As Samawah, Iraq
ancient solutions
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in Chapter 2
2 A Brief History of the Urbanization of H2O

Of all the Neolithic innovations, it was irrigated agriculture, or the transfer of surface water to agricultural fields through artificial canals (the oldest on archaeological record date back to 6000 BCE), that allowed cities like Uruk by 2900 BCE to have enough food to sustain a population of 80,000 people(Harmansah, 2007) and a privileged stratum of society which could dedicate their energy to the development of science and arts.