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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The dry tank: development and disuse of water management infrastructure in the Anuradhapura hinterland, Sri Lanka
Authors: Gilliland, Krista
Simpson, Ian
Adderley, W Paul
Burbidge, Christopher I
Cresswell, Alan J
Sanderson, David C W
Coningham, Robin
Manuel, Mark
Strickland, Keir
Gunawardhana, Prishanta
Adikari, Gamini
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Keywords: Soil micromorphology
Optical dating
Cultural landscapes
South Asia
Issue Date: Feb-2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Gilliland K, Simpson I, Adderley WP, Burbidge CI, Cresswell AJ, Sanderson DCW, Coningham R, Manuel M, Strickland K, Gunawardhana P & 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.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Notes: Research funded by: AHRC, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, ORSAS - Scottish Funding Council
Affiliation: University of Stirling
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Durham University
Durham University
Durham University
University of Kelaniya
University of Kelaniya

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