This article examines flooding and resilience in two riverine systems in the premodern Eastern Mediterranean. Flooding represents a distinct type of short-term cataclysmic events (SCEs) because of its frequency and long-term predictability which facilitates societal adaptation. We discuss the sources for premodern floods and their limitations before surveying Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt as case studies. Both societies are compared with regard to their environment and how it shaped local flood management practices. We argue that although floods caused short-term societal disruption in these societies, they also stimulated the reorganization and regeneration of economic resources. Both Mesopotamian and Egyptian societies systematically managed and mitigated their risks and were, in general, resilient to flooding events.
- Natural hazards
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science