Since water is essential to human life, it would make sense that it would be an important part of human history, but it is surprising how little attention water gets in the historical records. Due to its importance in sustaining life, humans have usually settled near sources of water when possible. This is particularly true of ancient civilizations who relied on a specific source of water.
The Egyptians for example – centered their culture on the Nile River, while other great ancient empires built their civilizations between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and the Chinese civilization was primarily located in the Yellow and Yangzi river basins.
History of Water and What Ancient Civilizations Used Water for
There were a few specific reasons (in addition to its ability to sustain life) that civilizations chose to set up camp near water. A main reason was because it provided rapid transportation for trade and travel. Another reason was for exploration. From the 15th century through the 18th century, Europeans explored all major seas and oceans.
Water was also a source of power in the period before the Industrial Revolution. Although steam power lessened the need for water power, it remained an essential component in all types of manufacturing.
Settlers and Finding Water
Jumping ahead a few thousand years to the settlers on this continent, their water history is quite different. When settlers came here to farm the land, they needed water for survival, but there wasn’t a lot of large bodies of water they could use as a water source for their livestock, crops, and themselves.
Although in the 1870s wind-driven pumps were available, they were too expensive for the average settler or colony to buy. And along with being an expensive piece of equipment, they would have to drill 120 feet into the ground to maybe get water, which would be a lot of work, possibly for nothing.
It’s amazing how times have changed when you think of technology now, and how easy it is to find water before drilling, in comparison.
Finding Water the old Fashioned Way
Back in those days, if a farmer or colony could not afford a wind-driven pump they would travel for miles (depending on where they lived) to find a local water supply. Once they found the water supply, they had to fill up buckets and walk back to their home with it.
An Interesting Water Find
An interesting discovery was made in Ontario, Canada in 2012, when water was found in a mine that scientists believe is 2.6 billion years old – the most ancient water cache ever found to date. It’s quite fascinating that water can flow into fractures in rocks and become isolated deep in the crust for many years, serving as a time capsule of what their environments were like at the time they were sealed off.
If you need to find water so you know where to build your well, call American Water Surveyors at 1 (877) 734-7661. We are a premier service provider in the water finding industry – for more information check out our website.