Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World

Paperback / softback
While civilisations throughout time have varied in their beliefs, knowledge, technology, diet and so forth, the need to drink is a universal, making water the great common denominator. Moreover, the rise and fall of societies and civilisation has always depended on their ability to harness and manage water, and it has often been one of the great drivers of historical change, leading to some of the most remarkable engineering projects of the ancient world. Renowned archaeologist and pre-historian Steven Mithen will examine the history of water in the ancient world, using examples from a five year archaeological research project in the Jordan Valley to discover exactly what happened to water in the ancient world, and how its domestication changed society and civilisation at all levels. From the first flushing toilets in the Minoan centre of Knossos on Crete, to the viaducts of Petra, from the fountains of Jerash in what is now Jordan, to the bath houses of the Greeks and the Romans, water and its management has been the constant factor in an ever-evolving world.