A History of Water and Humankind

Book - 2011 | 1st U.S. ed
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The story of our most vital resource, and how it has shaped the history of every human society, spans five millennia, from ancient Mesopotamia to the parched Sun Belt, from ancient Rome, whose mighty aqueducts still supply modern cities, to China, where emperors marshaled armies of laborers in a centuries-long struggle to tame powerful rivers. Anthropologist Fagan sets out three ages of water: In the first, lasting thousands of years, water was scarce--so precious that it became sacred in almost every culture. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, human ingenuity had brought water to the most arid landscapes. This was the second age: water as commodity. Even bone-dry regions like the American Southwest glittered with swimming pools and golf courses. Today, we are entering a third age: as our population approaches nine billion and ancient aquifers run dry, we must learn once again to treat this essence of life with humility, even reverence.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2011
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781408815731
Branch Call Number: 553.7 FAGAN
Characteristics: xxvii, 384 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Human history of water


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ChristchurchLib Mar 31, 2015

According to anthropologist Brian Fagan, water is "an integral part of our lives that we never think about," which (he adds) is a huge mistake on our part, as it's perhaps the most influential force to ever shape human civilization. In this narrative history, Fagan covers important milestones in the relationship between humans and water, one that spans millennia - from approximately 10,000 BCE to the present. Whether discussing aquifers or aqueducts, hydroelectric power or hydroponics systems, Elixir brings together the historical, cultural, religious, scientific, and philosophical dimensions of water. Nature and Science April 2015 newsletter.


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