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CALL. 31.08.2017: The role of water in production processes in Antiquity (19th International Congres




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Gürzenich Köln (Köln, Germany) - Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (Bonn, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Elena H. Sánchez López (Universidad de Granada)

INFO: web -


The role of water in production processes in Antiquity (Session 3, Panel 3.19)

"Water is a precious natural resource (...). It has a wide range of applications in our daily life and it is a driver for economic prosperity. Water can be used for energy production and it is necessary for the development of industrial and agricultural activities" (Water JPI SRIA H2020).

Water has been highlighted as a precious natural resource and an essential element for live. Archaeological, historical and anthropological studies have analysed water supply systems in different periods and regions. But, by contrast, very few has been said about the uses given to this water, apart from baths or fountains display in Roman times.

However, attention should be drawn to the fact that water is fundamental for the economic prosperity of any society, as it is vital in the development of many economic activities, both now and in the past. The objective of this panel is to analyse the use of water in productive activities from Iron Age to Late Antiquity.

The purpose is to analyse the use of water in craft and production activities, and the archaeological evidences related to the water management across the Mediterranean Region. Within those consuming water activities might be highlighted for example different building activities, food production, pottery making, metallurgy, mining or textile manufacture. In those productive activities, water was sometimes one of the elements used in the making process, in others cases it was used for the cleansing of raw material or facilities, but it could also be the water-power what was used.

In summary, water management studies can (and might) go further than just analyse the water supply and distribution systems (wells, cisterns, and aqueducts, later on). It is essential that we ask (ourselves or the archaeological record) which was the use given to the water. In this case, the panel will focus on the less highlighted uses: those related to the production processes.

Proposals for contributions are welcome

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