Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies

Managing the Essence of Life. Water Supply in Basra and Baghdad (8th-10th centuries)

ACMES Lecture

19Oct2017 17:00 - 19:00


Managing access to clean water is the biggest challenge the Middle East faces and has faced in the past. Nonetheless, exceedingly large cities succeeded in organizing their water supply in the premodern era.

How did ‘Islamic cities’ support their numerous populations under harsh circumstances? In this lecture Maaike van Berkel will discuss the multiple water systems that functioned simultaneously in the large Mesopotamian cities of the early Islamic world and she will argue that the hybridity of the system was the source of its sustainability.

Maaike van Berkel is a cultural historian of the Middle East, with particular interest in literacy, court culture, bureaucracy and urban organization, associated to the chair of Medieval History at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Her current researchproject investigates drinking water supply in the premodern Middle Eastern city.

Admission free, drinks after.

Location: PC Hoofthuis, room 1.05

Published by  ACMES