How Ancient Technologies Can Help
Up to 70% less water in agriculture
Farming the desert
Preserving and restoring soil health
Water Harvesting in dry areas
100% local resources
Cradle to cradle materials
Ancient Technologies in Development Aid and Green Architecture
Find more examples in our Blog.
The services of the Institute are designed for governmental institutions, non profit organisations, and companies in the areas of Development Aid, Green Architecture and Climate research.
We can help you when you are looking for:
- Ecologically, socially and economically sustainable solutions in the fields of water supply, agriculture & soil regeneration, architecture & construction, with a focus on arid regions worldwide.
- Simple, cost-effective, reliable, resource-saving, low-maintenance solutions, which are feasible, usable and manageable in drylands, without power and Internet access, without large machines and without IT.
- Solutions that avoid the use of plastic and fossil fuels.
- Low-cost, earthquake-resistant building techniques, for example for houses and school buildings.
- Air conditioning and cooling for buildings without power supply.
- Organic certifiable solutions for small scall farming.
- Sustainable ideas for emerging social entrepreneurs in dry areas.
Benefit from the training opportunities and gain profound insight for yourself and your employees into the numerous sustainable and cost-effective ways of integrating ancient technologies into your projects.
Each training course is tailored specifically to your requirements and goals. Our prices are fixed prices regardless of the number of participants. Courses outside Germany are usually designed as live webinars.
technologies are durable, environmentally friendly and sustainable. They
are easy to use, operate and maintain, make use of local resources and
thus save not only cost-intensive specialist personnel and regular
training measures but also transport routes and CO2 in the procurement
of materials and spare parts.
They do not require electricity, fossile fuels, costly and maintenance-intensive IT or the Internet, which means that they can be applied in remote regions, in areas with extreme weather conditions, in mountainous landscapes and in crisis areas, where they function reliably. Through its consistent ecological, economic and social sustainability, the integration of antique technologies also supports the implementation of the company’s own value proposition and the achievement of its own sustainability goals.
In Green Architecture, the use of ancient technologies and materials makes it possible to avoid the use of hazardous and harmful substances. The materials used are also part of a cradle to cradle cycle, which helps to avoid waste. Ancient cooling technologies can be applied to modern contexts as well as ancient earthquake resistent building technologies.
In Sustainable Agriculture, ancient technologies dispense with agrochemicals, support soil regeneration, save the valuable resource water and promote the preservation of local biodiversity. The products of agricultural land cultivated with ancient technologies are bio-certifiable.
Work at the institute will begin on 27 July, from then on the individual projects will be presented here.
Quotes from Professionals
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.
Although the majority of the World´s dry lands are still farmed by small scale, subsistence farmers, low cost simple irrigation methods for dry land agriculture have largely been ignored by international development programs. Efficient traditional methods of irrigation that could be of great use on small and medium sized farms and gardens have not been well studied and publicized.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About the Founder
In a nutshell: Archaeologist and ancient historian, wanted to make archaeology beneficial for the present, found so-called rehabilitation projects, left university and founded the Amatek Institute with the ambition to establish a hub for the transfer of knowledge and technology into practice.