Thursday, September 15, 2011


Just finishing up on Elixir, A History of Water and Mankind, by Brian Kagan.  It's quite interesting, filled with facts.  See the Amazon reviews; it's getting about 4.5 stars.  What was most striking to me was the extent and sophistication of early efforts to control water, in many areas of the world long before I would have thought.  For example, the tunnels in ancient Crete and the qanats in the Middle East (Google wants to give you "Qantas" results when you search for "qanats").

It's also striking how often humans were succeeding in living in very marginal environments for many years, but then their efforts were overturned by a sharp change in the climate.

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