Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery

By David R. Montgomery

Book Details:

ISBN: 0520272900
EAN: 9780520272903
ASIN: 0520272900
Publisher: college of California Press
Publication Date: 2012-04-10
Number of Pages: 296
Website: Amazon, LibraryThing, Google Books, Goodreads

Synopsis from Amazon:

Dirt, soil, name it what you want-it's in every single place we cross. it's the root of our life, helping our toes, our farms, our towns. This attention-grabbing but disquieting booklet unearths, although, that we're working out of dust, and it's no guffawing subject. a fascinating common and cultural background of soil that sweeps from historic civilizations to fashionable instances, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling concept that we are-and have lengthy been-using up Earth's soil. as soon as naked of protecting crops and uncovered to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode little by little, slowly sufficient to be neglected in one lifetime yet quickly sufficient over centuries to restrict the lifespan of civilizations. A wealthy mixture of background, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the position of soil use and abuse within the background of Mesopotamia, old Greece, the Roman Empire, China, eu colonialism, principal the USA, and the yankee push westward. We see how soil has formed us and we now have formed soil-as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed via a common endowment of fertile dust. David R. Montgomery sees within the fresh upward push of natural and no-till farming the wish for a brand new agricultural revolution that will aid us keep away from the destiny of past civilizations.

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Sample text

However, Amenemmes set limits to their scheming, by firmly establishing the boundaries of their nomes (the ancient land divisions of Egypt), and restricting each district’s supply of Nile water for irrigation. He could also demand the nomarchs to supply fleets of ships, levy troops, and to provide other supplies to support the king’s campaigns in Egypt and abroad. Nevertheless, the problem posed The geography and historical background 29 by these governors remained, and it was a direct descendant of this king who finally brought about a solution.

Whereas Amun reigned supreme in the world of the living during the Middle Kingdom, for comfort and support in death, the Egyptians turned increasingly to Osiris. Originally a god of vegetation, Osiris soon took on the role of king and judge of the underworld, associating his powers as a regenerative force of nature with an ability to promise his followers a chance of individual eternity. He had been worshipped during the Old Kingdom, but then his importance had centred around his ability to ensure the 34 The background king’s resurrection and safe passage to the next world.

However, other gods also achieved importance in the 12th and 13th Dynasties. In particular, the crocodile god Sobek became a patron of the kings and was associated with both Osiris and with Rec, and was sometimes known as Sobek-Rec. He was resident in the Fayoum and had temples there at Shedet (Crocodilopolis) and Dja (Medinet el-Macadi), but the cult was 36 The background widely established at centres from the Delta to the 1st Cataract. He was a deity of water and vegetation, and was worshipped sometimes with Renenutet, the cobra-goddess.

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