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

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930618329
  • Publisher: School for Advanced Research Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Series: Resident Scholar Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,323,840
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Water, the Fundamental Resource 1
The Importance of Studying Water Management 2
The Study of Ancient Water Management 4
2 The Organizing Concepts of Water Work 9
Heterarchy versus Hierarchy 11
Accretional versus Expansionist Development 13
Economic Logics 13
3 Contemporary Thought and Recent Intellectual History 17
The Balinese Problem 19
Struggles for Terminological Rigor 26
Initial Conditions and Common Property 30
The Process of Economic Change 33
Rates, Process, and Economy 38
4 Engineering the Landscape for Water Management 39
Characteristics of Water 39
Climate and Geomorphology 40
Landscape Alterations 43
5 Nonagricultural Aspects of Water Management 79
Transportation 79
Defense 80
Drainage and Flood Control 82
Nomadic/Sedentist Symbiosis 82
Ritual 83
Symbolic Statements 84
6 Economic Outlays and Political Risks of Water Management 91
Costs 91
Expansion and Contraction 93
Allocation 96
Still-Water versus Moving-Water Systems 99
Political Organization 102
Rural-Urban Dichotomy 103
7 Archaeological Case Studies - New World 107
Southern Maya Lowlands (400 BC-AD 900) 108
Highland Mexico (100BC-AD 750) 115
The Lowlands and Highlands Compared 124
U.S. Southwest (AD 150-1400) 125
World Comparisons 129
8 Archaeological Case Studies - Old World 133
North-Central Sri Lanka (AD 1-1200) 134
Lower Indus Valley (2550-1900 BC) 140
Mycenaean Greece (1500-1150 BC) 146
World Comparisons 151
9 Conclusions 153
Theories of the Economy and Water Use 154
Economic Practices 158
Final Overview 163
Notes 167
References 171
Index 197
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