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Water, Life and Civilisation


  • 239 b/w illus. 31 colour illus. 87 tables
  • Page extent: 520 pages
  • Size: 276 x 219 mm
  • Weight: 1.7 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 551.48095694
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: GB791 .W384 2011
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Hydrology--Jordan River Valley
    • Water-supply--Jordan River Valley--History
    • Jordan River Valley--Antiquities
    • Water and civilization
    • Climate and civilization

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521769570)

A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.

• Provides interdisciplinary research involving meteorology, hydrology, archaeology and geology, using methods which can be applied in other geographic areas • Demonstrates how simulations of the past can deepen our understanding of the climate system's response to changes. This helps us interpret future climate projections and assess the credibility of the model • Provides new insights into the prehistory and history of the Jordan Valley, one of the most important archaeological records for understanding world prehistory and history


1. Introduction: an inter-disciplinary approach to water, life and civilisation; Part I. Past, Present and Future Climate: 2. The present day climate of the Middle East; 3. Past climates of the Middle East; 4. Future climates of the Middle East; 5. Connecting climate and hydrological models for impact studies; Part II. The Palaeoenvironmental Record: 6. A review of palaeoclimates and palaeoenvironments in the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean from 25,000 to 5000 years BP; 7. Palaeoenvironments of the Southern Levant from 5000 BP to the present day; 8. Using proxy data, historical climate data and climate models to investigate aridification during the Holocene; 9. Palaeoenvironmental and limnological reconstruction of Lake Lisan and the Dead Sea; Part III. Hydrological Studies of the Jordan Valley: 10. The impacts of climate change on rainfall-runoff in the upper River Jordan: methodology and first projections; 11. Modelling Dead Sea levels and rainfall: past, present and future; 12. The hydrology of the Wadi Faynan; 13. Future projections of water availability in a semi-arid region of the eastern Mediterranean: a case study of Wadi Hasa, Jordan; Part IV. Human Settlement, Climate Change, Hydrology and Water Management: 14. The archaeology of water management in the Jordan Valley, 21,000 BP (19,000 BC) – AD 900; 15. From global climate change to local impact in Wadi Faynan, southern Jordan: ten millennia of human settlement in its hydrological context; 16. Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction at Beidha, southern Jordan (ca.18,000–8,500 BP): implications for human occupation during the Natufian and pre-pottery Neolithic; 17. The influence of water on Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age settlement patterns in the southern Levant; 18. Modelling water resources and climate change at the Bronze Age site of Jawa in northern Jordan: a new approach utilising stochastic simulation techniques; 19. A millennium of rainfall, settlement and water-management at Humayma, southern Jordan, 100 BC–900 AD; Part V. Palaeo-Economies and Developing Archaeological Methodologies: 20. The reconstruction of diet and environment in ancient Jordan by carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of human and animal remains; 21. Irrigation and phytolith formation: an experimental study; 22. An investigation into the archaeological application of carbon stable isotope analysis used to establish crop water availability: solutions and ways forward; 23. Past plant use in Jordan as revealed by archaeological and ethnoarchaeological phytolith signatures; Part VI. Society, Economy and Water Today: 24. Current water demands and future strategies under changing climatic conditions; 25. Water reuse for irrigated agriculture in Jordan: soil sustainability, perceptions and management; 26. Social equity issues and water supply under conditions of 'water stress': a study of low- and high-income households in Greater Amman, Jordan; 27. The role of water and land management policies in contemporary socio-economic development in Wadi Faynan; 28. Political discourses and public narratives on water supply issues in Amman, Jordan; Part VII. Conclusions: 29. Overview and reflections: 20,000 years of water and human settlement in the southern Levant; Index.


Steven Mithen, Emily Black, Brian Hoskins, Julia Slingo, David Brayshaw, Stuart Robinson, Stuart Black, Bruce W. Sellwood, Paul J. Valdes, Claire Rambeau, Richard Fitton, Rachel Goodship, Nicola Flynn, Paul Whitehead, Andrew Wade, Dan Butterfield, D. T. Plinston, Paul Holmes, Mohammed el-Bastawesy, Sam Smith, Ron Manley, Joshua Guest, Sameer Nuimat, Khalil Jamjoum, Bill Finlayson, Jaimie Lovell, Robyn Inglis, Andrew Bradley, Rebecca Foote, John Oleson, Michela Sandias, Emma Jenkins, Helen R. Stokes, Gundula Müldner, Ambroise Baker, Sarah Elliott, Stephen Nortcliff, Robert B. Potter, Gemma Carr, Khadija Darmame

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