Tag Archives: water management

AQUEDUCTS, CANALS, QANATS workshop on June 23rd-24th in Nijmegen

AQUEDUCTS, CANALS, QANATS: 

CONSTRUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OF WATER CONDUITS

IN THE LATE ANTIQUE AND MEDIEVAL MEDITERRANEAN AND MIDDLE EAST

This workshop will explore topics connected to the hydraulic infrastructure and its management that allowed water to be transported to, and distributed within, cities in the medieval world (c. 600–1500 CE). Many medieval cities depended on the transportation of water across long distances, requiring the construction of significant infrastructure—or, in some cases, the maintenance and extension of pre-existing structures from earlier periods—to supply urban populations. Conduits of various varieties—such as canals, qanats and aqueducts—were huge investments in terms of labour and financial resources and their construction, through sometimes difficult and unforgiving landscapes, often presented considerable engineering challenges that had to be overcome. Once built, these structures required frequent maintenance to remain effective and the distribution of water had to be actively managed to ensure an equitable supply of water regularly reached urban users. Rulers often took a personal interest in the construction, extension or repair of these conduit systems while local authorities and other institutions played key roles in their management and regulation. The material evidence for many of these conduits is well preserved and its analysis often illuminates how, when and why these structures were built as well as episodes of maintenance, repair and abandonment. Textual evidence, on the other hand, provides an equally valuable strand of evidence which often contains more ephemeral details relating to their management, the social obligations that related to their upkeep and the users that depended on the water they conveyed.

In this workshop, we aim to gain an insight into these processes—construction and upkeep, management, (dis)repair, etc.—as well as the relationships between the many people and groups involved in these processes and/or who made use of the water transported and distributed via these conduits. Therefore, contributions explore various aspects of conduit systems that brought water to, and distributed water within, medieval cities—e.g. their construction, repair, management, materiality, symbolism or abandonment. Our focus is the medieval Middle East but contributions also consider evidence from neighbouring cultural and geographic zones (including, but not limited to, the Byzantine Empire, Al-Andalus and Central Asia) as well as earlier periods (such as the Roman and Sasanian empires).

The preliminary programme can be download here.

We would be delighted if colleagues could join us in person, but there will also be a live zoom link to follow discussions online.

To register please send an email to edmund.hayes@ru.nl, indicating IN-PERSON or ONLINE attendance, specifying which days you will attend.

The zoom link will be send to registered participants on the eve of the conference.

Samarra workshop Durham/online 27th June

Department of Archaeology, Durham University

Landscapes of Complex Society Research Group/ Durham Centre for Cultural Heritage Protection

The Abbasid capital at Samarra: the current situation and its research potential

Monday 27th June 13:00-16:00 (BST)

Samarra, located 100 km north of Baghdad, was the Abbasid capital between its foundation in 836 AD/CE until about 892 AD/CE. At 5,800 hectares extending 40km along the Tigris, and with the plans of around 6,400 separate buildings recorded, it is one the largest archaeological sites in the world and without doubt the most important evidence available for the nature of Abbasid urban layout. The site also holds the answers to many important questions about the nature of Abbasid society and power. Yet the extensive remains are steadily being destroyed through development and agriculture.

Following the publication of the Historical Topography of Samarra (Northedge 2005) and the Archaeological Atlas of Samarra (Northedge and Kennet 2015) this workshop is intended to take a look at the current condition of the site and to discuss plans for future research.

13:00 Derek Kennet Introduction; An Outline of Samarra and its development

13:30 Alastair Northedge The Samarra Archaeological Survey, potential, evolving technology, and achievements in context

14:00 William Deadman The Samarra Atlas GIS archive: assessing damage and threats to the site using remote sensing

14:25 Tea/coffee

14:50 Peter Brown Water supply and water-use at Samarra: exploring the evidence and potential for future research

15:10 Tim Power Samarra – Horizons, Near and Far

15:30 Discussion

16:00 Close

The workshop will be held in person in room D210 in the Dawson Building, Durham University and also online at the following Zoom link:

Click on this Zoom link to register:

https://durhamuniversity.zoom.us/j/98001434828?pwd=ZHNaQzJJbGs2WGlvRUtNK043QnJKdz09

Attendance in both formats is free and all are welcome to come along to listen and to contribute to the discussion.

New publication: H. Kirchner, F. Sabaté (eds.), Agricultural Landscapes of Al-Andalus, and the Aftermath of the Feudal Conquest

Agricultural Landscapes of Al-Andalus, and the Aftermath of the Feudal Conquest

H. Kirchner, F. Sabaté (eds.)

277 p., 22 b/w ill. + 40 maps (36 b&w, 4 colour), 8 b/w tables, 1 b/w line art, 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-59397-5
Languages: English

The publication is available.
Retail price: EUR 80,00 excl. tax

Brings together significant, recent research on agricultural systems in al-Andalus, undertaken from an archaeological perspective, with particular reference to irrigated and drained areas, dry agriculture field systems, and pasturelands.

This volume presents recent archaeological research on the agriculture and society of al-Andalus during the Middle Ages, especially from the perspective of ‘hydraulic archaeology’ — an avenue of research developed by Spanish researchers which focuses on the analysis of irrigation systems created by Islamic colonists from the eighth century onwards. More recently, this research perspective has incorporated the analysis of other agricultural systems, such as dryland agriculture and pasturelands. All of these agricultural regimes are complementary in peasant-led subsistence agricultural systems. From a methodological perspective, this archaeological approach is highly innovative, and uses a wide range of techniques (aerial photography, cartographical analysis, field survey, archival research, and archaeological excavation) in order to outline the size and boundaries of cultivation and grazing areas, to define specific plots of land and the related road networks, and to identify other associated facilities, such as watermills.

In connection with these topics, several issues are discussed: the earmarking of rural or urban farming areas for irrigation, draining, or dryland agriculture; the process of construction and the subsequent evolution of these farming areas; the transformations undergone by these areas after the feudal conquest; and, finally, the identification of pasturelands and the analysis of the evidence concerning their management.

Helena Kirchneris Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology and a member of the research group Agrarian Archaeology of the Middle Ages (2017SGR1073) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Flocel Sabbate Curul is a Professor of Medieval History at the University of Lleida.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Research on Irrigation, Drainage, Dry Agriculture and Pastures in Al-Andalus — HELENA KIRCHNERPeasant Irrigation Systems

Agrarian Spaces and the Network of Andalusi Settlements of Manacor (Mallorca) — EUGÈNIA SITJES

Watermills in Ibiza (Balearic Islands): A Documentary and Archaeological Case Study in Santa Eulàlia des Riu — ANTONI FERRER, HELENA KIRCHNER

Morphology of Irrigated Spaces in Late Medieval Mudejar Settlements: The Canal of Lorca (Riba-roja de Turia, Valencia) — ENRIC GUINOTUrban Irrigated Areas

Searching for the Origin: A New Interpretation for the Horta of Valencia in Times of Al-Andalus — FERRAN ESQUILACHE

Drainage and Irrigation Systems in MadīnaṬurṭūša(Tortosa, Spain) (8th-12th Centuries) — HELENA KIRCHNER, ARNALD PUY, ANTONI VIRGILIDry Farming and Pasturelands

On Dry Farming in al-Andalus — FÈLIX RETAMERO

On the Problem of Andalusi Dry Farming: Aialt (Castell de Castells), a Qarya with no Irrigation System in the Mountains of Valencia — JOSEP TORRÓ

Deciphering Islamic Landscape in the Eastern Ebro Valley: Almunias and Livestock — JESÚS BRUFAL

Irrigated Pasturelands in Mountain Ranges in the South-East Of the Iberian Peninsula — ANTONIO MALPICA, SONIA VILLAR, GUILLERMO GARCÍA-CONTRERAS

Second Ḥajar Online Workshop, 28 APRIL 2022

Early Islamic agriculture and water management: Talking about a “revolution”

15:45-19:00 (Brussels)

15:45 Case studies

Helena Kirchner, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Green Revolution between technique transfer and local adaptation: The making of a new agricultural landscape in al-Andalus

Vladimir Dabrowski, CNRS-National Museum of Natural History (Paris)

What Islamic agricultural revolution in eastern Arabia? Recent archaeobotanical discoveries (1st millennium CE)

Gideon Avni, Israel Antiquities Authority and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

A “Eurasian exchange”? The penetration of new agricultural and water management technologies into the southern Levant, 6th-10th centuries CE

17:15 Break

17:30 Discussion

Discussant: Chris Wickham, University of Oxford

Discussant: Seven Ağır, Middle East Technical University

General debate and questions

For registration (and zoom link), please write us to hajararchaeology@gmail.com until April 27th.