Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World

Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World - Steven Mithen In this book, Steven Mithen examines the history of water management in the ancient Levant, Sumer, Greece, Petra, Rome, Constantinople, China, Angkor, the Hohokam, Mayan civilization, and the Incas. His aim is to determine what present societies can learn from the past by examining how past societies and ancient civilizations have been affected by climate change and how they managed their water supplies and developed hydraulic engineering to do this.

The book is fairly interesting, providing a brief overview of the various civilizations' rise and fall, as well as their water management methods. However, it could have been so much better if the author had included more technical or in-depth discussions of the engineering feats with cross-sectional diagrams etc. The book does include maps, photos and schematic diagrams, but doesn't illustrate in enough detail how the various engineering efforts functioned. It would also have been interesting if the author had included water management methods from Africa (besides Egypt)and Australia, assuming there are any, of course.

For anyone interested in Mayan engineering, I recommend