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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2014 → Ancient food and water supply in drylands. Geoarchaeological perspectives on the water harvesting systems of the two ancient cities Resafa, Syria and Petra, Jordan

Freie Universität Berlin (2014)

Ancient food and water supply in drylands. Geoarchaeological perspectives on the water harvesting systems of the two ancient cities Resafa, Syria and Petra, Jordan

Beckers, Brian

Titre : Ancient food and water supply in drylands. Geoarchaeological perspectives on the water harvesting systems of the two ancient cities Resafa, Syria and Petra, Jordan

Antike Nahrungs- und Wasserversorgung in Trockengebieten. Die Wassersammelssysteme der beiden antikene Städte Resafa in Syrien und Petra in Jordanien

Auteur : Beckers, Brian

Université de soutenance : Freie Universität Berlin

Grade : Doctoral thesis 2014

Résumé
Two ancient cities in the dryland of West Asia are investigated in this thesis with a focus on different aspects of their water and food supply systems. Resafa initially a fortified Roman military post located in the Syrian desert steppe, has been a Christian pilgrimage site and was the residence of the Ummayyad Caliph Hisham ibn ‘abd al-Malik. The city was finally abandoned in the 13th century AD after the Mongol invasion. Nowadays, the well-preserved city walls, ruined churches and large cisterns attest to Resafas former religious, political and economic importance that lasted from the 1st to the 13th century AD. The city is located ∼ 25km to the south of the Euphrates at the confluence of various wadi systems that drain the surrounding undulating desert steppe. The drinking water supply of the city relied predominantly on an elaborated floodwater harvesting system. The major research question in Resafa was how reliable this floodwater harvesting system was. The reliability is assessed by applying a rainfall runoff model. Moreover constructional details of the floodwater harvesting system are investigated by applying a hydraulic model. The main findings of this study were that the floodwater harvesting system was reliable. In general the floodwater harvesting system could have harvested a sufficient amount of water at least every 13 – 14 months. Furthermore, it could be shown that the floodwater harvesting system consisted in addition to a previously excavated dam and large cisterns, of a several hundred meter long embankment system that channeled the floods to the dam. Ancient Petra was the capital of the Nabataean kingdom and was founded around the beginning of the Common Era in the arid Eastern Highlands of Jordan. The city was annexed by the Romans at the beginning of the 2nd century and finally abandoned in the 4th century AD when. The unfavorable environs of Petra were reclaimed by installing numerous agricultural terraces, dams and channels. Little is known about the chronology, development and dynamics of this cultural landscape. The main research questions include : When did the reclamation of the environs around Petra began and what where the effects of this development on the environment ? The chronological methods applied were Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Dating and radiocarbon dating. The chronological study is supplemented with geomorphological field and laboratory work. The focus lies on the terraced wadi systems of the region. The major results are that the agricultural terraces were most likely built around the beginning of the Common Era and used, maintained and extended at least until the 8th century AD. The terraces converted the formerly gravel-bedded wadis and floodplains of the region to arable land. Mots clés : floodwater harvesting ; Nabataean ; Agriculture ; Hydrology

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Page publiée le 14 octobre 2014, mise à jour le 4 novembre 2018