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By Donald R. Hill

During this accomplished heritage, Donald Hill opens a window on medieval and classical engineering. The ebook makes a speciality of on Greece, Rome and medieval Western Europe, but in addition contains fascinating details on center jap 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 facility of either water and wind. operating mostly with out a quantified, clinical foundation for his or her designs, those early engineers studied the houses of fabrics and how within which fluids and solids behaved in sure stipulations. They then utilized this data to successfully resolve difficulties. This interesting examine records over 1800 years of early engineering.

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C. 15 When ‘Utba bin Ghazwān was the commander of a Muslim army in southern Iraq in 638 he selected the site of Basra, after consultation with the Caliph ‘Umar I, as an encampment for his troops. It was located about 15 km to the west of the Shatt al-‘Arab, and in the early years it was simply an army camp consisting of huts made from reeds, which were dismantled when the troops were absent on campaigns. In the early days drinking water had to be transported from the Shatt al-‘Arab, and although attempts seem to have been made to excavate canals to the site from the river in the Caliphate of ‘Umar I, neither of the two main canals was completed until after 660, when the Umayyads assumed power.

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.

One of the most fertile provinces of Islam was Khurasan, then very much larger than the modern Iranian province of that name, since it included parts of present-day Afghanistan and the USSR. It included a number of large cities and exported agricultural produce to other parts of the Islamic world. One of its most fertile areas was centred on the city of Marv, on the river Murghab, which provided the irrigation water for extensive farmlands. 17 Surpassing all these, however, was the province of Sughd — ancient Sogdiana, now part of the Uzbek SSR.

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