Land drainage and irrigation


Land drainage and irrigation

edited by Salvatore Ciriacono

(Studies in the history of civil engineering, v. 3)

Ashgate, 1998

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Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxiv-xxxix) and indexes



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.


  • 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, Jose A. GarcA-a-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 ChimA * state: ad 900-1450, C.R. Ortloff
  • Technology change in a traditional society: the case of the desagA e 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.

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