Amatek

Institut für Angewandte Antike Technologien und Werkstoffe

WASSERVERSORGUNG
LANDWIRTSCHAFT
ARCHITEKTUR & BAUWESEN
WERKSTOFFE

Über uns

Wir erforschen und rekonstruieren die Anwendbarkeit antiker Technologien und Werkstoffe und entwickeln daraus nachhaltige Lösungen in den Bereichen Wasserversorgung, Landwirtschaft und Bauwesen

Die Nachfrage nach innovativen Lösungen für aktuelle gesellschaftliche und ökologische Herausforderungen steigt stetig. 
Antike Technologien und Werkstoffe bieten ein umfangreiches, bisher weitgehend ungenutztes Potential zur Lösung einiger dieser Probleme. Dabei zeichnen sie sich durch Kosteneffizienz, Nachhaltigkeit, eine lange Lebensdauer und unbedenkliche Entsorgungsmöglichkeiten aus.

FORSCHUNG

Unsere Forschung umfasst Theorie und Praxis. Ein klarer Schwerpunkt liegt dabei in der experimentellen Rekonstruktion antiker Technologien und Werkstoffe und der Überprüfung unserer Entwicklungen.

ENTWICKLUNG & WEITERENTWICKLUNG

Die Ergebnisse aus unserer Forschung transferieren wir in die konkrete Entwicklung antiker Technologien und Werkstoffe für individuelle Anwendungen, abhängig von Situation und Bedarf.

ANWENDUNG

Die von uns erforschten und rekonstruierten Technologien sind unter unterschiedlichen geographischen Bedingungen und in verschiedenen Klimazonen einsetzbar. Bei den Werkstoffen konzentrieren wir uns auf opus caementitium, den römischen Beton, der heutigem Zement in mehrerer Hinsicht überlegen und zudem wesentlich nachhaltiger ist: Die Herstellung ist umweltfreundlicher, er ist wesentlich haltbarer und zudem vollständig und mit nur geringem Aufwand recyclebar.

WISSENSTRANSFER

Wir publizieren unsere Forschungsergebnisse in Open Access und teilen sie in Vorträgen auf Tagungen und bei öffentlichen Veranstaltungen. Zu den erforschten Technologien entwickeln wir piktographische Do-it-yourself Anleitungen, die ohne Sprache auskommen. Gemeinsam mit einer Gruppe internationaler Akteure erarbeiten wir ein Curriculum für einen neuen Fachbereich, der an Hochschulen unterrichtet werden kann. Für Akteure, Wissenschaftler*innen und Interessierte bauen wir die erste Online-Bibliothek zu dem Thema „Angewandte Antike Technologien und Werkstoffe“ auf.

VERNETZUNG

Wir arbeiten an der Entwicklung einer sozialen Netzwerkplattform, auf der Akteure ihre Projekte vorstellen, Fragen und Probleme diskutieren und sich untereinander, mit Wissenschaftler*innen, Organisationen und der interessierten Community vernetzen und austauschen können.

BERATUNG

Wir beraten non-profit und non-government Organisationen ebenso wie Stakeholder, Policymaker und Akteure aus dem Umfeld unserer Tätigkeitsbereiche.

Wie antike Technologien und Werkstoffe heute helfen können

Quotes from Practitioners and Scientists

Archaeology can play a significant role in development projects, especially those focusing on improving agricultural production. (…) Because many systems, such as raised fields, have been completely abandoned, archaeology may be the only way to understand these technologies. Archaeological excavation of prehistoric agricultural features can provide the model for the rehabilitation of these abandoned field systems.

Erickson

(1998), 34.

The study and regeneration of appropriate technologies from the past can therefore transform the countryside, revitalize rural economies and help people in developing countries to maintain their independence.

Scialabba and Hattam

2002 in: (Guttmann-Bond (2010), 356.

Reinstating old systems does not mean sticking slavishly to the old techniques. By integrating modern technology and new ideas it is possible to create systems that are more effective than before.

Guttmann-Bond

(2010), 359.

We need to look at current social problems in the present, and determine which ones can actually be addressed with archaeological insight.

Dawdy

2009:140

Hence, due to the impressive capabilities of some old technologies, the question arises: is it necessary to frequently reinvent the wheel or is there a way to purposeful identify and use old technologies and solution concepts? (…) These ancient technologies are often as good as modern technologies or even better.

Guertler, Schaefer, Lipps, Stahl, Lindemann

Archaeonics – How to use archaeological solutions for modern product development, in: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED15), Vol. 1: Design for Life, Milan, Italy, 27.-30.07.2015, 65-75.

I argue that the successes of the past are of equal importance, and this is increasingly recognized as early agricultural techniques are rediscovered and reinstated. Some of these systems are not only more sustainable than modern technologies, but more resilient in the face of environmental extremes. Ancient engineering and agricultural methods are often more appropriate for developing countries than modern technologies based on fossil fuel and imported materials. As global warming and desertification increase, it is crucial that we learn how to deal with marginal environments in ways that are sustainable and accessible to people in developing countries. Sustainable agriculture can also benefit the developed world by increasing yields, promoting biodiversity and supporting the rural economy.

Guttmann-Bond

(2010), 355.

The most direct contribution that the field of archaeology can make to the contemporary world and the future is in the area of rural agricultural development.

Erickson

(1998), 34.

For this purpose, the study of ancient water harvesting technologies can not only give valuable information to engineers, planners, and local initiatives on technical aspects of those systems. It can also give indications of possible short- and long-term effects a reimplementation might have on the environment and the people involved.

Beckers, Berking, Schütt

(2013), 146.

Archaeomimetism undoubtedly opens a wide range of future studies concerning materials and properties with counterparts in our cultural heritage.

Dejoie et al.

(2010), 4.

By understanding the ways in which ancient communities were successful at or failed in attaining social-ecological resilience through water management archeologists can provide important information for modern communities facing similar problems. Archeology’s long time perspective is very valuable. (…) archeology can bring a unique perspective to the debate on climate change adaptation: archeology can falsify or corroborate sustainability claims, ancient water management techniques may still be a resilient mode of subsistence and ancient techniques often rely on relatively simple technology allowing for easier adoption. (…) Archeological knowledge on ancient sustainability and water management is not a panacea for all climate related aridification, but can contribute a unique longue durée perspective.

Kaptijn

(2018), 1.

The different timescales that archeologists and researchers in related disciplines investigate provide a unique opportunity to study the interaction of climatic, ecological, demographic, economic, socio-political and ideological variables with relatively stable phenomena like cultural structures and environmental ‘givens’ on the level of both events and long-term processes.

Kaptijn

(2018), 2.

Roman prototypes for brine-based concretes could conserve freshwater resources, generate multiple low temperature pathways to pozzolanic and post-pozzolanic Altobermorite sorbents with coupled Al3+ and exchangeable alkali cation sites, and extend applications of natural volcanic pozzolans to environmentally friendly, alkali-activated structural concretes and cementitious barriers for waste encapsulations.

Jackson et al.

(2017), 1448.

Understanding the impacts that land use and climate change had on a watershed at a particular archeological site can provide local inhabitants with the knowledge they need to manage their water resources.

French, Duffy

 Kirk D. French, Christopher J. Duffy, Understanding Maya water resources and the implications for a more sustainable future, in: WIREs Water, 1: 305–313 (310). doi:10.1002/wat2.1024.

What is being argued here is not a naive romantic “return to the past,” but a plea for the need to investigate and experiment with past agricultural systems as potentially viable alternative models for rural development.

Erickson

(1998), 44.

Humans cannot command the environment. The reaction, however, can be controlled and this begins with a change in discourse. An archaeological perspective is uniquely suited to mediate this discourse because it views the current water crisis through assessing the vulnerabilities and strengths of past water management systems. Analyzing the dynamics of water management and approaches through time allow for better predictions on future implementations. More importantly, ancient people had a great understanding of the environment and incorporated that into their engineering design. This is something that can be borrowed in a modern age attempting to stabilize resources. Future research should focus on investigating the feasibility of an innovative design combining past and resent elements through small-scale experimentation and model building. Successful model building and small-scale experimentation could open yield support for larger scape options. Support from the political sector and the general population are necessary to construct effective water management.

Gonzalez, Cruz

(2017), 54.

Buried clay pot irrigation is one of many very efficient traditional methods of irrigation. It has been used successfully for more than 2000 years and would be much more widely used if farmers and advisors were familiar with its many favorable attributes.

Bainbridge

2001, 87.

The controlled water delivery from buried clay pot irrigation helps ensure seed germination even in hot dry environments and provides young seedlings with a steady water supply even during periods with very high temperatures, low humidity, and desiccating winds. This controlled water delivery is also of great value in coarse sand or gravel soils that drain quickly.

Bainbridge

2001, 81-82.

Ancient water-harvesting techniques are rapidly being plucked from antiquity. However, the reuse of old knowledge is not only a question of technology and engineering (Oweis et al. 1999). Water harvesting is a practice related to local community needs and is vulnerable to changes in local ecologies. The transition from a top-down, imposed agricultural development approach, to the progressive adoption of a community-based participatol)‘ approach is favored as the most effective, promising strategy with regard to the development and implementation of a wide range of farm water-harvesting techniques all over the WANA region.
(WANA = West Asia-North Africa region)

Oweis, Hachum, Bruggema

Indigenous Water-Harvesting Systems in West Asia and North Africa, 2004, 6.

The revival of interest in water harvesting is attributed to huge problems that have accrued due to long periods of drought since the 1970s, as well as to the current acute water shortage in the region [West Asia-North Africa] and to an increasing demand for food and fiber as the result of a population explosion. Also, the use of modem technologies for water abstraction and diversion, particularly from groundwater aquifers, is damaging in its over-exploitation of limited natural resources. These practices severely endanger the sustainability of such development. Indigenous techniques of water control and utilization are, by their nature, environmentally friendly and thus sustainable.

Oweis, Hachum, Bruggema

Indigenous Water-Harvesting Systems in West Asia and North Africa, 2004, 6.

Desertification and drought are the main, interlinked climatic challenges in the Middle East, and dwindling water resources will continue to put pressure on society and water users. These developments call for sustainable techniques of using water, which should be based upon a combination of modern technology and traditional techniques. In an ideal future, a new sustainable way of living will halt the pressure that human population puts on natural resources. The reuse of qanats for sustainable water management could contribute to such a lifestyle. Middle Eastern countries that have qanats should carefully consider whether government subsidies should be directed towards renovation of these systems.

Joshka Wessels

Case Study I: assessment of three collective
renovations of traditional qanat systems in the
Syrian Arab Republic, in: Bigas, Adeel, Schuster, Seeing Traditional Technologies in a New Light, 2009, 8.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 3

The karez is a unique and fascinating irrigation
system with a long history in the Turpan oasis. It provided water for domestic consumption and agriculture and maintained a unique ecosystem in the desert. However, nowadays the karezes are increasingly abandoned and are not being maintained. This is partly due to the fact that the value of the karez is not well understood. Thus, the government and local communities should join efforts to preserve and restore this ancient irrigation system.

Qingwei Sun, Wang Tao, Iwao Kobori and Luohui Liang

Case Study V: Karez in the Turpan region
of China, in: Bigas, Adeel, Schuster, Seeing Traditional Technologies in a New Light, 2009, 14.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 3

In searching for sustainable solutions for development, we should not forget the wealth of knowledge and wisdom of our ancients, all over the world. While practising sustainable development, ancient Sri Lankans produced significant innovations in irrigation and water management, architectural and structural engineering, and metallurgy.

M. P. Ranaweera

Emeritus Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Sustainable Development, Ancient WIsdom And Sri Lankan Technology – International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment (ICSBE-2010) Kandy, 13-14 December 2010. Abstract p. XXVI.

The most remarkable achievement of ancient cultures and civilizations has been the development of several different indigenous earthquake-resistant construction technologies. The effectiveness of these traditional technologies has been clearly brought out during recent earthquake disasters. For example, during the Bhuj earthquake in India in 2001, a large number of traditional constructions experience low level of damage while their neighboring modern buildings suffered extensive damage and loss of life. Similar experiences have also been repeated in the Marmara earthquakes in Turkey in 1999, the Killari earthquake in India in 1993 and several other recent earthquakes. These clearly show that the local traditional construction practice had adapted earthquake-resistant technologies, which are now being lost due to the induction of modern materials and construction techniques in these areas without addressing the seismic safety of modern constructions.

Ravi Sinha, Svetlana Brzev

Indigenous Earthquake Resistant Technologies: An Overview, 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering Vancouver, B.C., Canada August 1-6, 2004,  Paper No. 5053, p. 2.

It is also seen that the use of indigenous earthquake-resistant construction technologies provides an excellent opportunity for large-scale construction of earthquake-resistant housing in developing countries at relatively low cost.

Ravi Sinha, Svetlana Brzev

Indigenous Earthquake Resistant Technologies: An Overview, 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering Vancouver, B.C., Canada August 1-6, 2004, Paper No. 5053, p. 6.

Wie auch in der Gegenwart wurden bereits in der Antike Wasserspeicher mit Mörtelbeschichtungen ausgekleidet. Während heute überwiegend zementgebundene Beschichtungssysteme maschinell appliziert werden, fanden in der Antike hydraulische Mörtelverputze Verwendung, welche händisch aufgetragen wurden. Bemerkenswert bei den ca. 2000 Jahre alten antiken Speichern ist die gute Erhaltung. So sind einige bis auf den heutigen Tag intakt geblieben und auch noch in Gebrauch. Die Gründe für diese hohe Dauerhaftigkeit, vor allem im Bereich der Werkstoffe, sind natürlich auch heute noch von großem Interesse. Insbesondere, da zum Teil moderne zementgebundene Beschichtungen bereits wenige Monate nach der Applikation Schäden aufweisen, ist die Identifikation der dauerhaftigkeitsbeeinflussenden Faktoren auch für die Optimierung moderner Werkstoffe von besonderer Bedeutung.

Jens Heinrichs, Andreas Gerdes, Frerich Schön

Technologietransfer in die Moderne –
Vergleich von antiken und modernen Beschichtungssystemen für Wasserreservoire, in: Thomas Schäfer, Frerich Schön, Andreas Gerdes, Jens Heinrichs (Hrsg.), Antike und moderne Wasserspeicherung : Internationaler Workshop vom 11.-14.05.2011 in Pantelleria (Italien), Rahden/Westfalen 2014, 265.

Thus, applied archaeology is not just about accessing a lost idea or technology but rather about its ability to fundamentally redefine the perspective from which a problem is addressed.

Jago Cooper, Lindsay Duncan

Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating
Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change, in: Christian Isendahl, Daryl Stump (Hrsg.), The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology, 2016, 3-14.

Using placebased case studies with locally contingent and motivated solutions is important, but it is accessing knowledge from the past that has been lost to the passage of time, presenting it in interesting ways, encouraging people to engage with it, and creating the necessary knowledge and social dynamics to focus on education that are vital. Because in the end it is education and human capacity built on informed positions that provide the best hope of solutions to the impacts of global environmental change.

Jago Cooper, Lindsay Duncan

Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating
Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change, in: Christian Isendahl, Daryl Stump (Hrsg.), The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology, 2016., 9-14.

The greatest potential increases in yield are in rainfed areas where many of the world’s poor live and where managing water is the key to such increases

Molden

(Hrsg.), Water for Food, Water for Life: Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. Earthscan and International Water Management Institute (IWMI). London and Colombo (2007), xxx

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Erickson

(1998), 34.

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Erickson

(1998), 34.

„For a technology to be sustainable, it ought to be simple in design, layout, implementation, maintenance, management and use locally available resources, e.g. family labour, animal power and materials.“

Mwangi T. Hai, Water harvesting: An illustrative manual for development of microcatchment techniques for crop production in dry areas, Nairobi 1998, 4.

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The yield of buried clay pot irrigatied melon in India was 25 t/ha using only 2cm water/ha (Mondal, 1974), this compares with yields of 33 t/ha using 26 cm of water with flood irrigation (Scheuring, 1983).

Bainbridge

2001, 81.

A detailed study of cucumber production showed that 1.9 mm/ha with buried clay pots provided yields comparable to 7.3 mm/ha by hand irrigation (Balakumaran et al., 1982).

Bainbridge

2001, 81.

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Definitionen

Es gibt für den jungen Forschungsbreich der angewandten antiken Technologien und Werkstoffe keine einheitliche Terminologie, was die Recherche und das Vernetzen erschwert. Die wichtigsten Begriffe haben wir hier zur Übersicht zusammengestellt.

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“ Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology

„Applied archaeology is the anthropologically informed study of the human past, primarily through material remains, with a goal of employing the knowledge gained from this research to improve the human condition in the contemporary world.“ (Erickson (1998), 34-35.)

Archaeology inspired Design (AiD)

„An initial methodical approach for identifying and assessing potential archaeological solutions for a modern engineering issue. (…) The basic idea of archaeology-inspired design is the transfer and adaption of existing ancient technics instead of a „reinvention of the wheel“. The resulting research question is: „How can modern engineering tasks be structured to allow the generation of new solution ideas by the utilisation of ancient technics?“ (Gürtler et al. 2015, 66.)

Archaeomimetism

„Archaeomimetism opens the way to new functional materials, combining present day chemical know-how with insights and inspiration from successful materials in our cultural heritage.“ (Dejoie et al. (2010, 1.)

Archaeomimetics

„Archaeomimetics is the development of new technologies and materials inspired by ancient technological solutions.“ (http://www.ims.demokritos.gr/ims_topic.php?lang=en&ergo=G304&topic=73 Stand: 23. Februar 2018)

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Der Begründer der Idee ist Gandhi, der Begründer des Begriffs der deutsche Ökonom Ernst Friedrich Schumacher (in: „Small is beautiful – Die Rückkehr zum menschlichen Maß“ (München, 2013; PDF-Version), 152.)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

Applied Archaeology, Activist Archaeology, Action Archaeology

„Applied archaeology can take many forms. A relatively recent trend in the discipline is with the application of archaeology to present-day social issues, known as activist archaeology (also called “action” archaeology). This is different than the typical public archaeology (which is not necessarily designed to serve the needs of the public). Action archaeology reorients research towards addressing current social problems, giving archaeology a different kind of relevance, thus making it more useful.“
Turck (2012), Deckblatt)

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