Abstract: The Triumph of Will over Environment: The Ancient Egyptian Affinity for Megaprojects and Reshaping the Landscape

Lecturer: Peter A. Piccione

Report on the findings of the Theban survey pertaining to mammoth alterations that the Egyptians made to their environment, the landscape of Western Thebes, and elsewhere in the Nile valley, including leveling whole valleys, cutting away entire hillsides, building dams, constructing vast artificial lakes, reversing river channels, making underground water tunnels under the deep desert, and the implications for what it all suggests about how the Egyptians visualized the environment--almost as something plastic that they could mold to suit their needs. They were not the slaves of their environment. They learned to master it as best their technology allowed, given their abilities, resources and logistical skills.

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Gregory Aldrete is Professor of History and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.  His areas of specialization include the city of Rome, daily life in the Roman world,... Read More

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