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Man’s control over the elements of land and water for the purposes of agriculture was fundamental to the development of civilisations in the past, and remains so today. This volume deals with the processes of irrigation, and land drainage and reclamation, and illustrates the variety of technological and engineering solutions in a wide chronological and geographical perspective. The sophistication of many pre-modern systems is clear, as is the impact of modern technologies. Important points that emerge are that there was no steady or linear progression in techniques across time - instances of the transfer of ideas are balanced by cases of independent development - and that the correlations between irrigation systems and social structures demand more complex explanations than often proposed.