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University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (2006)

Water architecture in the lands of Syria : the water-wheels

Miranda, Adriana de

Titre : Water architecture in the lands of Syria : the water-wheels

Auteur : Miranda, Adriana de

Université de soutenance : University of London School of Oriental and African Studies

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) : 2006

Résumé
This thesis aims to evaluate the typology of water-wheels in Syria as an ancient type of water architecture which has had a fundamental role, over the centuries, for irrigation and supplying water to houses and public constructions. So far these devices have been studied in terms of their hydraulic and technological aspects, while their architectural and artistic qualities have often been neglected. The research provides a historical, architectural and iconographical study of these structures, focusing on those located in West Syria, where most water-wheels were built and have high artistic value. The study looks at their architectural aspects and artistic significance, and identifies precise classifications by examining the shape and design of the installations. The thesis develops in three parts. The first part presents a detailed analysis of the typology and sources related to its origin and development. The second part, mainly based on architectural material and on the results of fieldwork done on the sites, highlights the cultural, historical and architectural value of the Syrian installations, showing their significant characteristics and advantages, the reasons of their uniqueness and of their wide diffusion until recent times. The third part deals with the relationship between water-wheels and modern irrigation systems, and attempts to evaluate the feasibility of renovating water-wheels as a sustainable system, as well as an example of historical and cultural heritage.

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