"From water every living thing" : water mills, irrigation and agriculture in the Bilād al-Shām : perspectives on history, architecture, landscape and society, 1100-1850AD
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This work explores the role of the watermill in the history and society of Jordan, Syria and Cyprus from the 12th to the 19th century. Previous studies in this area have been limited, and have usually assumed the watermills in the Levant to date from the Ottoman period. This work aims to suggest that many of the mills still extant today in fact date from an earlier period. A review of the historical documentation and archaeological material is the main background of this study, while an examination of the watermills themselves aims to provide a permanent record of these before they disappear due to rural and urban development. A review of available reference material regarding the role of the mill in Levantine economy and society from the medieval to late Ottoman periods emphasises the importance of the watermill in rural and urban areas of the Levant in a historical period of fluctuating economic stability. The reference material consists mainly of historical accounts by travellers and chroniclers, legal documents such as treaties, charters and waqf documents, as well as archaeological, environmental and socioeconomic studies of the Levant from the medieval to the early modem period. The broad nature of this study aims to form a basis for future research with a more detailed focus in these disciplines.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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