Quoting Gandhi, or how to study ancient irrigation when the future depended on what one did today

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Irrigated agriculture and societal complexity remain prominent concepts in archaeology. Recently, simulation techniques have allowed new ways of studying the relation between these two. Based on the argument that simulated actions by model agents need to be consistent with temporal and spatial aspects of these actions, this chapter explores issues of shortterm, small-scale interactions between agents in human–nature interactions. The short term is the relevant scale for studying irrigation systems in order to build an understanding of an irrigation system’s creation, the users’ understanding, and the predictability of emerging realisations within irrigation. Despite uncertainties about how to represent physics and behaviour in simulations, all actions that are looked at happened in specific places at specific times. The way material limits are produced is a result of human and non-human agencies interacting in local settings that can be defined in terms of time and space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Societies and Technologies from the Past and Present
EditorsYijie Zhuang , Mark Altaweel
PublisherUCL Press
ISBN (Electronic)978‑1‑911576‑69‑3
ISBN (Print)978‑1‑911576‑71‑6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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