Resilient Past Water Management in the Near East and North Africa, by Dr. Louise Rayne

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Lecture: Resilient Past Water Management in the Near East and North Africa by Dr Louise Rayne

In this lecture, Dr Louise Rayne explores the past development of water management in the context of future sustainability. She will discuss oasis case studies from Morocco, Libya and Iraq. Oases are environments created as a result of long-term, human-environment interactions but are vulnerable to human adaptability to changes (environmental, social, political). Although traditional methods of irrigation have been seen as sustainable, archaeological evidence for this is needed. Dr Rayne is following an interdisciplinary methodology using satellite imagery, archived data and fieldwork to map the traces of past water management features. She is collaborating with scholars Dr Lamin Abdulaati, Dr Muftah AlHaddad (Libya) and Dr Jaafar Jotheri (Iraq) on case studies funded by the Society for Libyan Studies (SLS) and the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (BISI).

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About the Speaker:

Louise Rayne

Dr Louise Rayne is a Research Fellow at the School of History, Classics & Archaeology at Newcastle University. She gained her PhD in Geography and Archaeology from Durham University, in 2015. Before starting her NUAcT fellowship she worked for the Endangered Archaeology project at the University of Leicester (2015-2020) using satellite imagery to monitor archaeological sites in the Middle East and North Africa. While doing this work, she realised that the remains of ancient irrigation are fast being destroyed by modern agriculture and that they urgently need recording before their potential for informing future resilience is lost. Therefore, for her fellowship she is now researching the development of water management in oases in the Sahara and investigating how this could inform future sustainability.

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