Water: The Catalyst Of Development In Ancient Civilizations

1395 words - 6 pages

Water is the precious resource that has been a driving factor of progess in the past and the determining factor of development in the future. Ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome, and China understood that water is not simply a valuable resource that is crucial to survival and is the very essence of life, but also an important prerequisite for further development. Many of these ancient civilizations flourished as a direct result of their close proximity to rivers and other water sources. The growth of these cities created a major problem in water delivery as these societies expanded deeper inland. The need for such delivery has sparked the development of these ancient civilizations technologically, economically, politically, and legally.
The need for a steady supply of water has sparked the technological development of ancient societies. The aerial photograph of a Pre-Roman city and a LANDMAT image of Mesopotamia reveal the irrigation systems that these ancient civilizations used. The extensive and widespread network of irrigation ditches in Mesopotamian proves that the Mesopotamians had the technology required to construct and maintain these man-made canals (Sources 1 and 2). While digging water canals and constructing dams were important, it did not solve the problem of delivering the water to the crop fields. Therefore water-transporting mechanisms such as the shaduf and the saqiya were constructed. The first water-lifting machine would be the shaduf, a simple lever mechanism that was used in ancient Egypt (Source 4). The shaduf consisted of a long stick that was attached to a bucket on one end and a rock on the other to act as a counterweight. These shadufs were quite small and simple in design making them economically feasible. However, operating shaduf is labor intensive and is not very efficient as it requires hundreds or even thousands of shadufs to irrigate massive crop fields. As time passed more water transporting machines were developed to accommodate for a higher necessity of water. One such example would be a noria, a ferris wheel like mechanism that rotates to carry buckets of water into a conduit where it can flow to where it is needed (Source 7). What is most important and fascinating about the noria, however, is that it is completely autonomous and is powered by the kinetic energy of moving water. In other words, noria is the ancient world’s first hydro powered water delivery system. From the analysis of these two ancient water transport machines with the same function shows that as time progressed technology also became much more efficient.
The quest for water in ancient civilizations has also led to economical developments. The advancement in technology made agriculture yield more crops and led to a surplus of food and resources. In source 9, the economy of Qin benefitted greatly from the 300 li long canal which was to be used for irrigating agricultural land. It was originally used to prevent the Qin state...

Find Another Essay On Water: The Catalyst of Development In Ancient Civilizations

The Contributions of Ancient Civilizations to History

1159 words - 5 pages -permanent settlements. Storing Grain in pits made it possible to survive without moving in the winter months. Around 6,000 B.C. Agriculture was becoming widely used as a primary means of survival. The first evidence of domesticated cattle was also found in this time frame. Primitive civilizations such as Jericho were growing at this time and a series of long distance trade routes were established. This was a step towards the first urban

Women in Ancient Civilizations Essay

1289 words - 5 pages rights of women. In ancient times The Code of Hammurabi for example had several laws that restricted women when it had to do with marriage and what a husband could do. One law stated: “If the wife of a free man has been caught while lying with another man, they shall bind them and throw them into the water” (Spielvogel 9). It says nothing about whether a woman would have caught her husband cheating. There are even examples of this in our present

Leadership In Ancient Civilizations

1289 words - 5 pages During the period of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, different leaders exhibited different styles of leadership and employed different political strategies. In addition, these leaders came to power and maintained their control in their own unique ways. Each leader seemed to have his own agenda, which set the tone for that era. Five prominent leaders of this time period were Agricola, Augustus, Julius Caesar, and the brothers Tiberius

Comparing and contrasting the ancient civilizations of Egypt and China

528 words - 2 pages The ancient civilizations of Egypt and China were very similar in many different aspects. Their governments and their geography were extremely alike and the religions of the two civilizations had only tiny differences. The early Egyptians also had the same concept of writing as the Chinese people who lived across the continent from them. Suprisingly, these two ancient civilizations that existed very far away from each other show a enormous

Ancient Civilizations in Africa and Europe

1922 words - 8 pages The Byzantine Empire (or Byzantium) was a predominantly Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire throughout Late Antiquity and the middle Ages. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania by its contemporaries, the empire was centered on the capital of Constantinople and was ruled by emperors in direct succession to the ancient Roman emperors after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The two main agents of continuity were the Eastern Roman

Civilizations of Ancient China and East Asia

1338 words - 5 pages The main major theme of module three is the development in China and East Asia. The chapters cover the social, philosophical, cultural, governmental and religious aspects. The chapters offer an insight of how China and Eastern Asian cultures had developed. It also elaborates on the dynasties that had ruled during this era. China was isolated from West and South Asia because of the demographics of the land. The writing system was not

The Development of Ancient Medicine & Influences

1745 words - 7 pages Many different cultures have tried different methods as to find out about the causes of disease and how to treat different kinds of diseases. Various countries have come up with alternate cures and treatments for various diseases. These ancient societies compromise of China, Greece, Egypt and South America. They practiced a wide range of cures for their patients, and they specialize in different fields. For example, meditation and acupuncture

The Benign Development of Ancient Egyptian Patriarchy

1654 words - 7 pages indicated that they were appreciated for the happiness they brought to the home and the children they brought into the family. The study of Ancient Egypt takes relevance today in modern life because it provides suggestions towards the origins of modern patriarchy by providing scholars with an examples of conditions that brought about a particularly benign development of male-dominance in Ancient Egypt. Sources Cited:Tansey, Richard. Gardner's Art

Civilizations of the Americas

705 words - 3 pages own language and religion. Since population was increasing and the organization they built enormous fortresses on top of steep mountains that helped them to see their enemies and defend themselves.Each of these three civilizations, advanced similarly in their developments. The Mayans were an advanced group of people who made much advancement in math and astronomy, which they used to calculate an accurate calendar. The ancient Mayans were a well

The Clash of Civilizations

2194 words - 9 pages believe that a conflict may occur when one puts pressure on the other; but the reason why this pressure takes place, varies among the two theories. In his article, “The Clash of Civilizations”, Huntington points out that in the 21st century, conflicts will not occur based on ideology of a state or civilization, neither on economic power; but they will take place because the differences in cultural and religious identity between civilizations. As

Albrecht Durer: Catalyst of the Northern Renaissance

2460 words - 10 pages , to Germany, and other countries? It is believed by many that Albrecht Durer was the main catalyst and one of the most important contributors for the Northern Renaissance. Many artists visited Italy at the time of the Italian Renassaince, but Durer seemed to be someone who completely embraced the ideas that were being introduced and instantly started incorporating techniques and ideas in to his work. His passion for the rebirth of the arts and

Similar Essays

The Development Of Religions In Ancient Civilizations In Relation To The Fear Of Death

1019 words - 4 pages Religion played a major role and had a great portion of interest and involvement in the daily life of ancient cilvilizations alike.Infact, many aspects of life such as the night and day cycle, floods, wars, birth and death were important factors that created the feeling of superpowers which controlled the life of ancient civilizations.Death, was one of the greatest fears among all of them and the search for IMMORTALITY developed the humankind's

The Role Of Scribes In Ancient Civilizations

1746 words - 7 pages From the early Bronze Age (3500 BCE) to near the end of the Iron Age (0AD), civilizations appeared and then slowly dissolved. In all of these civilizations there was one class in common, the scribe, someone who can read and write. Scribes played a pivotal role in ancient civilizations, they were the reason we advanced throughout those ages, and against general belief, some of these scribes were women. The scribal class in Mesopotamia emerged

Comparison Of Civilizations In The Ancient World

1072 words - 4 pages pictographic symbols that suggests a form of writing which contained more than 400 characters (Duiker & Spielvogel, 2010). As with the other early civilizations, the Yellow and Yangtze River provided the agricultural support for Chinese civilization. This agricultural support system would eventually lead to two of the most prominent food producing areas in ancient civilization. Although agriculture played a significant role in the development of China

The Changing Role Of Women In Ancient Civilizations

2594 words - 10 pages Henrik Ibsen once said, “A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view.”(Notable Quotes) Ibsen’s statement exemplifies what life was like for women during ancient times. In many of the organized ancient civilizations, it was very common to find a primarily patriarchal