Lecture 7. “Ants and Frogs Round a Pond”: Hydraulic Architecture by the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Ancient Greeks

This lecture module examines how the Aegean world’s “islandscape” and hot and semiarid Mediterranean climate warranted architecture and city design driven by strategic water management systems. In many ways, hydraulic engineering in Greek mainland and islands were different than those in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations predominantly relied on the exploitation of the discharge of large rivers (i.e., Tigris, Euphrates, and Nile). Although Mesopotamian rivers were less predictable in terms of their flooding as opposed to the Nile floods, both Mesopotamia and Egypt benefitted from an abundance of flood water. On the other hand, water infrastructure developments in Greece were necessitated by limited and often inadequate natural water resources. Rain falls only during winter months. Only modest rivers and lakes exist in Greece.

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