Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Historical and Archaeological Testimonies on the Water Environment and the Management of Water Resources in Crete during the Venetian and Ottoman Period

Historical and Archaeological Testimonies on the Water Environment and the Management of Water Resources in Crete during the Venetian and Ottoman Period

The long history of water resource management on the island of Crete, at the heart of the eastern Mediterranean, is full of significant achievements in the design and construction of a variety of water-related infrastructure (pertaining to water supply, transport, distribution, etc.) through which the different local cultures have met their diverse needs of water supply in changing climatic conditions.

Scholarly Supervisor: Antonis Anastasopoulos

Research Team: Maria Vakondiou, Yannis Spyropoulos

The long history of water resource management on the island of Crete, at the heart of the eastern Mediterranean, is full of significant achievements in the design and construction of a variety of water-related infrastructure (pertaining to water supply, transport, distribution, etc.) through which the different local cultures have met their diverse needs of water supply in changing climatic conditions.

The main product of the project is the creation of a digital database that has collected and organised over 1,000 historical and archaeological testimonies concerning the water environment and the management of water resources during the Venetian and Ottoman periods of Crete. The importance of this contribution is not restricted only to the deepening of our knowledge concerning the past civilisations of the island. In a time of intense climate change, which is expected to create significant environmental problems (drought, floods, etc.) over the coming decades, the study of the past becomes particularly timely and worthwhile. That is because it can, on the one hand, enrich, through data coming from historical experience, the ongoing debate on the management of the ever-scarce water resources and, on the other hand, sensitise the inhabitants of the island to the need for these resources' wiser management.

The project was carried out under the Agreement between the General Secretariat for Research and Technology and the Foundation for Research and Technology in the framework of the Compromise Agreement between the Hellenic Republic and Siemens.


Products of the project

  • Database: http://waterincrete.ims.forth.gr/
    More than 1,000 historical and archaeological testimonies concerning the water environment and the management of water resources during the Venetian and Ottoman periods of Cretan history have been collected and organised in the database. The latter makes published and unpublished historical and archaeological evidence accessible to the scientific community and the general public in order to contribute to the study of the history of water resources management in Crete.
  • Y. Spyropoulos, "Running Water for the Officials, Rainwater for the Poor: Symbolic Use and Control of Water in Ottoman Crete", forthcoming in the journal Water History.

 

 

Project Team

Antonis Anastasopoulos

Associate Professor
Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

Maria Vakondiou

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae