The Flow of Power: Ancient Water Systems and Landscapes / Edition 1

The Flow of Power: Ancient Water Systems and Landscapes / Edition 1

by Vernon L. Scarborough
     
 

ISBN-10: 1930618328

ISBN-13: 9781930618329

Pub. Date: 08/01/2003

Publisher: School for Advanced Research Press

A major contribution to one of the central themes in social theory, this book integrates multiple case studies of the relationship between water control and social organization. Substantial in empirical detail and featuring powerful theoretical extensions, Scarborough’s analysis encompasses early Harappan society in South Asia, highland Mexico, the Maya

Overview

A major contribution to one of the central themes in social theory, this book integrates multiple case studies of the relationship between water control and social organization. Substantial in empirical detail and featuring powerful theoretical extensions, Scarborough’s analysis encompasses early Harappan society in South Asia, highland Mexico, the Maya lowlands, north-central Sri Lanka, the prehistoric American Southwest, and Bronze Age Greece. This book is the first longitudinal study to consider water management worldwide since Karl Wittfogel put forth his “hydraulic societies” hypothesis nearly two generations ago, and it draws together the diverse debates that seminal work inspired. In so doing, Scarborough offers new models for cross-cultural analysis and prepares the ground for new examinations of power, centralization, and the economy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781930618329
Publisher:
School for Advanced Research Press
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Series:
A School for Advanced Research Resident Scholar Book
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsxi
Acknowledgmentsxv
1Water, the Fundamental Resource1
The Importance of Studying Water Management2
The Study of Ancient Water Management4
2The Organizing Concepts of Water Work9
Heterarchy versus Hierarchy11
Accretional versus Expansionist Development13
Economic Logics13
3Contemporary Thought and Recent Intellectual History17
The Balinese Problem19
The For-or-Against Syndrome19
The Autonomous Water Users20
The Subtleties of the Engineered Landscape21
Centralization and Taxation24
Centralization and "Centering"25
Struggles for Terminological Rigor26
Explicit Definitions26
Additional Aspects of Centrality28
Organizational Planes29
Initial Conditions and Common Property30
The Process of Economic Change33
Asia and Europe33
Africa35
Rates, Process, and Economy38
4Engineering the Landscape for Water Management39
Characteristics of Water39
Climate and Geomorphology40
Arid Regions41
Humid Regions42
Landscape Alterations43
Wells43
Reservoirs and Dams47
New World47
Old World54
Canals64
New World65
Old World69
5Nonagricultural Aspects of Water Management79
Transportation79
Defense80
Drainage and Flood Control82
Nomadic/Sedentist Symbiosis82
Ritual83
Symbolic Statements84
6Economic Outlays and Political Risks of Water Management91
Costs91
Short-Term Costs92
Long-Term Costs92
Expansion and Contraction93
Growing Systems94
Declining Systems94
Allocation96
Still-Water versus Moving-Water Systems99
Political Organization102
Rural-Urban Dichotomy103
7Archaeological Case Studies--New World107
Southern Maya Lowlands (400 bc-ad 900)108
Reservoir Dependency110
Settlement112
Economic Outlays112
Ritual and the Semitropical Setting114
Highland Mexico (100 bc-ad 750)115
Chinampa Agriculture and Settlement Patterns117
Definitions of City121
Economic Outlays123
The Lowlands and Highlands Compared124
U.S. Southwest (ad 150-1400)125
Physical Water Management Systems125
Political Economy and Settlement127
World Comparisons129
8Archaeological Case Studies--Old World133
North-Central Sri Lanka (ad 1-1200)134
A Landscape of Reservoirs134
Monumentality and Organization137
Lower Indus Valley (2550-1900 bc)140
The Environment and the Indus River140
The Indus and Agricultural Intensification141
Precipitous Development and Cultural Homogenization143
Social Distance and Purity144
Settlement and Economic Outlays145
Mycenaean Greece (1500-1150 bc)146
Historical and Environmental Background148
Earthquakes150
World Comparisons151
9Conclusions153
Theories of the Economy and Water Use154
Economic Practices158
Maya Lowlands159
Highland Mexico160
Hohokam of the U.S. Southwest160
North-Central Sri Lanka161
Harappans of the Indus Valley162
Mycenaeans of Bronze Age Greece163
Final Overview163
Notes167
References171
Index197

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