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By Donald R. Hill

During this entire historical past, Donald Hill opens a window on medieval and classical engineering. The publication specializes in on Greece, Rome and medieval Western Europe, but additionally comprises fascinating details on center japanese technology.

Documenting over 1800 years, Donald Hill illustrates how classical and medieval engineers designed early irrigation platforms, dams, bridges, clocks and the way they harnessed the ability of either water and wind. operating principally and not using a quantified, clinical foundation for his or her designs, those early engineers studied the houses of fabrics and how during which fluids and solids behaved in convinced stipulations. They then utilized this data to successfully resolve difficulties. This attention-grabbing examine records over 1800 years of early engineering.

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20 The oldest, and most extensive waterworks in any ancient city, were those of Jerusalem, where the original works date to about 1000 BC, and are traditionally ascribed to King Solomon. Jerusalem’s sources of water were springs south of the city, and the available water was collected in three large artificial reservoirs before being channelled to the city. Within Jerusalem, water storage by means of tanks and cisterns was commonplace. Initially, such reservoirs were adapted for natural formations, but ultimately wholly artificial ones were built, their roofs carried on a forest of pillars.

J. de Goeje, vol. 3 of Biblioteca Geographorum Arabicorum (Brill, Leiden, 1894), pp. 106–8. 2. Aydin Sayili, ‘Gondēshāpūr’, EI, vol. 2, p. 1120. 3. J. R. Hall and Trevor I. ) A History of Technology (Oxford University Press, 1956, reprinted 1979), vol. 2, pp. 629–57, pp. 632–3. 43 4. Lon R. Shelby, ‘The Geometrical Knowledge of Mediaeval Master Masons’, Speculum, vol. 47 (1972), pp. 395–421, pp. 420–1. 5. For the segmental arch see Chapter 4, for pumps see Chapter 8. The line of reasoning in this paragraph was generated in the course of discussions between myself and Dr Norman Smith of Imperial College, London.

53 The Romans inherited the irrigation systems in the lands which they occupied. In Italy itself irrigation was never important, but it is probable that it was practised in the coastal areas of the Iberian peninsula, especially in the regions that had been colonised by the Carthaginians and the Greeks. The extent of Roman irrigation in Iberia, however, and of their Visigothic successors, has not yet been thoroughly studied. The lack of a firm datum seriously undermines efforts to understand later developments, especially those of Muslim origin.

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