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The Technical and Social Scope of Irrigation in the Algarve

  • Ana Duarte RodriguesEmail author
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Part of the Trends in the History of Science book series (TRENDSHISTORYSCIENCE)

Abstract

Focusing on irrigation systems in the Algarve, this paper argues that both the technical and the social aspects of watering the fields in the Algarve stem from Islamic influence that has been reinvented by local culture for centuries. Moreover, its importance for the community was such that the distribution of water among the neighbors in the Barrocal, an inland area of the Algarve, fell under the umbrella of municipal powers in the second half of the nineteenth century. Likewise, pleas and conflicts arising from water flows were solved in Courts of Law. This study also tackles the importance of irrigation in Iberian theoretical production, and, while the construction of wells, noras/norias and channels for water distribution were explained in agricultural treatises written in al-Andalus, this information then disappeared from early modern Iberian agricultural treatises. Therefore, the expertise developed in the Iberian Peninsula on irrigation is essentially local and passed on orally from generation to generation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e Tecnologia, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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