system constructions of many of the ancient World Heritage sites in South America, the Middle East and Asia as used in their urban and agricultural water supply systems.

Using a range of methods and techniques, some new to archaeology, Ortloff analyzes various ancient water systems such as agricultural field system designs known in ancient Andean societies, water management at Nabataean Petra, the Roman Pont du Garde water distribution castellum, the Minoan site of Knossos and the water systems of dynastic (and modern) China, particularly the Grand Canal and early water systems designed to control flood episodes. In doing so the book greatly increases our understanding of the hydraulic/hydrological engineering of ancient societies through the application of complexity theory, similitude theory and CFD analysis as well as traditional archaeological analysis methods.

Serving to highlight the engineering science behind water structures of the ancient world, this book will be of interest to archaeologists working on landscape archaeology, urbanism, agriculture and water management.

Table of Contents


1. Hydraulic Engineering in Pre-Columbian Peru and Bolivia Hydraulic Societies

2. Hydraulic Engineering in The Ancient Mediterranean World

3. Hydraulic Engineering and Social Structure in Asian Hydraulic Societies

4 Conclusions: Water Engineering in Ancient South America, the Middle East and Asian Societies

About the Author

Charles R. Ortloff is the director of CFD Consultants International and Research Associate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Archaeology

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology