Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.


Durham Research Online
You are in:

The dry tank : development and disuse of water management infrastructure in the Anuradhapura hinterland, Sri Lanka.

Gilliland, K. and Simpson, I.A. and Adderley, W.P. and Burbidge, C.I. and Cresswell, A.J. and Sanderson, D.C.W. and Coningham, R.A.E. and Manuel, M.J. and Strickland, K. and Gunawardhana, P. and Adikari, G. (2013) 'The dry tank : development and disuse of water management infrastructure in the Anuradhapura hinterland, Sri Lanka.', Journal of archaeological science., 40 (2). pp. 1012-1028.

Abstract

We identify and offer new explanations of change in water management infrastructure in the semi-arid urban hinterland of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka between ca. 400 BC and AD 1800. Field stratigraphies and micromorphological analyses demonstrate that a complex water storage infrastructure was superimposed over time on intermittently occupied and cultivated naturally wetter areas, with some attempts in drier locations. Our chronological framework, based on optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) measurement, indicates that this infrastructure commenced sometime between 400 and 200 BC, continued after Anuradhapura reached its maximum extent, and largely went into disuse between AD 1100 and 1200. While the water management infrastructure was eventually abandoned, it was succeeded by small-scale subsistence cultivation as the primary activity on the landscape. Our findings have broader resonance with current debates on the timing of introduced ‘cultural packages’ together with their social and environmental impacts, production and symbolism in construction activities, persistent stresses and high magnitude disturbances in ‘collapse’, and the notion of post ‘collapse’ landscapes associated with the management of uncertain but essential resources in semi-arid environments.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Soil micromorphology, Optical dating, Irrigation, Cultural landscapes, Collapse, Buddhism, South Asia.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
(3350Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.09.034
Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Archaeological Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, 2, February 2013, 10.1016/j.jas.2012.09.034.
Record Created:11 May 2015 12:05
Last Modified:11 May 2015 16:21

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library