CODEX Historiae - Water - Zomer 2020

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CODEX

Historiae

In dit nummer:

The Politics and Consequences of Dam Building Water in West-African and Babylonian Religions Het Leven van Vrouwelijke Piraten “Op de VU”: Research Edition Cholera and Amsterdam’s Water The Roman Water Supply Debates on a Free Indonesia The Dutch Water Lines

Jaargang 41 | Nummer 2 | 2020

Water


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Redactioneel De geschiedenis is sterk verbonden met water. Water wordt soms gebruikt als metafoor voor geschiedenis; net als water staat de geschiedenis nooit vast en wordt constant herinterpreteerd en gerecontextualiseerd. Braudel, leider van de Annales-school, beeldde zich de geschiedenis in als golven op golven op golven: historische gebeurtenissen die zich berusten op conjuncturele schommelingen die zelf afhankelijk zijn van structurele veranderingen op lang termijn. De vormen van de kleinste golven worden bepaald door de grootste golven, maar allen zijn gerelateerd en beïnvloeden elkaar. Momenteel zijn er twee grote gebeurtenissen aan de gang die wereldwijd (althans, in het Westen) de aandacht grijpen: het Coronavirus en de protesten tegen het autoritaire regime in Amerika. Beiden hadden voorspeld kunnen worden, maar toch kwamen zij voor de meesten onverwachts. Ze brengen veel leed en helaas dood, maar er is ook hoop dat zij tot positieve gevolgen zullen leiden: een herleving van sociale cohesie in onze geïndividualiseerde maatschappij en een einde aan het meer dan 200-jaar oude racistisch regime van de VS. Of en wanneer dit waar zal gebeuren, weten wij nog niet. Wij worden meegesleurd door de golven van de geschiedenis zonder zicht te hebben op de bestemming. In dit nummer van Codex vind je allerlei artikelen die te maken hebben met water. Je kunt lezen over de gevolgen van het bouwen van dammen in Turkije (p. 18), Noorwegen (p. 26) en Irak (p. 38), het verband tussen epidemieën en water (p. 50) en het cultureel belang van water voor vroegmoderne West-Afrikaanse volken (p. 23) en oude Babyloniërs (p. 46). Hoewel de VU vanaf 15 juni gedeeltelijk open is, geldt dat niet voor geschiedenisstudenten en is er niet veel studentennieuws op de campus. Daarom is ‘Op de VU’ (p. 30) dit keer gewijd aan twee nieuwe onderzoeksprojecten aan de universiteit: Coping with Drought en Terranova. Bij beide projecten wordt input en medewerking van studenten zeer gewaardeerd, dus als je nog een idee nodig hebt voor een scriptie of een paper, laat je inspireren! Zoals je misschien al hebt gemerkt is het nummer is deze keer extra dik zodat jullie je deze lange zomer van social distancing niet hoeven te vervelen! De deadline voor het aanleveren van artikelen voor ons volgend nummer, ‘Lucht’ is 1 augustus

History is strongly connected to water. Water is sometimes used as a metaphor for history; like water, history is never certain and is constantly reinterpreted and recontextualised. Braudel, leader of the Annales school, viewed history as waves upon waves upon waves: Historical events which rest upon conjunctural conditions, which themselves are dependent on structural changes in the long term. The shape of the smallest waves is dependent on the largest waves, all are connected and influenced by one another. At the time of writing, there are two large events that have the (Western) world in its grip: the coronavirus pandemic and the protests against the authoritarian regime in the US. Both could have been predicted but came unexpectedly for most. Both bring much suffering and unfortunately death, but there is hope they will lead to positive changes. A return of social cohesion in our individualized society, and an end to a racist regime that has existed in the US for over 200 years. We are swept up in the waves of history with no sight of where we are being taken. In this issue of Codex you will find all sorts of articles relating to water. The consequences of the building of dams in Turkey (p. 18), Norway (p. 26), and Iraq (p. 38), epidemics and their relationship with water (p. 50), and the importance of water for early modern West-African peoples (p. 23) and ancient Babylonians (p. 46) are but some of the topics discussed. While the VU campus has opened again on the 15th of June, this does not count for history students so there is little student news on campus. For that reason, this edition of ‘Op de VU’ is dedicated to two new research projects at the university: Coping with Drought and Terranova. Both of these projects greatly appreciate input and cooperation from students, so if you still need an idea for a paper or a thesis, let yourself be inspired! As you might have noticed, this issue is extra-large, so you don’t have to worry about being bored during this social distancing summer! The deadline for submission of articles for our next issue, ‘Air’ is the 1st of August


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In dit nummer Actualiteiten

Pagina 4

Caput Mundi, Caput Aquae Supplying the city of Rome with water Tijs Hopman

Pagina 5

Anne Bonny en Mary Read De vrijheid dat een piratenleven bood aan 18e eeuwse vrouwen Amanda van Dord

Pagina 10

The Silent World A retrospective on Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s adventures under the sea Daan Jansen

Pagina 15

Het verlies van Hasankeyf De Ilisu Dam versus cultureel erfgoed Carlijn van Esch

Pagina 18

African pearl divers Transferring skill and culture across the Atlantic Claire Majoor

Pagina 23

Hydropower development in Norway The black pages of Norway’s Green energy Even Grimstad

Pagina 26

Op de VU Research edition Petra van Dam & Sjoerd Kluiving

Pagina 30

The enemy of my enemy is my friend The use of water in Dutch warfare Ellen van Heteren

Pagina 34

Dam(n) the marshes! Dambuilding in Ancient Babylon Daan Jansen

Pagina 38

Freedom for Indonesia What did that mean, in 1945? Dominique Ankoné

Pagina 42

Abzu and Tiamat The progenitor gods of Babylon Daan Jansen

Pagina 46

The fight against cholera in Amsterdam in the nineteenth century Clean drinking water as a new weapon Petra van Dam

Pagina 50


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Actualiteiten Langzamerhand komt Nederland uit Corona-lockdown en gaan instanties, waaronder musea (hoera!) weer open. Een aantal tentoonstellingen is al weer van start gegaan en anderen zijn verlengd. Hoewel het leuk is om weer er op uit te gaan, blijft het belangrijk om gezond en veilig thuis te blijven.Vandaar dat wij ook weer wat thema-gerelateerd leesvoer voorstellen.

Musea In de Nieuwe Kerk is de jaarlijkse World Press Photo Exhibition begonnen. Je kunt tot 29 november onder andere de persfoto van het jaar zien en het museum is voorzien van een informatieve audiotour.

Het scheepvaartmuseum houdt tot en met 12 oktober een tentoonstelling over rijzend water als gevolg van klimaatverandering. Het fenomeen wordt in beeld gebracht door fotograaf/filmmaker Kadir van Lohuizen.

In The Black Archives wordt tot eind juli een tentoonstelling gehouden over emancipatie en verzet. Deze tentoonstelling is sinds begin juni nog interessanter geworden omdat de kijker het kan relateren aan de opstanden in de VS en Europa.

Het vijf-jaarlijks evenement SAIL is afgelast in verband met het Coronavirus, maar voor zij die niet nog vijf jaar kunnen wachten is tot 31 oktober een tentoonstelling van SAIL georganiseerd in het IJmuider Zee- en Havenmuseum.

Boeken Er zijn allerlei benaderingen vanuit de geschiedenis op het onderwerp water. In de laatste jaren zijn meerdere wetenschappelijke titels uitgekomen, waarvan hieronder enkele goed-ontvangen titels zijn opgenomen.

Helen Hollick, The Life of a Smuggler (2019) gaat over, je raadt het al, hoe het leven van een smokkelaar er nu echt uitzag. Op zeer benaderbare wijze benadert Hollicks bekende legendes en kijkt zij of ze wel of niet kloppen.

Thomas Lennerfors en Peter Birch, Snow in the Tropics (2019) gaat over een bijzonder specifiek onderwerp: de geschiedenis van onafhankelijke koelschepen, die tropisch fruit exporteren naar onze supermarkten.

David Onnekink en Gijs Rommelse, The Dutch in the Early Modern World (2019) geeft een mooi overzicht van het Nederlands handelsimperium in de Gouden Eeuw uit globaal perspectief: ontdekkingen, slavernij, racisme en oorlog worden allemaal besproken.

Jesse Cromwell, The Smuggler’s World (2018) geeft een gedetailleerde blik op het smokkelen van goederen in het Caraïbisch gebied en Venezuela in de 18e eeuw in het bijzonder. Het boek wordt ook wijder getrokken en neemt een Venezuelaanse opstand tegen het Spaanse rijk ook in acht. Ann Elias, Coral Empire (2019) nodigt de lezer uit kritisch na te denken over onze kijk op de zee. Waarom zijn beelden zoals verbleekte koraalriffen zo schokerend? Elias onderzoekt hoe en naar riffen kijkt en wat dat over ons zegt. Als je het artikel van Claire Majoor (p. 23) in dit nummer leuk vindt, zal Kevin Dawson, Undercurrents of Power (2018) jou ook interesseren. Het boek gaat over watercultuur in Afrikaanse gemeenschappen en hoe deze culturen zijn gerecreëerd op de Amerikaanse continenten. Matthew Bender, Water Brings no Harm (2019) geeft een gedetailleerde geschiedenis van waterbeheer rondom de Kilimanjaro, de hoogste berg in Afrika gelegen in Tanzania, voor, gedurende en na Europese kolonisatie.


5 Tijs Hopman

Caput Mundi, 1 Caput Aquae

Supplying the city of Rome with water T

he Romans are renowned for their engineering prowess. One of the most iconic of these engineering feats were the aqueducts.These arched constructs carried water to the cities for miles above ground and continued inside the parameters of the city via lead pipes, fistulae, branching from water reservoirs, castella. It is not surprising that the Romans constructed multiple aqueducts to water the pearl of their empire, Rome, ever more growing with inhabitants. As is well known, this golden age for the Rome would not last. After the fifth century CE, Rome diminished drastically and even up to the nineteenth century large swathes of land inside the old Aurelian Wall remained uninhabited. It was the popes who reconstructed Rome during the sixteenth till nineteenth century to create a Christian Rome in their image. In this article, I will discuss the political motives and the origins of the idea to build and rebuild the water supply systems in classical and papal Rome. The Water Supply of Classical Rome The first aqueduct was constructed in 312 BCE. According to the classical author and aqueduct manager Frontinus (c. 100 AD), statesman Appius Claudius (c. 340 BC) commissioned the first aqueduct because at the time Rome had grown to such an extent that taking water from the rivers and springs in and around the city was not enough to provide the whole population with water - at this time there were no permanent public baths.2 Initially aqueducts were built to ensure an adequate water supply to the growing city, and if we may believe Frontinus, a law was passed guaranteeing the people a public supply of water and making obstruction of water sources a crime.3 The intersection of water circuits and private land was

a problem for the Roman magistrates. Namely, water had to be transported through both public and private land. Understandably, not all private owners were eager for water conduits being built on their land, even though many liked the idea of privately tapping water, which would be included in the deal.4 Despite these problems, new aqueducts had to be built from time to time. The first Roman Emperor Augustus expanded the magisterial system regarding construction and overseeing the water supplies of Rome. He even updated the specific areas of the city which the magistrates had to watch over. This was needed because the city was growing beyond the bounds of its Republican-era municipal limits.


6 Map of Ancient Rome and its aquaducts.The Campus Martius and the aquaducts mentioned in this article are labelled. Map created by editors. Rome’s growth was stimulated by the lavish construction schemes of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. He became aedile (a public official responsible for the public buildings of Rome) in 33 BCE and thus was put in command of overseeing the maintenance and construction of aqueducts.5 Agrippa restored aqueducts that had fallen into disrepair and created new aqueducts such as the Aqua Julia. It is interesting to note that Agrippa assumed the position of aedile again in 19 BCE.6 This time he set out to create a new aqueduct, the Aqua Virgo.This new aqueduct was especially intended for the Campus Martius.7 This was not a mere coincidence. Recently (late first century BCE) the Campus Martius had seen more monumental construction.8 Real estate being an important source of prestige for the Roman elite, it could well be that the vacant Campus was seen as an opportunity for investment.9 It is no surprise that Agrippa was well favoured by Augustus. He had helped the Emperor in numerous battles, most famously the Battle of Actium. His plan to cultivate the Campus might therefore have been supported by Augustus for his own propaganda purposes.10 Earlier aqueducts also brought fame to their commissioner, and Greek historian Strabo (c. 64 BC) lauds Agrippa’s Aqua Virgo.11 The builder of the first monumental public baths on the Campus might bring them everlasting fame. Political motives and prestige would be even more substantiated by the fact that private landowners did not accept the water circuits of the Aqua Virgo and that political allies were inclined to allow the water passage through their gardens.12

Ancient Roman aqueducts were built in periods of necessity. When the city of Rome grew, so did its need for water. Magistrates were in place to uphold the steady flow of water, and laws were enforced to keep the public happy. However, when the time came for such monumental buildings, great politicians would have acted on this opportunity to enhance their own personal prestige and influence. It does not seem beyond reason that many observed Agrippa’s building schemes with begrudging eyes; jealous at the opportunity to leave a permanent mark on the Eternal City. The Renovatio Romae Medieval Rome was a slum compared to what it had been during the heyday of imperial power and wealth. Wealthy families like the Orsini fortified themselves amidst the ruins of ancient monuments, waging petty wars amongst each other and drawing water from the Tiber River, like the Romans of the fourth century BCE. The skirmishes of the families endangered even the pope, who often had to flee Rome to save his life. Nevertheless, the popes increased their holding on Rome in the fifteenth century and expanded construction and renovation during the counterreformation of the sixteenth century. So, among this chaos, what were the catalysts for the (re)construction of aqueducts from the sixteenth century onwards?


7 Tijs Hopman As mentioned, Rome could be compared to a slum to live in, even for the people of higher standing. Water supply was not well-regulated and the principal papal palace of the Lateran had fallen in such disrepair that when pope Martin V returned the papacy to Rome after the papal schism (1378-1417), he had to find abode elsewhere.13 It was thus that during the sixteenth century the old Aqua Virgo was renovated to supply the old Campus - where now the majority of the Roman population lived - and supply the population with fresh and clean water.14 These new water schemes not only improved health, but also improved people’s happiness, as well as boosting industry, for preindustrial factories could be powered by the current.15 A side effect of the water schemes was a newly modelled city with the ability to encourage population growth in different sectors. New roads were constructed atop the renovated water pipelines and gardens were created in the eastern parts of the city to encourage contemplative thinking places for humanist scholars and thinkers.16 Art was to be the crown jewel of the revitalization of the city, the Trevi fountain being the most principal example of the marriage between practicality and art. The brass serpents which once adorned the fountain were the metaphorical image of the desire of life and to gain more knowledge. According to Rinne, the architect Salvi created an ‘allencompassing theatrical re-enactment of the birth of life, made possible by the waters of the earth.’17 The creation of new water circuits thus went hand in hand with the revitalization of the city and its population.

However, at the background of this grand rejuvenation policy for the city of Rome stood the papal determination to squash protestant critique of a morally depraved Church. The measures of the Counter-Reformation were not only spiritual or Church measures. The city of Rome itself also had to be cleansed and be remade in the mirror of the new Church.18 The new ornamented fountains subsidized by the pope - were standing testaments to the Church’s new and pure identity, as well as her caring for the inhabitants of the city. Poets like Shelley lauded the fountains, artfully sculpted, that not only adorned Rome, but also served the practical need to deliver the people from thirst.19 The papacy was relatively late in capitalizing on their own (re)constructions of the fountains. Only a hundred years after the

reconstruction of the Aqua Virgo – from then on called the Acqua Vergine – could the first papal coat of arms be seen above or on the fountains.20 Art and the water fountains thus became tools for propaganda purposes. One of the biggest patrons of art was Pius VI (papacy: 1775-1799). Although he did not create many new water conduits, his patronage of art and architecture gives some insight of the sponsoring of public works by the popes. Already at his papal coronation, he wanted to enter Rome in the likeness of Augustus, bringing peace upon the world as head of the everlasting Church.21 And according to Collins, “Pius’s faith in propaganda helped him overcome obstacles that would have daunted more cautious patrons.”22 Pius might be an extreme example, but his policy of sponsoring art to serve the propaganda of both the Church and himself can be seen as an active stance of the papacy in their policy of counter reformation in which one of their weapons was the urban renewal of Rome and her water fountains. Papal renewal and reconstruction of Rome’s derelict water logistics might have originated in motivations to make Rome habitable again. However, it is beyond doubt that the counter reformation proved to be a stimulus for new urban planning and construction.The most important focus point herein was to recreate the image of the Church and to strengthen the grip of the papacy over Rome through the propaganda of art patronage. Rome was to be the mirror of the Church, a beacon for Christendom and the pearl in the papal tiara, capitalizing the primacy of the papacy.

The longest unbroken stretch of a Roman aquaduct still standing near Rome.This section of the Aqua Claudia is 1375m long. Photo by Chris 73 via wikimedia.


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References 1 Latin for Capital of the World, Capital of water. 2 Frontinus, De Aquaductu in ‘Stratagems. Aqueducts of Rome’, Loeb Classical Library, ed. M.B. McElwain, transl. C.E. Bennett (Massachusetts 1925) 4.1. 3 Ibidem, 127, 129: The Lex Quinctia of 9 BC prohibited the obstruction of public fountains. In R. Taylor, Public Needs and Private Pleasures: Water Distribution, The Tiber River and the Urban Development of Ancient Rome (Rome, 2000) p. 55-56, the author claims that water was a right for everyone. 4 G. De Klein, The Water Supply of Ancient Rome: City Area, Water, and Population (Gieben 2001) p. 79-80, and Taylor, Public Needs, p. 97-98. 5 Frontius, De Aq. 9. 6 Ibidem, 10.This is remarkable, because the aedileship was not regarded as one of the highest magisterial positions one could take. At first glance it might have been more logical had he assumed a position with a higher rank, such as praetor or consul. However, Agrippa practically chose the position of aedile - him being a close friend to Augustus. 7 H.B. Evans, Water Dustribution in Ancient Rome: The

The Trevi Fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world, is currently still being watered by the Acqua Virgine, the foundations of which were laid in 19 BCE by Marcus Agrippa. Photo by Henning Klokkeråsen. Via Wikimedia.org Evidence of Frontinus (Michigan 1994) p.106-107. Evans notes that the Aqua Virgo was technically not the first aqueduct watering the Campus Martius. The Aqua Appia reportedly also supplied water to small parts of the Campus Martius. However, Evans does not clearly not which parts they might have been. Probably only the outskirts of the Campus Martius were supplied. 8 It is important to note that the Campus Martius originally was the drilling fields of Rome - the ‘Field of Mars’ - and it was prohibited to build anything on the Campus. This prohibition slowly faded away during the first century BC. 9 R.Taylor, K.W. Rinne, K. Spiro, Rome: An Urban History from Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge 2017) p.39-40. 10 Ibidem, p.37-38. The authors contribute the idea that Agrippa’s building schemes might have been Octavian


9 Tijs Hopman propaganda to Strabo. However they do not precisely mention where Strabo might have well implied this. 11 Cf. Evans, Water Distribution, p.65, for the fame of Appius Claudius. Strabo, 5.3.8: commends Agrippa on his monumental task. 12 Taylor, Rinne & Spiro, Rome, p.40. Messala, a political ally of Agrippa allowed the circuit through the lush Gardens of Lucullus. 13 H.V. Morton, The Waters of Rome (London 1966), p.61. Not only did the popes live in relative squalor, their principal pontifical abodes were not supplied with regularly fresh drinking water from aqueducts. 14 Taylor, Rinne & Spiro, Rome, p.261-262. 15 Ibidem, p.264-265. The water flow to the old Baths of Caracalla were especially maintained and restored to boost the upcoming industry in the region. 16 Ibidem, p.262-264. 17 K. Rinne, ‘Water’s Pilgrimage in Rome’ in Room One Thousand, 3 (2015) p.26-49; p.47 and p.48. The serpents themselves were created in the image of the serpent who

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tempted Adam and Eve into eating the forbidden fruits, giving them forbidden knowledge.This element illustrates the combining of life and the desire to live, for the waters spewed out by the serpents was clean drinking water intended to be used for that purpose. 18 Taylor, Rinne & Spiro, Rome, p.261. 19 J. Collins, Papacy and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Rome (Cambridge 2004) p.68. People like Shelley during the eighteenth and nineteenth century often came to Rome in what was culturally understood as ‘The Great Tour’. This was a kind of educational pilgrimage for adolescent men of wealth to visit the old places of antiquity. Among these were such famous men as Goethe and Lord Byron, both of which were very impressed by Classical Antiquity. Goethe even praised Rome for being the setting of both history and likeminded people. 20 Taylor, Rinne & Spiro, Rome, p.266. The first of these popes was Urban VIII Barberini (papacy: 1622-1643). 21 Collins, Papacy and politics, p.37. 22 Ibidem, p.290.

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Anne Bonny en Mary Read De zeldzame vrijheid dat een

piratenleven bood aan vrouwen in de 18e eeuw W

e gaan terug naar het jaar 1720. De piraterij beleefde al tientallen jaren een gouden eeuw.1 Iedereen die bekend is met de filmserie Pirates of the Caribbean weet dat vooral het Caribische gebied populair jachtterrein was. Deze strategische locatie bevond zich op de doorvoerroutes van de Spaanse zilvervloot, die goud en zilver uit Midden- en Zuid-Amerika naar Europa vervoerde.2 De schepen van de zilvervloot vreesden voor de bendes van hebzuchtige mannen die het op hun kostbare vracht voorzien hadden. Kapitein Jack Rackham, bijgenaamde Calico Jack, was één van deze op goud beluste piraten. Jarenlang plunderden hij en zijn bemanning erop los. Het noodlot sloeg echter toe, toen zijn schip eind oktober 1720 na een bloederig gevecht werd overmand door de Royal Navy. De Britse soldaten stond een grote verrassing te wachten. Twee van de gewelddadigste piraten aan boord, Mark (Mary) Read en Andy (Anne) Bonny, bleken namelijk vrouwen vermomd als mannen te zijn. Het leven op zee was van oudsher enkel voor mannen weggelegd. Vrouwen zouden niet sterk genoeg zijn om het zware leven aan boord aan te kunnen. De schepen waren namelijk afhankelijk van de brute kracht van de bemanning om het schip zeewaardig te kunnen houden. Daarnaast zouden zij een gevaar vormen voor de mannelijke solidariteit aan boord, aangezien vrouwen een potentiele bron van conflict onder de bemanning waren.3 Hoewel dit plausibele zorgen waren, bleek de primaire reden voor het schuwen van vrouwen op zee meer mythisch van karakter: de legende deed de ronde dat de aanwezigheid van vrouwen aan boord op zich ongeluk bracht.4 De meeste zeemannen namen dit bijgeloof erg serieus. De bekende piraat Edward Teach, bijgenaamd Zwartbaard, ging zelfs zo ver dat hij meegesmokkelde vrouwen op zijn schip overboord liet gooien om zo het in zijn ogen onontkoombare onheil te vermijden.5 Toch bleken er uitzonderingen te bestaan op deze regel: in enkele gevallen werden vrouwen wel aan boord toegelaten. Meestal waren zij passagiers of de vrouwen van opvarenden, en als zij tewerkgesteld werden vervulden zij vaak de taak van bediende, prostituee of kokkin. Alleen in zeldzame gevallen wist een vrouw het tot matroos of stuurman te schoppen.6 De positie van Anne Bonny en Mary Read als piraat was nog een stuk opmerkelijker. Het bestaan van vrouwelijke piraten was ondenkbaar in hun

eigen tijd en ook vandaag de dag zijn maar weinig mensen hiervan op de hoogte. Anne en Mary hadden deze positie ook zeker niet zonder slag of stoot bereikt. Anne en Mary hadden op het eerste gezicht veel gemeen. Beide vrouwen waren het product van een buitenechtelijke affaire en waren door omstandigheden genoodzaakt zich van jongs af aan voor te doen als het andere geslacht.Waar de vrouwen in verschilden was hun sociale achtergrond.7 Anne Bonny werd geboren in Ierland rond 1689 uit een affaire tussen haar vader, een rijke advocaat genaamd William Cormac, en de dienstmeid, Mary Brennan. Haar vader was dol op Anne en wilde dat ze bij hem thuis kwam wonen, maar omdat dit een schandaal zou veroorzaken, besloot hij haar als jongetje te verkleden zodat zij door kon gaan voor een kind van een familielid. Enkele jaren later ging het toch fout en kwam Annes geheim uit, waardoor het gezin genoodzaakt was om te verhuizen naar het huidige Charleston, South Carolina.8 In haar tienerjaren werd Anne Bonny beschreven als een opstandig en opvliegend meisje. Ze vocht, dronk in cafés en sliep met verschillende zeemannen, waardoor haar vader, die succes had gevonden als een plantage-eigenaar, niet wist wat hij met zijn dochter aan moest. De maat was vol toen Anne aangaf te willen trouwen met een arme zeeman ver beneden haar stand. Haar vader verbood haar met hem te trouwen, maar Anne trok zich hier niets van aan. Samen met haar nieuwe liefde


11 Amanda van Dord besloot ze naar een piratennest in het Caribische gebied te trekken. Omdat ze avontuurlijk was aangelegd, raakte ze al snel verveeld bij haar nieuwe man. Toen ze de piraat Jack Rackham tegen het lijf liep werd ze op slag verliefd en besloot ze met hem mee de zee op te gaan.9 Het is hierbij belangrijk om op te merken dat Anne aan boord niet alleen gezien werd als de vrouw van Jack, maar dat zij door de bemanning tegelijkertijd ook geaccepteerd werd als vrouwelijk lid van de bemanning en werkzaamheden uitvoerde binnen deze functie. Mary Read zou op hetzelfde schip terechtkomen; zij het via een andere weg. Haar verhaal begint in Engeland, net buiten Londen. Ze werd geboren na een buitenechtelijke affaire van haar moeder, en toen haar moeders echtgenoot, een zeeman, niet meer terugkeerde van zee, zag Mary’s moeder een kans. Ze deed alsof Mary haar recentelijke overleden zoon was, die overigens wel verwekt was bij haar man, om zo financiële steun van zijn familie te krijgen. Opvallend genoeg leek Mary tevreden te zijn met haar mannelijke identiteit, aangezien ze al snel tot de conclusie kwam dat het leven als man een stuk gemakkelijker was dan het leven als vrouw. Toen ze volwassen werd besloot Mary, nog steeds vermomd als man, zich aan te sluiten bij een infanterieregiment in Vlaanderen, waar zij niet onderdeed voor haar mannelijke medesoldaten. Haar interesse ging uit naar een soldaat waarmee zij een tent deelde, maar tot haar frustratie leken de pogingen om hem te verleiden steeds te falen. Uiteindelijk begonnen de twee toch een vurige romance nadat Mary op een dag “per ongeluk” haar borsten liet zien. Aan hun geluk kwam echter een abrupt einde toen haar partner ziek werd en stierf. De radeloze Mary besloot haar oude leven achter zich te laten en koers te zetten naar de Nieuwe Wereld. Op zee werd het schip dat haar passage aanbood overvallen door Britse piraten, die Mary als enige Brit aan boord beter behandelden dan de rest. Ze viel

zo goed in de smaak dat de piraten, die haar aanzagen voor een man, haar vroegen zich bij hen aan te sluiten. En zo geschiedde.10 De wegen van de vrouwen kruisten toen Mary Calico Jack tegenkwam in de Bahama’s in 1718 en besloot zich bij zijn gezelschap te voegen.11 Anne was toen al een periode onderdeel van Jack Rackhams bemanning en werd ondanks haar geslacht door iedereen geaccepteerd als een volwaardig lid. Toen Mary zich aansloot bij de bemanning was Anne al snel onder de indruk van de uitzonderlijke kwaliteiten in zwaardvechten en schieten van het nieuwe jonge bemanningslid, waarna de twee bevriend raakten. Mary deed zich nog altijd voor als man, maar niemand leek ook maar enigszins iets te vermoeden. Mary was agressief, meedogenloos en stond vaak als eerste klaar voor een overval. Ze was ‘zeer losbandig’, herinnerde één van haar slachtoffers zich later, ‘altijd vloekend en scheldend’. Losse kleding verborg haar borsten en niemand dacht twee keer na over haar gebrek aan gezichtshaar; de andere bemanningsleden, de meesten van hen begin twintig, hadden ook een glad gezicht.12 Toen Anne op een dag haar geheim ontdekte beloofde zij Mary dit verborgen te houden voor de rest van de bemanning, inclusief Jack, met wie zij onofficieel getrouwd was. Jack kreeg door dat de

Anne Bonny en Mary Read via www.angelavanleeuwen.nl


12 twee naar elkaar toe groeiden, wat hem erg jaloers maakte. Nadat hij dreigde zijn “rivaal” de strot door te snijden, zag Anne geen andere uitweg en onthulde ze Mary’s ware identiteit. Dit bleek echter geen enkel probleem. Omdat Mary haar kwaliteiten als piraat al dubbel en dwars bewezen had, werd ook zij als volwaardig bemanningslid geaccepteerd.13

niet van geweld, en dronken en scholden net zoveel als de mannen aan boord. Dit was vrijwel het tegenovergestelde van hoe een ‘dame’ zich behoorde te gedragen in de 18e eeuw. Opvallend genoeg bleek wel uit getuigenissen dat Mary en Anne meestal vrouwenkleding droegen. Alleen tijdens een overval hulde zij zich in mannengewaden in een poging intimiderend over te komen.16

Beide vrouwen waren zowel fysiek als mentaal gemaakt voor het piratenleven. Mary zou in haar tienerjaren al beschikt hebben over een, zelfs voor mannelijke begrippen, uitzonderlijke kracht en Anne werd door haar omgeving omschreven als ‘robuust’ en zou een bruut en opvliegend temperament hebben gehad.14 Tijdens gevechten vochten Anne en Mary zij aan zij, met golvende jassen, een lange broek, een zakdoek om hun hoofd gewikkeld en een kapmes en pistool in beide handen geklemd. ‘Ze waren erg actief aan boord’, getuigde een ander slachtoffer later, ‘ze waren bereid om alles te doen’.15 Ze schuwden duidelijk

De zomer en vroege herfst van 1720 waren lucratief voor de bemanning van Rackham. In september overvielen zij zeven vissersboten en twee sloepen in de buurt van Harbor Island in de Bahama’s, maar een paar weken later zou het dramatisch fout gaan. Jack Rackham liet zijn bemanning uitbundig feest vieren na een bijzonder winstgevende overval, en als gevolg waren ze niet bereid op de sloep die stilletjes hun kant op kwam.17 In de sloep zaten mariniers onder leiding van kapitein Jonathan Barnet, een afgezant van de gouverneur die was gestuurd om de piraterij de kop in te drukken. Toen de sloep dichtbij genoeg was, openden de mariniers het vuur op het schip. De piraten raakten in paniek omdat zij niet alleen sterk in de minderheid waren, maar de meesten ook te dronken waren om te vechten. Na een kort gevecht beval Calico Jack zijn crew om zich over te geven en beneden het dek te schuilen. Anne en Mary weigerden zich echter over te geven en bleven als

Kaart van het Caribische gebied via wikipedia.org


13 Amanda van Dord

enigen vechten tegen de mannen van de gouverneur. Mary, zo luidt de legende, walgde zo erg van haar kameraden dat zij stopte met vechten om te schreeuwen: “als er een man onder jullie is, kom naar voren en vecht alsof je er één bent”.18 Toen er geen reactie kwam, schoot ze enkele keren in het ruim en doodde één van de bemanningsleden. Het mocht niet baten. Anne, Mary, Jack en de rest van de bemanning werden uiteindelijk overmeesterd en gevangengenomen.19 De gehele bemanning, inclusief Mary en Anne, werd in een bliksemproces op Jamaica veroordeeld tot de galg. Omdat Anne Bonny en Mary Read tijdens hun processen allebei beweerden zwanger te zijn, werden zij opgesloten in Fort Charles tot de claims uiteindelijk werden bewezen.20 In het geval van Anne was de vader vrijwel zeker Jack, bij Mary was het niet bekend (hoewel er speculaties zijn dat Jack ook haar zwanger had gemaakt). Annes liefde voor Jack was ondertussen sterk bekoeld, aangezien hij zich in haar ogen niet aan de piratencode21 van dapperheid had gehouden, wat hem een zwakkeling maakte in haar ogen. De dag van zijn terechtstelling kreeg Anne toestemming om hem te bezoeken, maar in plaats van een liefkozend afscheid beet ze hem toe: “als je gevochten had als een man, had je nu niet gehangen als een hond”.22 Jack ‘Calico’ Rackham eindigde in een ijzeren kooi, en zijn lichaam zou een waarschuwing zijn voor andere piraten.23

Het zinken van de Luxborough Galley, een Brits handelsschip. John Clevely de Oudere, Ca. 1727.

De twee vrouwen zouden ter dood gebracht worden na de geboorte van hun kinderen, maar hier zou het uiteindelijk nooit van komen. Uit de overlijdensakte van het district St. Catherine op Jamaica bleek dat Mary een paar maanden na de rechtszaak overleed, mogelijk aan de complicaties van haar bevalling.24 Het lot van Anne is lange tijd onbekend gebleven. Er bestaat geen document dat haar vrijlating bevestigt, maar een bericht van executie is er evenmin. Historici speculeerden dat Anne vrijgekocht zou zijn door haar vader. In 2013 werd deze theorie bevestigd: volgens de Oxford Dictionary of National Biography waren nakomelingen van Anne Bonny in het bezit van documenten die bewijzen dat haar vader haar inderdaad heeft vrijgekocht en teruggebracht naar het huidige Charleston, waar het kind van Calico Jack en Anne ter wereld kwam.25 Anne trouwde met Joseph Burleigh, met wie ze acht kinderen kreeg. Anne werd 84 jaar oud en overleed in 1782 als een respectabele oude dame.26 Over haar piratentijd werd vrijwel nooit meer gesproken; het verging tot een schim uit haar avontuurlijke verleden. Anne Bonny en Mary Read waren niet de eerste vrouwelijke piraten en ook niet de enige in hun eigen tijd. Uit documenten blijkt dat in de 18e eeuw twee andere


14

vrouwen, Mary Harley en Mary Crikett, de doodstraf kregen voor piraterij. Hoewel we slechts bewijs hebben van het bestaan van vier vrouwelijke zeerovers in deze periode, kunnen we het bestaan van meer niet uitsluiten. De aanwezigheid van deze vrouwen op een piratenschip kwam namelijk alleen boven water wanneer zij gepakt werden door de autoriteiten.27 De meeste mannelijke piraten waren gemotiveerd door goud, avontuur en vrijheid. Hoewel dit waarschijnlijk ook voor de vrouwen opging, is het makkelijk voor te stellen dat het verlangen naar vrijheid voor hen een nog grotere rol speelde.28 Vrijheid was een onbekend begrip voor de meeste vrouwen in de 18e eeuw. De wetten en de sociale normen van die tijd zorgden ervoor dat zij weinig autonomie konden uitoefenen over hun eigen leven. Piraterij bood Anne de mogelijkheid om uit het beklemmende hokje van vrouw-zijn te ontsnappen. Mary zag het hiernaast als een zeldzame mogelijkheid om uit de armoede op te klimmen. Een vrouw uit het proletariaat had immers nog minder bewegingsvrijheid. De populariteit van de verhalen van Anne en Mary in de romantische literatuur in de 18e, 19e en 20e eeuw laat zien dat zij niet alleen waren. Veel jonge vrouwen voelden zich opgesloten door de heersende opvattinen over vrouwelijkheid en huiselijkheid.29 Hoewel het duo de eigen acties hoogstwaarschijnlijk niet zag als een roep voor rechten en gelijkheid voor vrouwen, kunnen hun opmerkelijke levens wel gezien worden als verzet tegen de genderrelaties van die tijd.

Verwijzingen 1 P. Pringle, Jolly Roger: The Story of the Great Age of Piracy (New York: 2012), 9. 2 Ibidem. 3 M. Rediker, Villains of all Nations: Atlantic Pirates in The Golden Age (2005) 110-111. 4 Ibidem, 110-111. 5 K. Abbott, If there is a man among ye: the Tale of Pirate Queen Anne Bonny and Mary Read, via https://www. smithsonianmag.com/history/if-theres-a-man-amongye-the-tale-of-pirate-queens-anne-bonny-and-maryread-45576461/ (geraadpleegd 01/04/2020). 6 Rediker, Villians of all Nations, 109

7 Abbott, If there is a man among ye, via https://www. smithsonianmag.com/history/if-theres-a-man-amongye-the-tale-of-pirate-queens-anne-bonny-and-maryread-45576461/. 8 Ibidem. 9 Ibidem. 10 Rediker, Villains of all Nations, 105. 11 B. Koll, Bloeddorstige piratenvrouwen maken cariben onveilig, via https://historianet.nl/misdaad/criminelen/ bloeddorstige-piratenvrouwen-maakten-caribenonveilig (geraadpleegd 28/03/2020). 12 Abbott, If there is a man among ye, via https://www. smithsonianmag.com/history/if-theres-a-man-amongye-the-tale-of-pirate-queens-anne-bonny-and-maryread-45576461/ 13 Ibidem. 14 Rediker, Villains of all Nations, 115. 15 Ibidem, 109. 16 Ibidem. 17 Koll, Bloeddorstige piratenvrouwen maken Cariben onveilig, via https://historianet.nl/misdaad/criminelen/ bloeddorstige-piratenvrouwen-maakten-caribenonveilig. 18 Ibidem. 19 Ibidem. 20 Rediker, Villainns of all Nations, 103. 21 E. T. Fox , ‘Piratical Schemes and Contracts’: Pirate Articles and their Society, 1660-1730 (Exeter 2013). 22 Abbott, If there is a man among ye, https://www. smithsonianmag.com/history/if-theres-a-man-amongye-the-tale-of-pirate-queens-anne-bonny-and-maryread-45576461/. 23 Rediker, Villains of all Nations, 103. 24 Koll, Bloeddorstige piratenvrouwen maakten Cariben onveilig, via https://historianet.nl/misdaad/criminelen/ bloeddorstige-piratenvrouwen-maakten-caribenonveilig. 25 D. Cordingly, “Bonny, Anne (1698–1782).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford 2004) Online ed. January 2008. 26 Koll, Bloeddorstige piratenvouwen maakten Cariben onveilig, via https://historianet.nl/misdaad/criminelen/ bloeddorstige-piratenvrouwen-maakten-caribenonveilig. 27 Rediker, Villains of all Nations, 12. 28 Ibidem, 104. 29 Ibidem, 118.


15 Daan Jansen

The Silent World A retrospective on Jacques-Yves

Cousteau’s adventures under the sea Y

ou have probably seen at least one nature documentary taking place under the sea. With beautiful orchestral music and narration by David Attenborough or his ilk, we are shown the wondrous, beautiful, creepy, and strange life that exists in the oceans, seas, and rivers. Ocean documentaries are such a mainstay of the nature documentary genre in general that it might seem they have been around forever, or at least since nature documentaries were first made. This is not quite true. Since the early days of film, nature documentaries have been a way to educate the people of the Western world about the rest of the world. Companies such as British Pathé in England and Polygoonjournaal in the Netherlands produced short news and other information, such as nature documentaries to run at cinemas before films.1 None of these featured footage of life under the sea: at most, perhaps, fish that had been caught and brought to the surface. That changed in the 1950s when Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) took his camera crew to the sea. Cousteau was a French naval officer and oceanographer. He served in the French navy during the Second World War during which he helped develop the Aqualung, the first example of modern diving equipment. Before then, diving was usually done wearing a crushingly heavy diving suit.The user would jump into the water and sink to the bottom, walking along the sea floor and breathing through a tube connected to a boat on the surface. The Aqualung allowed the wearer to carry their supply of oxygen on their back. They were no longer restricted to staying near the boat (except for safety reasons) and could swim to any depth they might want to. Instead of being stuck on the sea floor, it was now possible to glide through the sea like a fish. This technical revolution helped make Cousteau’s first major documentary: The academy-award winning Le Monde du Silence (The Silent World, 1956). With specialized cameras in waterproof cases, Cousteau and his crew set out to sail the seas, to document what they found, and to show it to the wider world. Aboard the Calypso, a French minesweeper-turned-research-vessel, they dove deep in the sea, met whales and befriended a grouper (a type of fish related to the Sea Bass, this one was named Ulysses by the crew). Looking back at the film today, it features some bizarre scenes, ranging from a joyful ride of a sea turtle (which now looks like harassment of the animal) to a grim scene where Cousteau blows up a coral reef in the name of science. Throughout the film, Cousteau proudly shows the advanced technology aboard the Calypso, from the Aqualung to underwater ‘speeders’, to sonar technology

which allows them to explore a shipwreck sunken in the Second World War. They take their jobs of cataloguing the sea very seriously, leading to the aforementioned blowing up of a section of coral reef with dynamite in order to document what types of fish live(d) there. The bodies of the fish, some appearing still alive, are collected on the shore for the audience to see.


16 In the most harrowing part of the film, they come across a pod of Sperm Whales, and they decide, apparently in jest, to try and fail to harpoon one (whaling was not yet illegal at this time). One of the whale calves accidentally swims into the Calypso’s rotors and flees, bleeding to death. They chase it and kill it out of mercy.The blood attracted sharks, who begin consuming the corpse, and the crew decides to brutally kill the “hated” sharks to “avenge” (in Cousteau’s words) the calf they themselves killed. Not long after this sequence, they train the grouper Ulysses to dance with them, with whimsical classical music playing in the background.

The film sparked a lot of controversy, especially regarding the sperm whale scene. But, The Silent World also proved that nature documentaries taking place under the sea were not only realistic to create, but also could become immensely popular. Cousteau became a scientist-superstar, going on to over a hundred more documentaries. His behavior towards ocean life in the film became heavily criticized. He took this criticism to heart, becoming more environmentally conscious and advocating for a ban on whaling. He was also instrumental in blocking plans by the French government to dump nuclear waste in the Mediterranean Sea.2

His later documentaries eventually became less popular. A year before his death, the Calypso was sunk during a collision. Plans to create a second, environmentally friendly Calypso fell through when Cousteau himself died in 1997.3 He had never stopped working to promote awareness and learning about the oceans and his children and grandchildren continue his legacy, promoting environmentalism for the oceans. In a way, his career

reflects modern environmentalist attitudes towards nature: going from hunting and fishing to promote science in the ‘50s and ‘60s towards conservationism from the ‘70’s onwards. Thanks to Cousteau’s boundless energy and love for the oceans, undersea documentaries became a popular genre. As a means to educate people about the world, The Silent World and Cousteau’s later films doubtlessly had immense influence on policy and how we think about the world’s oceans and is definitely worth a watch. DVD bundles with several of his films, including The Silent World, are still available, and a Russian dubbed version can be found on Youtube.

References 1 The full archive of British Pathé is available online. See: https://www.youtube.com/user/britishpathe. A large part of the Dutch Polygoonjournaal is available online as well, see: https://openbeelden.nl/. 2 Jacob Darwin Hanblin, ‘Hallowed lords of the Sea, Scientific Authority and Radioactive Waste in the United States, Britain and France’ in: Osiris 21:1 (2006) 222. 3 Unknown, ‘Jacques-Yves Cousteau, 1910–1997’ in: Scientific American 277:3 (1997) 24.

Screencaps from the film, clockwise from left top: Blowing up a coral reef, for science; the underwater observation room in the Calypso’s bow; using tortoises as chairs; the ship’s dog playing with a lobster; ‘taking revenge’ on sharks; swimming with Ulysses


17

CODEX Historiae zoekt Redacteuren - Eindredacteuren - Gastschrijvers Editors - Copy Editors - Guest writers 9/10 hoogleraren raden aan iets te publiceren in codex!* 9/10 professors recommend publishing in codex!* Heb jij affiniteit met geschiedenis en houd je van schrijven? Dan zijn wij op zoek naar jou! Stuur een mailtje met daarin een korte motivatie en je cv naar info@codexhistoriae.nl en wie weet zie je jouw naam in ons nieuwe nummer verschijnen. Wil je liever eenmalig iets publiceren? Dat kan ook! Regelmatig worden er artikelen gepubliceerd door studenten die een essay, paper of scriptie bewerkt hebben. Zo zijn er in dit nummer een essay en een boekreview verschenen. Je mag natuurlijk ook iets geheel nieuws schrijven als dat je meer aanspreekt! Heb je interesse? Stuur dan een mail naar info@codexhistoriae.nl met jouw (idee voor een) artikel en wie weet zie je het terug in het volgende nummer van codex Historiae!

Are you interested in history and do you love writing? Then we’re looking for you! Send a mail with a brief motivation and your CV to info@codexhistoriae.nl and perhaps you’ll see your name in our next issue! Would you rather publish something just once? You can do that too! codex regularly publishes articles by students based on edited versions of their essays, papers or theses. An essay and a book review appeared in this issue. You can also write something completely new if you prefer! Are you interested? Then you can send an email to info@codexhistoriae.nl with your (idea for an) article and perhaps your article will appear in the next issue of codex Historiae!

*Statistiek niet wetenschappelijk bewezen, maar het klopt wel! *Statistic is not scientifically proven, but it is true!


18

Het verlies van Hasankeyf De Ilisu Dam versus cultureel erfgoed Hasankeyf aan de Tigris, bron: wikipedia.org (2012) V

erspreid over de wereld bevinden zich bijna een miljoen stuwdammen. Ze kunnen verschillende functies hebben, waarvan opslag van water en het opwekken van schone energie de belangrijkste zijn. De oudste bekende dam ter wereld, de Sadd El-Kafara (‘heidense dam’), werd rond 2700 voor Christus gebouwd in de rivier de Nijl in Egypte. Deze dam was naar schatting 15 meter hoog en 100 meter breed.1 Eén van de meest recente dammen is de controversiële Ilisu Dam, gebouwd in het zuidoosten van Turkije in de rivier de Tigris en voltooid in oktober 2019. De plannen voor deze stuwdam dateren uit de jaren ’80, maar de aanleg is vele malen uitgesteld. De dam leidde namelijk tot lokale en internationale protesten die zo hoog opliepen dat internationale investeerders zich in 2009 terugtrokken.2 De Ilisu Dam zou namelijk één van de oudste continu bewoonde plaatsen ter wereld onder water laten verdwijnen: Hasankeyf.

Het project Stuwdammen vormen een onderwerp van discussie vanwege de immense effecten op de omgeving, zowel voor mens als natuur. In de jaren ’90 werden diverse stuwdammen verwijderd om rivieren weer op hun beloop te laten, maar vanwege de grote vraag naar groene energie is de internationale populariteit van stuwdammen weer toegenomen. De Wereldbank stelde in 2013 dat zij stuwdammen ziet als de ideale combinatie van schone energie en economische ontwikkeling. Andere grote investeerders in stuwdammen zijn bijvoorbeeld pensioenfondsen en banken.3 Turkije is voor haar energie zeer afhankelijk van andere landen terwijl de vraag naar

Locatie van Hasankeyf, bron: maps. google.nl.

energie blijft toenemen. In de jaren ’80 ontwikkelde de Turkse overheid het Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi (ZuidoostAnatolië project, of GAP), een overheidsprogramma voor de ontwikkeling van 9 provincies in het zuidoosten van Turkije. Het GAP is gebaseerd op een programma voor


19 Carlijn van Esch Gezicht op Hasankeyf vanaf het kasteel, bron: Flickr: Hasankeyf Castle (2010).

irrigatie en energieproductie aan de Eufraat en Tigris uit de jaren ‘70, welke werd uitgebreid tot een breder project voor sociaaleconomische ontwikkeling van de regio. Naast de aanleg van dammen, irrigatie en energiecentrales omvat het GAP investeringen in landbouw, industrie, infrastructuur, onderwijs, gezondheidszorg, voorzieningen, cultuur en toerisme. De Ilisu Dam zou de op één na grootste dam en de vierde grootste energieleverancier van Turkije worden, waarmee het centraal staat in het GAP.4

In Hasankeyf zijn de overblijfselen te zien van negen opvolgende beschavingen. De Tigris ontspringt in de buurt van het Hazar meer in het zuidoosten van Turkije en loopt door Irak naar de Perzische golf. De Tigris is na de Eufraat de grootste rivier in WestAzië en daarmee één van de belangrijkste onderdelen van het waternetwerk.5 De rivier heeft in Turkije uitzonderlijke geologische structuren uitgesleten en vormt een belangrijk ecosysteem voor meerdere zeldzame diersoorten. Zo is dit het laatste gebied waar de met uitsterven bedreigde Eufraatschildpad voorkomt. Het is bovendien de laatste rivier in Zuidoost-Anatolië waar niet is ingegrepen in het natuurlijke verloop. Door de Ilisu Dam zal zich langzaam een groot reservoir vullen met water. In het gebied van het reservoir bevinden zich bijna 200 woonplaatsen, waarvan Hasankeyf verreweg de bekendste is. Volgens de Turkse overheid verliezen 37.100 inwoners hun huis door de aanleg van de dam.6 Andere bronnen geven hogere aantallen, ongeveer 80.000 inwoners.7 De effecten van de Ilisu Dam zijn wellicht nog groter in Irak. Water is zeer schaars in Irak, waardoor de landbouw afhankelijk is van irrigatie vanuit de Tigris en de Eufraat. Omdat de dam naar schatting voor ongeveer 40% minder water in de Tigris zal zorgen, levert dit grote problemen op voor de landbouw.8 De eerdere aanleg van dammen in het zuidoosten van Turkije heeft ook grote effecten gehad op de natuur in Irak, voornamelijk op het zuidelijk gelegen moerasgebied. De Ilisu Dam dreigt voorgoed een einde te maken aan dit uitzonderlijke ecosysteem en de leefwijze van haar bewoners.

Hasankeyf Hasankeyf ligt aan de oevers van de Tigris, in een landschap van glooiende groene heuvels en kalkstenen kliffen. De plaats wordt door archeologen gezien als een wieg van de beschaving omdat de eerste nederzetting in het gebied minstens 12.000 jaar geleden dateert. Vondsten in verschillende grafheuvels bewijzen dat het gebied al in de prehistorie door mensen werd bewoond. Sindsdien is Hasankeyf altijd bewoond gebleven.9 In het moderne Hasankeyf zijn overblijfselen te zien van negen opvolgende beschavingen, onder andere van Byzantijnen, Abbassiden en Ottomanen. Er bevinden zich meer dan 300 archeologische monumenten en duizenden grotwoningen.10 Hasankeyf is dan ook een bekende toeristische bestemming voor regionaal en international publiek. Amerikaanse journaliste Joanne Leedom-Ackerman omschreef haar bezoek in 2009 als volgt: “Wanneer je het pad van de rivier naar de stad opklimt en vervolgens verder klimt naar de grotten, is de oudheid voelbaar. Je passeert de minaret van de El-rizk moskee, gebouwd door de beroemde sultan Suleiman. De bezoeker ziet de 15e eeuwse ronde Zeynel Bey tombe versierd met blauwe bakstenen in geometrische patronen en bekijkt vervolgens de ruïnes van het kleine paleis en de overblijfselen van de poorten van het kasteel van Hasankeyf. Het kasteel werd gebouwd door de Byzantijnen in 363 na Christus en was één van de veiligste in het oostelijke deel van het Byzantijnse Rijk. … Het kasteel was ongeveer 330 jaar lang een religieus centrum in het Byzantijnse Rijk en diende tussen 1101-1231 als hoofdstad van de Artuks. Na de invasie van de Mongolen in 1260 verborgen de bewoners zich in dit kasteel en in de aangrenzende grotten die nog altijd door geheime gangen verbonden zijn. In de 19e eeuw woonden de Koerdische leiders in het kasteel. Tegenwoordig is het pad naar de stad bezaaid met ambachtelijke kraampjes, waar lokale


20 sieraden, tapijten, tassen en textiel worden verkocht. Kinderen in felgekleurde kleding rennen over de heuvels of rijden op ezels en verkopen de souvenirs van de ambachtslieden wiens studio’s zich in de grotten bevinden.”11 Het Turkse ministerie van cultuur heeft Hasankeyf in 1978 benoemd tot beschermd gebied van het hoogste niveau. Deze status beschermde ook tegen de aanleg van de Ilisu Dam, maar in de jaren ’90 besloot de overheid toch toestemming te verlenen.12 Vanwege de dreiging van het water trok de jonge generatie naar steden in de omgeving. Het afgelopen decennium zakte het inwonersaantal van Hasankeyf van 6,500 naar ongeveer 3000. Veel mensen verhuisden naar de nabij gelegen stad Batman, hoofdstad van de gelijknamige provincie. In Batman bevindt zich een museum waar recente vondsten uit Hasankeyf tentoon worden gesteld. De regio is overwegend Koerdisch, en in de stad Batman maken Koerden 90% van de bewoners uit. De relatie tussen de overheid en deze regio verloopt zeer moeizaam. De Koerdische taal en cultuur worden onderdrukt. De Koerdische nationale partij, de HDP, wordt in de regionale politiek buitenspel gezet. Zo worden democratisch gekozen HDP burgemeesters door de autoriteiten geschorst of afgezet en vervangen door waarnemers. De Koerdische bevolking ziet een verband tussen deze onderdrukking en het lot van Hasankeyf. Ze wijzen naar het verlenen van toestemming voor de dam in de jaren ’90, een periode die werd gekenmerkt door de strijd tussen de Koerdische afscheidingsbeweging (PKK) en het Turkse leger. Inwoners van Hasankeyf vrezen dat de Ilisu Dam onderdeel is van een plan om de Koerdische cultuur uit te wissen.13 Protesten Veel verschillende NGO’s, academici, en publieke iniatieven hebben zich afgelopen decennia ingezet voor de bescherming van Hasankeyf. Academici en experts hebben

beargumenteerd dat het een UNESCO Werelderfgoed site zou moeten zijn. Archeologen vermoeden dat slechts één derde van de oudheden in het gebied zijn opgegraven. De Turkse overheid heeft echter niet van het project willen afwijken en Hasankeyf nooit opgegeven voor de UNESCO lijst.14 De Turkse overheid benadrukte steevast dat de Ilisu Dam nodig is voor elektriciteit, water en welvaart. Volgens de oppositie zal de dam slechts in 2 procent van de Turkse elektriciteitsbehoefte voorzien en zij vrezen dat de gewonnen welvaart en banen naar andere gebieden dan het zuidoosten zullen gaan.15

Inwoners van Hasankeyf vrezen dat de Ilisu Dam onderdeel is van een plan om de Koerdische cultuur uit te wissen. In 1997 sloegen 72 verschillende groepen, varierend van gemeenten tot NGO’s, de handen ineen en richtten het Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive op.16 Steed meer internationale aandacht ging uit naar het lot van Hasankeyf en verschillende misstanden kwamen aan het licht. Zo zouden enkele dorpen in de regio onder schot zijn geevacueerd en huizen zouden in brand zijn gestoken.17 Verzekeraars uit Duitsland, Zwitserland en Oostenrijk waren grote financiers van de Ilisu Dam, maar lieten in 2008 weten zich zorgen te maken dat de Turkse overheid zich niet hield aan de normen van de Wereldbank met betrekken tot bescherming van het milieu, de inwoners en het cultureel erfgoed. In 2009 trokken zij zich terug uit het project.18 De Turke overheid toonde zich echter vastberaden en beloofde zelf voor de financiering te zorgen. Daarnaast werd beloofd nieuwe huizen voor de inwoners van Hasankeyf aan te leggen en ook een cultureel park waar enkele van de archeologische schatten van Hasankeyf tentoongesteld zouden worden. Veel van de monumenten zijn echter niet te verplaatsen en vele dorpelingen ontvingen geen compensatie van de overheid omdat hun bezittingen niet goed geregistreerd waren.19 Hasankeyf in verval In november 2019, kort nadat de aanleg van de dam was voltooid, bezocht ik Hasankeyf samen met een collega.We waren in Batman voor de opening van een kinderfestival. In Batman zie je veel symbolen van Hasankeyf terug. Wanneer je met de bewoners praat over de dam ervaar

Het nieuwe Hasankeyf in aanbouw, foto uit eigen archief, november 2019.


21 Carlijn van Esch je niet woede of onrecht, maar vooral het verdriet dat de mensen voelen. We bezochten Hasankeyf samen met een lokale Koerdische journalist. Hij heeft er zelf lange tijd gewoond en deelgenomen aan veel van de lokale protesten.

Het was prachtig, maar ook verdrietig om te beseffen dat het binnen twee jaar allemaal verdwenen zal zijn. De weg naar Hasankeyf slingert vanaf de vlakte waar Batman ligt het groene heuvellandschap in. Een glooiend landschap wordt afgewisseld met kale toppen en stijle ravijnen. Het stadje ligt aan weerszijden van de Tigris. Aan de ene oever bevinden zich steile kliffen met daarboven het kasteel, aan de andere kant zijn er vlakkere heuvels. Een moderne brug verbindt de twee zijden waarnaast de resten van een Byzantijnse brug fier overeind staan in de rivier. Op de vlakke heuvels was het nieuwe Hasankeyf in aanbouw. We bezochten deze karakterloze plek als eerst. Het was een gek gevoel om tussen de rijen identieke huizen door te rijden. Het zijn er niet genoeg om de bewoners van Hasankeyf te kunnen huisvesten, en bovendien zijn de huizen niet betaalbaar voor de lokale bevolking.Volgens onze gids worden de huizen gekocht door de rijke achterban van de AKP (de regeringspartij) en voelen de bewoners van Hasankeyf zich weggejaagd. Aan de randen van het nieuwe Hasankeyf staan enkele monumenten die gered konden worden, waaronder de in 1409 voltooide El Rizk moskee en haar bijzondere minaret, en de Zenel Bey tombe uit 1474. De monumenten zijn in 2017 verplaatst door het Nederlandse bedrijf Bresser Eurasia.20

In het oude Hasankeyf zijn veel monumenten door het naderende noodlot verwaarloosd: de meeste zijn inmiddels door de overheid afgesloten voor publiek en enkele hebben plaats moeten maken voor de aanleg van constructies voor het reservoir. Zo passeerden we en oude koranschool waar de bordjes met toegangsprijzen en het aanbod aan versnaperingen voor toeristen scheef bungelden achter een nieuw hek. Veel huizen staan leeg of zijn al gesloopt, maar er wonen nog mensen in Hasankeyf. De overheid breekt woningen af om de bevolking te

Hasankeyf in 2019 met rechts in beeld constructies voor het reservoir, foto uit eigen archief (november 2019).


22

Verwijzingen

dwingen te verhuizen.Toch is het oude Hasankeyf nog altijd indrukwekkend. Naar verwachting duurt het enkele jaren voordat het reservoir is gevuld. Het contrast tussen de nieuwe damconstructies en de lege straten enerzijds en de monumenten en grotwoningen anderzijds was groot. Het was prachtig, maar ook verdrietig om de afbrokkelende schoonheid van Hasankeyf te ervaren en te beseffen dat het binnen twee jaar allemaal verdwenen zal zijn.

De Zeynel Bey tombe, bron: Wikipedia.org (2008).

1 E. Donald, C. Jackson, J. Guthrie Brown,‘Dam’, Encyclopedia Brittanica. 2 H.M. Kocabas, ‘Planning in Fragile Sites in Turkey: in Case of Hasankeyf’, Proceedings of 18th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society (2013): 691-700, aldaar 694-695. 3 D. Del Bene, A. Scheidel, L. Temper, ‘More dams, more violence? A global analysis on resistances and repression around conflictive dams through co-produced knowledge’, Sustainability Science 13 (2018): 617-633, aldaar 617-618. 4 H.M. Kocabas, ‘Planning in Fragile Sites in Turkey’ 694-695. 5 E. Yalcin, S. Tigrek, ‘Hydropower production without sacrificing environment: a case study of Ilisu Dam and Hasankeyf’, International Journal of Water Resources Development 32:2 (2016): 247-266, aldaar 247. 6 H.M. Kocabas, ‘Planning in Fragile Sites in Turkey’ 694. 7 D. Carle, C. Carle, ‘Hasankeyf in Peril on the Tigris River’, Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line around the World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013) 78. 8 Carle, ‘Hasankeyf in Peril’ 80. 9 Yalcina, Tigrekb, ‘Case study of Ilisu Dam and Hasankeyf’ 247. 10 H.M. Kocabas, ‘Planning in Fragile Sites in Turkey’ 691. 11 J. Leedom-Ackerman, ‘Portal to Antiquity: Hasankeyf, Turkey’, World Literature Today 83:4 (2009): 58-60, aldaar 59. Eigen vertaling. 12 Leedom-Ackerman, ‘Portal to Antiquity’ 59. 13 Ibidem. 14 H.M. Kocabas, ‘Planning in Fragile Sites in Turkey’ 694. 15 Leedom-Ackerman, ‘Portal to Antiquity’ 60. 16 Carle, ‘Hasankeyf in Peril’ 78. 17 Leedom-Ackerman, ‘Portal to Antiquity’ 59. 18 Carle, ‘Hasankeyf in Peril’ 80. 19 Leedom-Ackerman, ‘Portal to Antiquity’ 60. 20 Hasankeyf Matters, The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, Fivas, “Bresser’s conduct in last year’s relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb did not comply with OECD Guidelines,” last modified August 20, 2018, http://www. hasankeyfmatters.com/2018/08/bressers-conduct-inlast-years.html.


23 Claire Majoor

African pearl divers

Transferring skill and culture across the Atlantic F

rom the 16th until the 19th century, Africans were sold as slaves to Europeans, and shipped to colonies in the Americas. This system is also known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade. For most enslaved Africans, the sailing journey was an event that shook their worldview to their core. Most African communities, such as the Akan, had no history of sailing, they were only familiar with canoeing. The unknown of the open ocean, the foreign ship and their unknown destination, made for a frightening journey which not all would survive.1 In many other ways however, the enslaved Africans proved to be more knowledgeable than the European slave traders. Many had come from home with skills such as being able to swim in the rough ocean, dive meters deep, and build canoes. These skills were valuable to European slave traders. They were not oblivious to the fact that Africans were indeed far better swimmers. Portuguese and Spanish slave traders found a way to exploit this skill for their own profit. They decided to export skilled swimmers to the colonies in the Americas , to work in the pearl fisheries. From 1526 onwards, African slaves were used in colonies such as Cubaga and Margarita.2

At times, Europeans even relied on their slaves to save them from drowning. The labour conditions were harsh. Slaves had to dive for oysters as deep as 72 feet (roughly 22 meters). At the same time, the flesh of unwanted oysters was thrown back into the waters, attracting hungry sharks, which would often attack the slaves. They could however, also simply collapse in the boat from pure exhaustion.3 Due to the depths to which the slaves had to dive, their eardrums burst as well.4 The Spanish crown tried to impose regulations on the way fisheries functioned, but enforcement proved difficult. Philip II imposed laws upon the captains of fishery boats to change the way pearls were harvested. It was forbidden to dispose of oyster flesh while at sea. Dead slaves’ bodies had to be loaded back into the boat, to prevent the blood from attracting more marine predators.5

An African man participating in a crocodile fight (Frederic Schorbel, ‘Negro method of attacking the crocodile’, The World in Miniature: Africa (1821).)

These circumstances differentiated drastically from the context in which the ocean had functioned in the slaves’ homeland. There the ocean had been a place of religious value. The Akan tribe, for example, fostered their own religious practices and traditions where the ocean played a central role. Akan communities stayed away from the ocean and stopped fishing on, what were to the European eye,Tuesdays, in honour of their sea god Fytysi.6 The Asante tribe believed in a lake god,Twi, in Lake Bosumtwi.This god forbade the use of flotation devices, so the Asante had to catch their fish whilst swimming.7 The ocean is not only a place of religious significance it is also a place for leisure activities. African communities along the African Gold Coast have a long tradition of swimming. European merchants and explorers have reported seeing children, around 2 years of age, learning to swim in the sea.8 This made Africans far more adept at swimming than Europeans in (pre)colonial times. Africans not only simply swam, they surfed and men participated in wrestling competitions with marine animals, such as alligators, manta rays, and sharks. They probably waged these contests to amuse bystanders and demonstrate their power and bravery.9


24

Pearl fishing Margarita Island, Venezuela, 1560s-1570s. (‘Pearl Fishing, Margarita Island, Venezuela, 1560s-1570s’, Slavery Images) Europeans however, looked at the act of swimming differently. Europeans have classified the African preferred mode of swimming, the freestyle, as uncivilized. Swimming ought to be gracious and smooth. Therefore, Europeans, if they were even capable of swimming, prefered to do so with the breaststroke.10 This is in accordance with the way Europeans viewed Africans, and their culture in general. In the colonial period, Africans were thought to be uncivilized and in need of education.

The waters had become a place of exhaustion, pain and death. Africans who had to work as slaves in the pearl fisheries took their culture with them. They transferred their practical skills along with their cultural practices and spiritual beliefs about water to the Americas. They continued to participate in wrestling competitions with marine animals and waged canoe races to show their strength. Some historians believe this was a form of cultural resilience and resistance.11 The power balance that was established differed from the one between colonizers and Africans without aquatic skills, as the slaves were crucial to the functioning of the colonizers’ system. Europeans relied on Africans for building canoes, for salvaging shipwrecks, and to dive for oysters. At times, Europeans even relied on their slaves to save them from drowning.12 This made for a dynamic relationship between slave and colonizer. Due to their skill, the slaves in pearl fisheries were able to obtain some form of privilege and freedom. They were allowed to go canoeing and diving without white supervision and they had to open oysters they harvested. The latter offered the opportunity for them to enrich themselves.They were also granted a portion of the pearls they harvested. This gave the lucky few slaves the chance to buy their freedom.13 However, pearl fisheries were unable to attain enough pearls to satisfy the demand of the early modern period. Due to overfishing, oyster beds disappeared.14 Only the

luckiest slaves would have been able to buy their own freedom, return home, and hopefully enjoy the waves once again in their homeland. Slavery must have also had an immense psychological impact on people from African descent.The waters had become a place of exhaustion, pain and death, not a sacred place of religion and enjoyment.

References 1 S.E. Smallwood, ‘Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora’, (2007), 131-132. 2 M.A. Warsh, ‘Enslaved Pearl Divers in the Sixteenth Century Caribbean’, In: Slavery and Abolition, Vol. 31, No. 3, (2010), 347. 3 M.A. Warsh, ‘Enslaved Pearl Divers in the Sixteenth Century Caribbean’, 352. 4 K. Dawson, ‘Swimming, Surfing and Underwater Diving in Early Modern Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora’, (2009) 110. 5 M.A. Warsh, ‘Enslaved Pearl Divers in the Sixteenth Century Caribbean’, 348-349. 6 S.E. Smallwood, ‘Saltwater Slavery’, 132. 7 K. Dawson, ‘Swimming, Surfing and Underwater Diving’, 96 8 Idem, 91. 9 Idem, 104-106. 10 Idem, 90. 11 R. M. Browne,‘Undercurrents of Power:Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora’, In: Hispanic American historical review, Vol. 99, No. 3, (2019), 558-559. 12 K. Dawson,‘Swimming, Surfing and Underwater Diving’, 112. 13 Idem, 110. 14 M.A. Warsh, ‘Enslaved Pearl Divers in the Sixteenth Century Caribbean’, 356.


25

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26

Hydropower development in Norway The black pages of Norway’s Green energy

“N

orway is today Europe’s biggest producer of hydropower, and number six in the world. Our hydropower resources have given us industrial development, wealth creation, light and heating for more than a hundred years. With the right resource management, we are laying the groundwork so that these resources can benefit future generations.”1 This quote from the Norwegian government’s official website gives a good idea of how the government understands the history of hydropower in Norway. The country currently ranks sixth in the world in total energy produced through hydropower.2 Energy produced through hydropower in Norway accounts for 95,3% of all renewable energy production, and further statistics show that 99% of public electricity, and 50% of industrial energy, is derived from hydropower. Furthermore, in 1909, the Norwegian Storting (parliament) passed laws ensuring that Norwegian hydropower resources remained in Norwegian hands, which are laws that are still in effect to this day.3 There is no denying that hydropower development in Norway has led to beneficial results for the population and the environment overall, but the building of dams has led to negative results for both as well. To illustrate this, I will focus on three areas in Norway where hydropower development has proven to incite contention between the government and the local population. These were over concerns for labour exploitation, indigenous rights, and environmental stability. A Power Statement in Glomma Glomma is Norway’s longest river and many parts of it have a strong flow, so it is not surprising that development of a power plant there would happen sooner rather than later.4 The area where a dam was planned was scarcely populated and there were no major protests against its construction, which began in 1917. During the construction of the power plant,

Sami protesters against the Alta Dam.The sign says “Let the river live”. Date unknown. Retreived from the Environmental Justice Atlas via https://ejatlas.org/

a community formed close to the construction site, where several essential institutions for the labourers and their families were founded, such as a school, a hospital, local markets, etc. This community soon became a town called Rånåsfoss. Initially construction went on without any issues, but after a serious outbreak of the Spanish Flu, increasingly high prices on materials, and cut-backs in the workforce, the labourers started to protest the working conditions. The power plant construction workers established unions and demanded an increase in pay and security. The state refused to accommodate the workers properly, which in the end led to an unusually high total of 3500 people working on the construction of the plant before it was finished in 1922.5 It is unclear whether this large number of workers was because of work-related deaths or people simply quitting, but it is known that at least some deaths were caused by bad working conditions.6 Not only the construction workers experienced problems with the plant when it was being built. Loggers who depended on the river to transfer logs quickly to booms


27 Even Grimstad and sawmills downstream were severely slowed down during the construction. Other, less efficient means of transportation had to be used, which reduced the income of these loggers.7 For several years, loggers struggled to earn enough to support their families, and when they asked the state for compensation they were denied any help. During the final years of construction a “timber tube” (a special opening to transport timber through the dam) was implemented to alleviate the loggers’ difficulties from the new dam.8 When the power plant was finished it produced enough energy to sustain almost the entire county of Akershus. Nearly a hundred years after its construction it is still operational, and it has benefitted the local population with access to plenty of renewable energy.9 However, the way the state handled workers difficulties during the construction is not dismissible in light of these benefits. The Norwegian state offers no mention of any negative effects of the dam on the river Glomma. This is not the only time that the construction of a hydropower plant caused problems for the local population: another case presented itself later that century. Alta: the State versus the Indigenous Population In 1968 a plan was put forward by the government to start construction of a hydropower plant on the Alta river. The plan involved damming up the entire river and flooding the town Màze, which was a town populated by Sami, a people indigenous to northern Scandinavia. The construction of the dam received furious resistance from the Sami people, who felt that the construction would severely affect their reindeer population, their home and occupation, and would have negative environmental consequences for the surrounding areas.10

A map of Norway with the Rånåsfoss dam on the Glomma, the Alta dam and Romsdalen marked.

The Sami protests were the largest protests towards a plan suggested by government ever recorded in Norwegian history, and are still used as an example of how the Sami have been exploited and taken advantage of throughout Norwegian history. In 1968, Sami people were still not equal in terms of basic rights and were treated as foreigners on their own land by the government. The main protest against the development was the act of flooding the town Màze, which, had it been carried out, would have robbed several thousand Sami of their homes, without reimbursement from the state.11 The Sami protested for over a decade, until in 1981 the state used a police force of over 600 men to clear the protestors, in order to make room for the construction. The Sami did succeed in preserving their town, but their other interests in the surrounding areas were dismissed. As a way of mitigating the damage caused by the construction of Alta power plant,


28 the state granted the Sami their own parliamentary body in 1989, but other than that no procedures were made to make up for the loss of necessary bio-diversity that the Sami needed to keep their reindeer healthy. The result was that most of the Sami were forced to emigrate away from the area where the power plant was built in order to preserve their livelihood. A radio documentary broadcasted in 1995 contains interviews with protesters against the Alta dam, allowing stories of the systemic oppression the Sami suffered during the protests to finally be revealed.12 In order to legitimise the incarceration of the protesters, the Norwegian government set in motion a series of laws that would categorise the (peaceful) protesters’ actions as “civil disobedience”. The police were ordered to remove any protesters that were protesting outside of the parliament, even though doing so is a civil right in Norwegian law. Some argue that, had it not been for the power plant in Alta, there would be too little energy in the area to sustain the local population. Does the need for energy legitimize the treatment of the Sami, or the devastation caused to the surrounding environment and bio-diversity? In recent years much of the surrounding area has become protected nature, because of the unique flora and fauna present here, but the damage wrought by the dam cannot be undone.13 And, as with the Alta river, dams have had a substantial impact on the natural environment elsewhere in Norway.

The Fight for Romsdalen’s Bio-Diversity The Romsdalen valley is one of the most abundant in terms of biodiversity. Situated on the western coast of Norway, it is currently protected in order to keep its biodiversity intact, and has been placed on the UNESCO world heritage list more than once.14 This has not always been the case, however.The valley contains many rivers and waterfalls with a lot of potential for energy development, so both the state and private investors have attempted to build hydropower dams several times. The first area targeted for energy development in Romsdalen was the stream that runs from Ulvådalsvatnet, a big lake over 1000 meters above sea level. This stream runs through large parts of the valley’s less populated areas. The lake is known for its population of fish that exists virtually nowhere else. The plans for constructing a small-scale hydropower plant were set in motion in 1970 and immediately received massive critique from the local population. Specialists argued that the lake lies in a very particular geological area that is crucial for the lake to keep a low nutritional value and as little salt as possible in order for fish and other inhabitants to survive.15 Because of this, the lake is very vulnerable to pollution, a dam keeping water from flowing and removing pollutants could destroy the entire ecosystem in and around the lake.The specialists were quick to file petitions to have the stream and the lake protected because of the fragile ecosystem and succeeded before construction could begin.


29 Even Grimstad A second attempt at constructing a hydropower plant in Romsdalen took place in 1974, when a local entrepreneur applied for permission to create a regulating hydropower plant on the river Rauma. The Rauma flows through the entire valley and is essential to the life there.16 It is particularly known for its rich salmon population. The protests towards the development of a Rauma dam were manifold. Specialists argued that regulating the water in the river would not only severely damage the salmon population of the river, but would also have severe consequences for the coastal ecosystem, which is dependant on the freshwater stream running into it.17 Even though the argument for stopping the development was solid, the construction of a small-scale regulating hydropower plant started in 1975.18 The dam’s construction resulted in a reduced salmon population and diminished diversity in the coastal ecosystem, just as the specialists had predicted. Efforts were made to restore the coastal ecosystem, and largely succeeded. However, the salmon population still suffers from a lethal parasite called Gyrodactylus salaris, which makes restoring the population difficult. In order to prevent further damages to the river’s ecosystem, it was fully protected as a national landmark in 1993, which makes it strictly forbidden to set in motion any measures that could potentially further affect its biodiversity. Conclusion There is no denying that hydropower development in Norway has benefitted Norway immensely, but it is concerning that so little attention is given to all negative aspects of hydropower development. Many of the same discussions around dams in the twentieth century are being held today, in regards to construction of wind turbines on Norway’s coast.19 Scientists and the local population in the afflicted areas are arguing that even though wind turbines are a good source of renewable energy, it is potentially damaging for the surrounding ecosystems and bio-diversity, which are also immensely important for the environment. Even though it is crucial that we end our society’s reliance on fossil fuels and other polluting energy sources, we must not fail to recognize how ‘green’ energy sources can have similarly drastic impacts on the environment. For both renewable and non-renewable energy, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The natural beauty of Romsdalen. Photo by Simo Räsänen via wikimedia.org.

References 1 Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, https://www. regjeringen.no/en/topics/energy/renewable-energy/ thehistory-of-norwegian-hydropower-in-5-minutes/ id2346106/. 2 R.M. Czarny, A Modern Nordic Saga: Politics, Economy and Society (Switzerland 2017). 3 Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (20/07/2016) https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/energy/ renewableenergy/the-history-of-norwegianhydropower-in-5-minutes/id2346106/. 4 G. Thorsnæs (2019) https://snl.no/Glomma. 5 Akershus Energi https://akershusenergi.no/no/vannkraft/ vaare-kraftverk/raanaasfoss1#. 6 Blaker and Sørum history association, Glomma gjennom Sørum - livet langs elva (Sørumsand 2009). 7 This source is oral from the son (Morten Svendsen) of a logger (Andreas Svendsen) who worked as a logger during the construction. I have no reason to question the legitimacy of this story, but unfortunately he had no proof of these conditions or the loggers appeal to the state, so as of yet there is no definitive proof of these conditions. 8 K. A. Rosvold (2019), https://snl.no/R%C3%A5n%C3%A5 sfoss_kraftverk. 9 Ibidem. 10 M. Berg-Nordlie, K. A. Tvedt (2019) https://snl.no/ Alta-saken. 11 I. Sekne, L. Thue, Statkrafts teknisk kulturhistorie, “de temmet vannet” (Universitetsforlaget 2011). 12 B. Amundsen, Svart Hånd, Hvit Snø (NRK 1995). 13 S. Askheim (2019) https://snl.no/Finnmarksvidda. 14 S. Askheim, G. Thorsnæs (2019) https://snl.no/ Romsdalen; https://www.visitnorway.no/reisemal/ vestlandet/nordvest/tindehovedstaden-andalsnes/ aktiviteter-og-attraksjoner-i-romsdalen/. 15 H. Holtan, Vassdraget - virkninger av eventuelle kraftverksreguleringer (Åndalsnes 1980). 16 G. Thorsnæs (2018) https://snl.no/Rauma_-_elv. 17 S. Skreslet, Fjordene og Kyststrømmen - et Integrert økosystem basert på ferskvannstilførsel fra land (Åndalsnes 1983). 18 It was this same argument that gave the river a protected status in 1961. The river did, however, lose this status in 1973; Møre og Romsdal Naturvern, Rauma/Ulvåa på vektskåla - kraftutbygging eller vern (Møre og Romsdal 1980); for more on the dam’s construction, see N. A. Hvidsten, Fisk og Fisket - Mulige virkninger ved utbygging av Rauma/Ulvåa (Åndalsnes 1983). 19 R. Kleven (NRK 2019) https://www.nrk.no/ trondelag/over-30-nye-vindkraftverk-skal-byggesinorge-1.14520046.


30 Op de VU

Op de VU

Research edition Het is onlangs bekend dat de VU in ieder geval tot en met oktober 2020 geen colleges op het campus kan bieden voor geschiedenisstudenten en de meeste andere geesteswetenschappers. Er is dus vrij weinig aan de hand op de VU zelf om te bespreken. Vandaar dat wij deze keer hebben besloten deze ruimte te geven aan twee nieuwe onderzoeksprojecten onder leiding van onderzoekers aan de VU: Coping with Drought onder leiding van Petra van Dam en TERRANOVA onder leiding van Sjoerd Kluiving. Ook in deze tijden gaat het onderzoek hard door en studenten zijn meer dan welkom om in de komende jaren daaraan bij te dragen. Wij zoeken altijd bijdrages voor ‘Op de VU’ voor aankomende nummers. Opinie, aankondigingen, een strip of een column, het is allemaal welkom hier. Geintereseerd? Stuur ons een mailtje naar info@codexhistoriae.nl The VU has announced that no classes will take place on campus for history students and most other humanities students, at least until November 2020. So there is little going on at the VU itself to discuss here. That is why we have decided to dedicate this space to two new research projects that are led by researchers here at the VU: Coping with Drought led by Petra van Dam and TERRANOVA led by Sjoerd Kluiving. In these troubling times, research continues and students are more than welcome to help in the coming years. We are always looking for contributions to ‘Op de VU’ for upcoming issues. Opinion pieces, announcements, cartoons or columns, it’s all welcome here. Interested? Send us a mail at info@codexhistoriae.nl

Coping With Drought

A history of drinking water and climate adaptation Drought as a result of climate change is an urgent challenge worldwide. This project investigates societal resilience to drought in coping with shortages of drinking water. In the Netherlands, before the introduction of water piping in the nineteenth century, access to drinking water was highly flexible and adaptable. People procured water from multiple sources: groundwater, rainwater, and surface water. The research question is: “In what ways did the practices, norms, and values regarding the provisioning and use of drinking water develop in the Netherlands during the period 1550-1850, and how did they contribute to societal resilience

to drought under differing environmental and social conditions?” We make comparisons between dry and humid periods and investigate case studies in two different regions: in the higher elevations of the Eastern Netherlands, with access to good ground water and surface water, and in the low-lying Western Netherlands, which depended on rainwater, as groundwater and surface water was

Pump at the girls’ court of the Amsterdam City Orphanage. Drinkwater falling on the court was collected in a cistern. Source: Beeldbank Amsterdam Museum.


31 Petra van Dam

brackish and polluted by industrial and human waste. The main goal of this project is to deepen knowledge about societal resilience to climate change.This cross-field project will be innovative by combining the environmental history subfields of weather-and-climate history and drinking water history. The method will allow for the identification of factors which contributed to societal resilience to drought over the long-term and make possible the exploration of drought as an agent in historical explanations. In addition, our historical imaginaries may inspire the general public and professionals to seek creative adaptations to climate change.

Nicolaas van der Waay, c. 1900. Meisjesbinnenplaats van het burgerweeshuis in Amsterdam met enige weesmeisjes. Source: Beeldbank Amsterdam Museum.

The project team comprises five people: project leader Petra van Dam, postdoc Milja van Tielhof, PhD-student DĂĄniel Moerman, volunteer Marja Heier, and student-assistant JoĂŤlle Koorneef. Two posts are still vacant. Students are very welcome to contribute to the project. Contact Petra van Dam if you want to join and do a related project for a BA or MA thesis. Website: https:// copingwithdrought.wordpress.com


32 Op de VU

The TERRANOVA Project

Where Deep history of our Cultural Landscapes meets Future Landscape Management Today’s landscapes are in danger. They give us essential services as water, energy, food and clean air and at the same time represent immeasurable values in cultural, scientific, educational, recreational and spiritual resources. Despite their importance to humanity, many landscapes and terrestrial ecosystems are presently threatened by a combination of impacts such as: deforestation, land degradation, (uncontrolled) suburbanisation and humaninduced environmental change. The various ways in which landscapes are significant are often not well understood and it is very hard to persuade politicians to act in favour of sustainable landscape management. Therefore, a more nuanced understanding of the deep history of our cultural landscapes and the influence of changing human-environment interactions on the current state of the environment is required to be able to develop sustainable ways of dealing with landscape changes in the future. Particularly important for Europe’s landscapes are their relations to long-term history, as much of their cultural identities and values are embedded in their historical development. Events that took place over the last decades are currently taken as the baseline with which to address issues of landscape management, while archaeological research highlights that intense human impacts on the environment have a much longer history. Furthermore, the reliance on short term baselines often overlooks critical phases in the cyclicity and temporality of emerging landscape processes.

Timeline of the balance of nature and culture under various energy regimes.

Consequently, future sustainable landscape management requires the capacity to accommodate current and future landscape processes blended with an understanding of cultural values and the landscape’s long-term natural and cultural development. This in turn requires the fostering of a new generation of landscape managers, planners and scientists, who are able to integrate the experimental and deductive lines of reasoning of the natural sciences with the holistic and critical perspectives of the humanities and social sciences, and adopt good communication skills to take this knowledge to policymakers and the public. The TERRANOVA project is exactly aimed to fill this urgent need, to promote sustainable use and conservation of landscapes. The first ideas about the project originated about five years ago, when we organised a small symposium at the VU, on ‘the Anthropocene’1 in which we had multiple speakers from various disciplines in geology, archaeology, paleoclimatology, and landscape modelling. When developing the first ideas of the project proposal we envisioned reconstructing landscape histories for landscape futures, resulting in the project name TERRANOVA. The TERRANOVA project2 got funded as a European training network in the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union for 4 MY euro from 2019-2023. The goal of TERRANOVA is to train 15 creative and innovative young Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) (i.e. PhD students). Researchers working with policy makers and the wider society with a deep appreciation of a wide range of sectors affecting landscapes will form a new graduate school capable of coproducing responses to the interdisciplinary challenges of land management. Here ecosystem services,


33 Sjoerd Kluving cultural heritage, and economic qualities are balanced and preserved, taking into consideration ongoing climate, environmental and social change. TERRANOVA’s mission is to develop an unprecedented digital atlas of Europe with human occupation over the past energy regimes and their transitions compiled by the 15 young researchers. The atlas combines human population patterns in the past, plants and disturbances, animal development, and climate change. The ‘Atlas group’ of 9 ESRs is compiling the atlas, of which we have currently no clue how exactly it will look, largely because this atlas will be unprecedented. Combining so many sources from various disciplines is important to obtain an integrated evidence on humans energy use in the past, how that has evolved in our current fossil energy regime, and how that will evolve into the next fossil-free energy regime of the 21st century. The outlook of the Atlas will be digital, stored in the cloud, and publicly accessible. Within and in addition to the atlas we will give strategic guidelines and policy measures for politicians and landscape practitioners, and prove the strength of interdisciplinary research in academia in the Anthropocene. We will raise sustainable awareness on landscape reform among academia, the commerce and the general public.

Here I will illustrate what shape the information in the atlas might take.The Dutch project of TERRANOVA has its study area in the Rhine-Meuse area.The map of the eastern Netherlands shows the area of the Field School of the 1st meeting of the consortium in October 2019. The digital elevation map shows the upper level of the Rhine-Meuse delta in the Netherlands, in between the glacial ice-pushed ridges of the penultimate ice age. In the area the young researchers have seen landscapes, sediments and artefacts of the Hunter-Gatherers’ 1st energy regime. This was followed by looking at traces of younger energy regimes of the Agricultural/Timber (artefacts and iron pits) and the Industrial/Fossil fuels (2nd World War air strip in the woods).The field trip was concluded at the Millingerwaard, where new nature development goes hand in hand with cultural-historic remnants. The latter stop was an example for the rewilding effort in TERRANOVA as well as a fine standard of new and future landscape management.

Digital elevation map of the eastern Netherlands.

Our ultimate mission and goal of our academic and nonacademic consortium is to inform the policy makers in the EU office in Brussels, as well as landowners all over Europe and the general public how to cope with the current energy regime transition into the Low Carbon Society. My role in TERRANOVA is being the initiator and coordinator running the project. I am also involved in supervising one of the fifteen subprojects:‘Balancing nature and culture in Southwest European landscape evolution and integrated legacies’. If any student in History or a related discipline is interested to contribute to TERRANOVA in thesis projects or otherwise, you can always contact me or Ruud van Ooijen (project manager) for a chat or more information.

Notes 1 The Anthropocene is defined as the new epoch of mankind where the influence of man on earth has an unprecedented dominant impact. 2 TERRANOVA the European Landscape Learning Initiative: Past and future environments and Energy Regimes shaping Policy Tools.


34

The enemy of my enemy is my friend The use of water in Dutch warfare

T

he Dutch have a longstanding love-hate relationship with water. They have struggled for centuries to keep themselves safe from water and even conquer its territory, knowing that it is just waiting for the dykes to break to reclaim lost ground. The Dutch have mastered the art of keeping water out of their land, however in times of need, the two foes became allies. From the 16th to the 20th centuries, the Dutch let water flood the land to their advantage, in order to make it nearly impossible for intruders to break through these aquatic defensive lines. Several defensive waterlines exist or have existed in the Netherlands, but two are truly remarkable and enjoy much public attention: the ‘Oude Hollandse Waterlinie’ (Old Dutch Waterline) and the ‘Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie’ (New Dutch Waterline) which have served the Dutch in various occasions.The usage of water for defensive purposes is not unique to Dutch history, but the scope of these defences and their dependency upon it are.1 Rivers have long been used as a natural border that is easily defendable. An example of early use of a waterline in the present-day Netherlands is the Rhine, which was used by the Romans to protect their territory from the people living north of the river. To help them make this natural border (a portion of which is known as the Limes) stronger and more difficult to occupy, they also built strongholds and roads to connect them. Although this primitive waterline did not yet rely on inundation and was not steady enough to prevent Germanic tribes from breaking through, it later

proved to be of great importance for the quick inundation of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie.2 After the Roman Empire collapsed, the Netherlands was too sparsely populated to maintain such a large defensive system. As with all other waterlines in the Netherlands, the Limes is now a recreational site and a very popular area to conduct archaeological research.3 In the Eighty Years’ War against Habsburgian Spain, the first strategic inundations were attempted, or to be more accurate, some dykes were broken. Since most of Holland lies beneath sea level, the land was soon flooded, severely hindering the Spanish troops. Again, this line was far from perfect and the Spanish managed to break through. Then the Dutch began to use the water not only for defence, but also as an offensive tool and started to flood Spanish occupied land, forcing their troops out of the area.This was done several times, the most famous examples being the liberation of Alkmaar and Leiden.After these successes, the Dutch planned on building a more permanent waterline: the Oude Hollandse Waterlinie.4

Map of the Old and New Waterlines.The Old Waterline is coloured in red (dark), while the New Waterline is coloured yellow (light). Important cities along the lines are marked.


35 Ellen van Heteren Early 17th century carving depicting the siege of Haarlem. Chr.van Sichem, date unkown. The Oude Hollandse Waterlinie The first plans for this waterline were made in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1579, when the provinces of the Netherlands decided they needed a shared defensive system that would be more successful than the previous improvised one. In part thanks to these plans, the provinces agreed on a joint army called het Staatse Leger, which would also be responsible for the waterline and its fortifications. The provinces of Holland and Utrecht both commissioned research on where and how such a waterline could be realized, but due to disagreements between the two influential provinces (about the question to or not to include the city of Utrecht in this line), the plans were set aside. It was not until 1629, when the Spanish troops had fought their way through another waterline in the eastern part of the fledgling Republic, that the plans were executed, but only partly and in a great hurry.5 In theory, building a waterline was quick, cheap and quite easy. First, the material that was used came directly from the ground; the walls were built with clay since bricks could not withstand the refined artillery the enemy used. Where the clay was extracted, a canal was dug in the process. The surrounding land was easy to flood since it was artificially kept dry in the first place. Inundations formed by the broad water line, along with the fortifications, made it possible to defend the site with the few men serving in het Staatse leger.6 In practice, things did not go as smoothly as planned. This became especially evident in the war of 1672-1673, when the French army forced itself into the

Republic. Once again, research was conducted and plans were made to reinforce and expand the waterline, but this time these plans faced resistance primarily by farmers, whose agricultural lands were destroyed to form the waterline and would probably take a long time to recover since the water that was used to flood this land came from the Zuiderzee and was therefore salty. To make it worse, they were forced to flood their lands themselves, and many refused to do so. It was only when the death penalty was issued on those who obstructed the construction that the waterline could be used as intended.7 Weather conditions were of the utmost importance for the success of the waterline. To secure the flow of enough water to flood the large stretches of land, the Dutch depended on rain. In 1672 however, the Netherlands experienced a particularly dry season. The land welcomed the water when the dykes were broken and absorbed most of it, which resulted in very wet grass and an abundance of mud, but no waterline. This situation frightened the Dutch until finally rain started to descend upon the land and filled the waterline with its crucial water.8 In order for a waterline to function to its full potential, the line must be broad enough to prevent bullets and cannons breaching the line and harming strongholds

Plan of the fortress town Gorinchem. Note the bastions, which represented the cutting edge of defensive technology at the time. Many Dutch cities still have traces of old bastion defenses, such as Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam. Source: Nationaal Archief, 4.VTHR, inv. nr. 652.12


36 or city walls. In addition, the water can neither be too shallow nor too deep, since the former would not provide enough obstruction for troops, their cavalry and their wheeled artillery; while the latter would allow boats to transfer the enemy across the waterline.Aside from making it very difficult to cross the water, an ideal depth of about 40 centimetres would also hide any indications of trenches, elevated roads and other variations in the landscape that make it easy to misstep.9 Another inconvenience for the Dutch that was welcomed by the French were several remarkably severe winters, causing the waterline to freeze to such an extent that the French could simply walk across it. When this happened, the Dutch did what they do best: ice skating, in this case with weaponss to attack the enemy. When the rivers froze, orders were given to manually break the ice so that the waterline could maintain its purpose.10 This had been a problem during the war against Spain and it continued to be an issue for at least another century. When this war against the French ended, the Dutch decided to upgrade the waterline, because of the French successes in crossing it on some occasions. When they did, the villages and mills were usually burnt to the ground, so the agricultural land of the farmers had been severely damaged by the water but the waterline could not be drained without mills.11 Additional damage was done in the northern parts of the waterline that had not been flooded by the rivers but by the Zuiderzee, carrying salt water into the provinces. It took over seventy years to restore and refine the waterline before it would serve the Dutch only one more time. The waterline was made ready for defence in both the Austrian and the Spanish succession wars but was not used in either occasion. It was used just one more time when Prussian army attacked the Republic in 1787, but because of the sudden advance of the troops, there was not enough time to fully prepare the waterline and the Prussians had no trouble breaking through.12 After the construction of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, some vestingen (bastions) were torn down and transformed into the first recreational sites because they were no longer necessary for defensive purposes.13 The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie Plans for a second waterline came in 1811, after many renovations were considered and some of these executed for the old waterline. These plans dated back to those of 1629, which the Republic could not coordinate and afford during the war. At first, the construction of a new waterline that would include the city of Utrecht (that had been

conquered by the French in 1673) appeared too expensive, but during the rule of Napoleon in the Netherlands, some engineers were ordered to make designs for a defensive system that would also protect the more eastern parts of the province of Utrecht. Just like the realization of the existing Hollandse Waterlinie, the plans for the project of building a new waterline were not executed for another few years. However, this time it was not the attack of an enemy that incited the construction of the waterline, but the progressive mindset of the first king of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Willem I. The construction began in 1815 without the pressure experienced in 1629.14 Because more time was available and almost two centuries had past, the new waterline was technologically more advanced than the previous one. For example, the new waterline was constructed in five sections, called kommen (bowls), which could be inundated apart from each other, separated by special inundation sluices strong enough to open in the high water levels of rivers, canals and lakes. These measures made sure that land would only be flooded where it was intended. The transportation routes that crossed the line were altered so that they too could be easily sealed in times of war. The waterline was also enforced by new ´tower fortresses´ that could withstand gunpowder-based artillery and cannons.15 What had been used for the construction of the Oude Hollandse Waterlinie but was considered even more for the new one, was all sorts of vegetation.They had been sporadically applied to the previous waterline, but in the new waterline, plants such as thorny hedges were part of the blueprints of the fortresses. Breeding sites for particular species of trees and plants were created to supply the vegetation for both the fortresses in construction as the old ones being updated. It was at first mainly used as obstacle and a source of wood near the fortresses, but later is was also employed to camouflage the fortresses, its men and its artillery. On the roads near the fortresses, vegetation was used to block the path.16


37 Ellen van Heteren In 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war, preparing for an invasion that would never come, the new waterline was put to the test. The entire Dutch army was mobilized and the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie was prepared for impact. Although it would later appear that the Dutch would be left out of this war, quite some problems were discovered during its preparation. The first problems were related to the army and its men, which was still relatively small and could not man both the waterlines and the defences on land. Also, the conditions in the fortresses were poor, as the soldiers had to reside in a damp environment without any place to sleep or store provisions. Getting the fortresses ready for its temporary inhabitants took a few weeks, in which there was no time left to train the soldiers. All command of the troops was usually improvised and military doctrine did not exist, which was changed after the experiences of 1870. Aside from these problems, the Dutch noticed how far behind they had gotten in warfare technology, as they had not participated in war at the time many neighbouring countries had significantly improved their weaponry, now able to fire with more precision and over a longer distance. The new fortresses would not have survived the power of reinforced cannons used by enemies. This was also true for the outdated means of communication used during the mobilisation of 1870. This situation would be improved over the next few decades, as the fortresses and constructions were (again) updated, soldiers were now trained and military bureaucracy improved, and communication and transportation were modernised.17 It seems that all defensive adjustments ever made to the waterline were behind on offensive innovations elsewhere. This problem would become especially evident during the Second World War, in which planes specifically ruined all the hard work conducted for the construction of ever modernizing waterlines. When the Dutch feared an attack by the Germans, the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie was prepared for action. Most of the problems mentioned in the previous paragraph were solved and the inundations would still make difficult obstacles for the Germans to overcome, as was made clear to the enemy by spreading a picture taken of a tank being stuck in the water. However, the Germans could fly over all waterlines without any trouble. They could now clearly spot the fortresses and inundated areas as the trees could not hide them from above.Although this problem was partially solved by filling the inundated land with duckweed and other water plants

French soldiers crossing the river Lek in 1795, J.H. Isings. From jh-isings.nl.

to hide the position of the waterline, the water was no longer an obstruction. The last time the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie was used, it was the Germans who used it as a defence against the allied forces.18 Conclusion Ironically, the Oude Hollandse Waterlinie, despite its more improvised character and often rushed creation, managed to prevent several enemies from conquering the Dutch, whereas the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, whose plans were carefully planned and executed, never really served the Dutch during an attack, because by the time it was put to the test the warfare technology of other countries could not be stopped by any waterline. The development of both defensive waterlines was always somewhat behind the development of offensive strategies of the Dutch’s enemies, which would be become more evident as time passed by.

References 1 Chr. Will, Sterk Water. De Hollandse Waterlinie (Utrecht 2002), 9-10, 12. 2 J. van Es, Limes en Linie. Twintig eeuwen verdedigingswerken tussen de Oude Rijn en de Hollandse IJssel (Woerden 2004), 10-11; Will, Sterk water, 19-20. 3 ‘Romeinse Limes, grens van innovatie en diversiteit’, consulted from Romeinse Limes on the 23rd of June 2019, https://www.romeinselimes.nl/. 4 Ibidem. 5 Will, Sterk water, 29-30. 6 Van Es, Limes en linie, 45-46; Hoogendoorn, Cordon van Holland, 12. 7 Van Es, Limes en linie, 52. 8 Ibidem. 9 Ibidem; M. Boosten, P. Jansen en I. Borkent, Beplanting op Verdedigingswerken (Utrecht 2012), 24. 10 Will, Sterk Water, 44. 11 Van Es, Limes en linie, 61-62. 12 Will, Sterk water, 30, 44-51. 13 Van Es, Limes en linie, 78. 14 Ibidem, 74-76. 15 Will, Sterk water, 55-65. 16 Boosten, et al., Beplanting op Verdedigingswerken (Utrecht 2012), 53-65. 17 Will, Sterk water, 64-75; J. A. de Vries, ‘Drie eeuwen bouwen voor de landsverdediging’, In: Militaire Spectator 157 (1988) 451. 18 Will, Sterk water, 117-121; Boosten et al., Beplanting op Verdedigingswerken, 60-61.


38

Dam(n) the marshes!

Dam building and war in Ancient Babylon O

nce a large and unique marshland existed near where the Euphrates and the Tigris, the two great rivers of Mesopotamia, flow into the Persian Gulf. Surrounded by desert, this marshland was one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the world. The culture of the people living there was ancient and had presumably stayed largely unchanged for thousands of years.2 Large pools of water, surrounded by reeds and woods, with scattered villages made the area notoriously difficult to rule from the outside. For millennia this was a blessing, but twice it became a curse. Two times in history the central authority in Mesopotamia tried to destroy the Marshes entirely. In the 17th century BCE, the first attempt failed, but the next, in the late 20th century CE, largely succeeded. While this article is about that first attempt, I will address the second attempt at the end of the article. Almost 4000 years ago, the first Babylonian Empire was crumbling. Its king, Abi-Ešuh (ruled from ca. 1711-1684 BCE), tried desperately to keep the empire, in which his grandfather Hamurabi had built together . Hammurabi (ca. 1810-1750 BCE) had conquered “the four corners [of the world]”,3 from the Marshes to Mari (near the modern IraqSyria border). This amazing empire, one of the largest the world had ever seen at that point, was held together by the strength of its ruler and when Hammurabi died, the troubles began. His son, Samsu-Iluna, and grandson, AbiEšuh, struggled and eventually failed to keep the empire together.4

One of the areas that became freed from Babylonian rule during its collapse was the Mesopotamian marshlands. A man called Ilum-ma-ili proclaimed himself king over the marshes. Historians have come to call his kingdom the “Sealand dynasty”.This state is enigmatic and precious little is known about it. Because of the nature of the marshes, there were likely few cities to be found. Without urban administration, there was little need to write things down and any texts that might have been written down have been lost. We do know that Abi-Ešuh tried to defeat the Sealand Dynasty by damming up the Tigris river, which would deprive the marshlands of much-needed water.5 The lack of written texts is not just a problem in case of the Mesopotamian marshes. In fact, the collapse of the first Babylonian Empire is considered the start of a dark age. As few written sources from this era have survived to the present day, we know very little about what happened during these years. It seems that Abi-Ešuh and Ilum-maili were engaged in a war for the marshes’ independence when Ilum-ma-ili managed to conquer Nippur. Nippur was

This map shows the lower part of Mesopotamia with the rivers and coast roughly where they were in the second millennium BCE.The marshes, rivers and some cities are marked. Map created by author.


39 Daan Jansen These images demonstrate traditional methods of dam building in Mesopotamia.These pictures were taken in the early twentieth century, but the technique is probably quite similar to how it was performed in ancient times: using massive constructions from reeds, movable sluices could be made, which allowed the builders to regulate the amount of water passing through a river without blocking the flow entirely. See note for source.1 one of the oldest cities in Mesopotamia and the divine seat of Enlil, god of the wind and the earth and ruler of all other gods. Its loss was probably a great blow to Abi-Ešuh’s legitimacy and he took great measures to reclaim the city. Nippur was not far from Babylon, and by temporarily taking the city, Ilum-ma-ili proved himself to be a serious threat to the survival of the Babylonian Empire.6 Ilum-ma-ili’s move to take Nippur was motivated not only by military and religious reasons, but also by the need to secure a steady water supply. The Sealand dynasty lay downstream from Babylon, meaning its only access to water was at the mercy of a hostile state.7 If true, Abi-Ešuh’s course of action upon reconquering Nippur was probably no surprise to the people of the Marshes. A Babylonian chronicle describes what happened next: “[Abi-ešuh], son of [Samsu-Iluna], tried to defeat [Ilum-ma-ili] so decided to dam the Tigris, but though he dammed the Tigris he did not defeat [Ilumma-ili].”8 This sentence contains most of the written historic evidence for this undoubtedly massive project. Undaunted by the lack of sources, historians have researched this dam. Mesopotamia was experiencing a drought at this time, which led to low water levels in both the Euphrates and the Tigris.9 To survive the drought, innovation and organisation in water management was desperately needed. Several irrigation canals were built by Hammurabi.10 One of these was the Hammurabi-nuḫuš-nišī, a 200 km long canal which connected the Tigris to the Euphrates and formed the ideal location for a dam – redirecting water to the Euphrates and, presumably, depriving Ilum-ma-ili’s empire of muchneeded water. It appears that the Hammurabi-nuḫuš-nišī canal was connected to the Tigris river via a water gate system. Sources describe such gates made of reed bundles and earth which could be opened to allow water into the

canal.Apparently, through the effort of a massive amount of workers – as many as Abi-Ešuh could gather for the task – the Tigris was blocked downstream of these gates by filling it with earth and reed bundles.11 This seems to have had an extra benefit for Babylon, because it would retain fresh water upstream, leaving more for Abi-Ešuh’s kingdom and less for the marshes. Abi-Ešuh was successful in building his dam. As water was diverted from the Tigris towards the Euphrates, the southern Tigris could no longer be supplied and began to dry up. Cities along its banks such as Girsu, Umma and Lagash could no longer conduct agriculture and were abandoned.12 It seems the war with the Sealand dynasty ended around this time, but the Marshes were not defeated. Historians are uncertain as to how this was possible. The marshes were probably also supplied by the Euphrates,


40 Sumerian gods and their seats Much like the Greeks and Romans, Mesopotamians envisioned the gods as powerful, immortal and anthropomorphic beings. Each god had a certain domain – from the Earth itself to pickaxes – to govern. All required the loyal servitude of their worshippers, who provided them with food through sacrifice, and shelter in their temples. These temples were home to statues of the gods, thought to be avatars of the gods themselves.18 The gods owned land and people as well. Working through their intermediaries, the temple administrators and priests, the gods owned large swathes of land surrounding the city and directed the production and distribution of produce and goods. Certain gods lived in certain cities, such as Enlil in Nippur, but worship of Enlil was practiced throughout Mesopotamia. Occasionally, when a city was defeated in war, the victorious power would take god-statues to their own temples, effectively taking the defeated city’s gods hostage.

so that they could not entirely be drained by damming the Tigris.13 I think an additional factor is the relatively decentralised and non-urban society which did not require as large an agricultural base as a more urbanized state would, so the marshland society did not collapse. The lack of textual evidence that has survived to the present day is proof of this, because it points to a relative lack of central administration.14 Abi-Ešuh succeeded in depriving the Tigris of water through his dam, but, so far as we know, he never tried to reconquer the marshes. Abi-Ešuh’s Babylon was militarily weakened compared to his grandfather, and surrounded

by enemies. Historians portray Abi-Ešuh as not interested in restoring the empire, but maintaining what he still held in his grasp.15 Furthermore, the state of drought in Mesopotamia at this time would make supplying armies for conquest a significant challenge, and the now-dried

The Mesopotamian marshes. The peoples’ way of life here has remained fairly consistent for millennia. Via Wikimedia.


41 Daan Jansen up cities of the southern Tigris an uninteresting target for expansion. Abi-Ešuh’s goal in building the dam seems to have been not to restore his imperium over southern Mesopotamia at all, rather it was to weaken his foes to the south to prevent further attacks from them, and to strengthen his own economy through the creation of a water reservoir in core Babylonian territory. The Marshes would continue to exist, inhabited by a people who refused to let empires have strong influence over them. In 1991, after a failed uprising against the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Hussein decided to punish the people of the marshes by draining them almost entirely. After nearly four millennia, Hussein succeeded where AbiEšuh failed in creating a massive ecological disaster and nearly destroying a unique ecosystem and human culture. Since the Hussein government was overthrown, efforts have been made to restore the marshes.16 These projects went well at first, with 75% of the marshes restored in 2008. But just like in the 17th century BCE, drought and dams upstream, this time in Turkey (see Carlijn van Esch’s article on page 18 of this issue) and Iran, have made these restoration efforts almost impossible, and the marshes have been receding ever since.17

References 1 Fleur van der Sande, The effects of war on Mesopotamian water management (Unpublished MA-thesis 2019) 48. 2 Nadia Al-Zhery et al., ‘In search of the genetic footprints of Sumerians:a survey of Y-chromosome and mtDNA variationin the Marsh Arabs of Iraq’ in: BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:288 (2011) 1-15. 3 Hammurabi, The Code of Hammurabi (transl L.W. King 1899). Retrieved from https://avalon.law.yale.edu/ ancient/hamframe.asp on 19-4-2020 4 Marc van der Mieroop, A history of the Ancient Near East (3rd edition: Oxford 2016) 123.

5 Odette Boivin, The first dynasty of the Sealand in Mesopotamia (Berlin 2018) 95-96. 6 Boivin, Sealand, 94. 7 Ibidem. 8 Translation by A.R. George, cited by Van Lerberghe & Voet in K. van Lerberghe & G. Voet, ‘Dur-Abieshuh and Venice’ in: Paola Corò, Elena Devecchi, Nicla De Zorzi & Massimo Maiocchi (eds.), Libiamo ne’ lieti calici. Ancient near eastern studies presented to Lucio Milano on the occasion of his 65th birthday by pupils, colleagues and friends (Münster 2016) 559. 9 Ibidem. 10 Stephanie Rost, ‘Water management in Mesopotamia from the sixth till the first millennium B.C.’ in: Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: water vol. 4 (2017) 1-23; 13. 11 Van der Sande, The effects of war, 64-65. 12 Van Lerberghe & Voet, Dur Abieshuh, 561. 13 A piece of evidence supporting this is the Babylonian World Map, which, although created a millennium after these events, portrays the Euphrates river as ending in marshes, presumably the Mesopotamian marshes. I say in the main text that the marshes were ‘probably’ supplied by the Euphrates because rivers change their beds frequently, so we cannot say with certainty where the Euphrates flowed at this time. 14 Although it should be noted that such administrative texts could have been lost to time, or have yet to be rediscovered, in the vast gulf of time separating us from these events. Papyrus scrolls, often used in Egyptology unfortunately did not survive the relatively moist Iraqi climate. These sources are virtually completely absent from the study of ancient Iraqi history. 15 Boivin, Dynasty of Sealand, 95. 16 Curtis J. Richardson & Najah A. Hussain, ‘Restoring the Garden of Eden. An ecological assessment of the marshes of Iraq’ in: Bioscience 56:6 (2006) 477-489. 17 Peter Schartzstein,‘Iraq’s famed marshes are disappearing – again.’ In: National Geographic (2015) available at: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150709iraq-marsh-arabs-middle-east-water-environmentworld/ consulted on: 27-6-2019; Jim Muir, ‘Iraq marshes face grave new threat’ in: BBC News (2010) available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7906512.stm consulted on 27-6-2019. 18 Samuel Noah Kramer, The Sumerians.Their history, culture and character (Chicago 1963) 117-118, 123.


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Freedom for Indonesia What did that mean in 1945?

“T

he torch of freedom can never be extinguished in the hearts of 70 million Indonesians”, is one of the many slogans written on the white buildings of colonial Indonesia in the autumn of 1945.1 After the surrender of Japan, on August 15 1945, the Second World War was officially over. Released from a foreign occupation that grew increasingly worse, many Indonesians were sure about one thing: never again. Two days later, independence was declared by Soekarno and Hatta, who by this act founded the Republic Indonesia Merdeka. At the same time, unaware of what had happened in Indonesia, the government of the Netherlands was preparing to send an army to the archipelago. The army was meant to liberate Indonesia in the spirit of the words of Queen Wilhelmina. She had said in 1943 that the Netherlands wanted to ‘bring freedom to Indonesia’.2 Instead of bringing freedom, the army brought four years of bitter warfare between 1945 and 1949. Even still, beforehand, most people in the Netherlands would have agreed that Indonesia should be ‘free’. Unfortunately, ‘freedom’ for Indonesia could mean very different things. Consequently, I argue, the war effort could be legitimized on the basis of bringing freedom to Indonesia, while at the same time being infused with colonial or racist ideas by others. The slipperiness of the concept ‘freedom’ has here turned into a political problem. Interesting is thus to reflect on what different political groups in the Netherlands meant when they said that Indonesia should be ‘free’. Here I will present two small such case studies of two resistance groups publishing a clandestine magazine in the final years of the Second World War. The first, De Bevrijding, was published by Indonesian nationalists living in Leiden. The second, Ons Indië, was published by Dutch youngsters in Haarlem, and was later supported by members of the colonial elite. Both said that they wanted to fight for Indonesia’s freedom, but what did they exactly mean, when saying so?

Indonesian nationalists make clear that they want to be free and rule themselves.Taken from Réné Kok ea. (ed.) Koloniale Oorlog (Amsterdam 2015), 23.

De Bevrijding; Freedom as autonomy At war’s end, all of the clandestine journals agreed on a Dutch military mission to liberate Indonesia in the spirit of the queen’s words.3 But underneath this veil of agreement, lay the knife of division. The words of the queen, after all, were highly ambiguous. In march 1945, De Bevrijding explained in a very clear manner in what way a Dutch military mission to Indonesia would be acceptable. In an article titled ‘Volunteers for Indonesia’, it was argued that after the defeat of Germany it was most important that Indonesians themselves had a share in liberating their country from the Japanese.4 In this light it was only


43 Dominique Ankoné Setiadjit Soegondo, writer for De Bevrijding and president of the Indonesian student association.Taken from Loebis, 30 Jaar Perhimpunan Indonesia, 1908-1938 (Leiden 1938). acceptable to send an army of Dutch volunteers with the ‘right mindset’ to help in the liberation. The author explained the following: The liberation of Indonesia does not concern freeing soil of the fatherland, nor the reconquering of lost possessions. The democratic character of the undividable war should also prevail in the Far East. The armies that will struggle there should, just as in other places, be armies of freedom, which will bring democracy to Indonesia too. That is why it is impossible to uncritically draft Dutch people for military service, even for voluntary service, in the Far East.5 For De Bevrijding, it was only acceptable for the Dutch to participate in the liberation of Indonesia when they would be committed unambiguously (or maybe rather unhypocritically) to the Allied war cause of freedom and democracy. This meant that a conscripted army was ruled out, because it could not be guaranteed that the soldiers would have the right mindset, and that even for volunteers it was uncertain. The soldiers had to be committed to establish a democracy in Indonesia, since that was the only way in which Indonesia would be ‘free’. This is a point De Bevrijding made repeatedly, also, for instance, half a year earlier in October 1944, when the magazinementioned that interpretations in the resistance of what the queen wanted for Indonesia were ‘too contradictory’, meaning that they were mutually exclusive.6 In this earlier text the magazine also explains what ‘democracy’ would look like in Indonesia, while referring to the outcome of the Indonesian People’s Congress of 1939 (Indonesisch Volkscongres). The text describes two propositions. In the first place, they ask for ‘the formation of a Commonwealth, in which the Netherlands, Indonesia, Surinam and Curaçao would work together voluntarily on the basis of independence and equality for the law.’ In the second place, they insist on ‘the resting of government authority in all cooperating territorial parts on democratic sovereign administrations in the said territories, of which the administrations owe accountability in all those territories to already existing or still to be founded bodies of popular representation.’7 With these two propositions De Bevrijding stated that a military mission was acceptable

in the context of a genuine attachment to freedom and democracy, which they feared was not universal within Dutch society. The ideal form of government was a democracy where authority of the administration was given by representation of the people that had equal power to the other parts within an empire that consisted of the Netherlands, Surinam, Curaçao and Indonesia. Finally, this administration had complete autonomy to make decisions about internal affairs. With this position, the Indonesian nationalists in the Netherlands were still a far cry from the nationalists in Indonesia itself. They represented, as historian Jenifer L. Foray argued, just ‘one particular variant’ of Indonesian nationalism, born of ‘wartime solidarity’, but cut off from the main current in Indonesia.8 Still, as we will see, their ideas were already much more progressive than those of Ons Indië. Freedom under Dutch rule; Ons Indië The Indonesians of De Bevrijding had made it very clear:‘the liberation of Indonesia does not concern freeing soil of the fatherland, nor the reconquering of lost possessions.’ Indonesia does not naturally belong to the Netherlands, and should be liberated on its own terms. They thought that being part of the Dutch empire was mutually beneficial, but only on equal footing, and should not be taken for granted. However, the young resisters of Ons Indië thought


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Poster used by the Dutch government for the recruitment campaign for Indonesia, designed by Pat Keely, RVD, used in 1945, Atlas van Stolk, 61571. otherwise: “It is indisputable that the Indies should return to the Netherlands,” they proclaimed on 31 March 1945. According to them, the possession of Indonesia was indispensable for the ‘freedom of the fatherland’. Just as the Dutch ancestors of those writing for Ons Indië had made sacrifices to conquer it, now every young male in the Netherlands should make the sacrifice to reconquer it.9 For them, reconquering Indonesia was important for their own freedom. Even still, they called this military mission ‘the liberation’ of Indonesia. It would, among other things, liberate the Indonesians from the Japanese and should therefore be considered as a duty for the Dutch.10 To bring ‘freedom’ to Indonesia, would thus primarily mean to free them of Japanese rule. This being said, the authors did sometimes see the parallel between Japanese rule over Indonesia, or even German rule over the Netherlands, and Dutch control of Indonesia. Reflections on this issue are striking because they are a testimony to a challenged colonial world view, which the authors are unable to get rid of. Somewhat earlier the authors had reflected on the reasons behind their resistance fight. Obviously, they fought for freedom. After proclaiming passionately to fight for freedom, the authors seem to fearfully realize the contradiction inherent in sending a Dutch army to Indonesia. How can Indonesia be free, if ruled by the Dutch? In light of the fight for freedom, Indonesia should not be a colony, they conceded:

It is for this reason that we have already pointed to fact that Our Insulinde11 in the future may no longer fulfill the role of a colony, because then the Indonesian population will likewise rise up against us, as we have done against they who have put us in this puddle of misery.12 This statement is one of the most paradoxical one might encounter concerning late colonial thought: on the one hand it argues against colonialism and uses the progressive name ‘Insulinde’ instead of the more conservative ‘the Indies’, on the other hand Indonesia is indicated with the possessive pronoun ‘our’. So if Indonesia is not a colony, then why does it belong to the Dutch? In any case, the

On 10 March this year king Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands formally apologized for the excessive violence on the part of the Dutch military during the Indonesian War (1945-1949). On the one hand, the apologies had long been desired by many people in Dutch society. On the other, especially veterans condemned them as a ‘stab in the back’. This essay shows one reason for this tension: back in 1945, the military mission was envisioned as an allied liberation effort. However, a ‘free’ Indonesia could mean both re- as well as decolonization.


45 Dominique Ankoné authors of Ons Indië do exactly what the authors of De Bevrijding were afraid of: they conceived the relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands as a given, they took it for granted. In fact, it seems, freedom for Indonesia could only be established under Dutch rule according to the authors of Ons Indië. In two separate articles the authors expressed racist opinions concerning the Indonesian people, or even Asiatic people more generally. First on 18 November 1944, the magazine published the article ‘Blank en bruin’, or ‘White skin and brown skin.’ In this article the authors claim to reject the racist doctrine of German national socialism, but wanted to make clear nonetheless, that they conceive the white race as having more ‘good qualities’ than any other race.13 There are two reasons for the authors of Ons Indië explaining why Indonesia would be free under Dutch rule. In the first place, they argue that one can speak of a ‘liberation’ because ever since the start of the twentieth century the Dutch had been ruling Indonesia on the basis of what was called the ‘ethical policy’. Therefore, Indonesia was no longer a colony (even though the Dutch still held all political power).14 In the second place, because the Indonesians would be able to benefit from the ‘superior energy’ of the Dutch people, and would therefore be more prosperous under Dutch rule.15 What the actual political relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands would look like, they did not want to specify. Any relationship, they seemed to think, would be better than none. In conclusion, for the Indonesian nationalists writing for De Bevrijding freedom would mean complete autonomy for Indonesia within the empire of the Netherlands. Indonesia would have an equal say in foreign relations, and their own democratic decision making for internal affairs. But freedom for Indonesia for the writers of Ons Indië simply meant profiting from the superiority of the Dutch. Neither one of them voiced what freedom meant for Indonesian nationalists in Indonesia. In the end nobody in the European Netherlands knew what a ‘free’ Indonesia would look like. For us one remark remains to be said: nowadays, too, the Netherlands sees itself as a liberal country, sending their military to foreign countries only to establish peace and bring freedom wherever it goes. Everyone should be aware that under the umbrella of something as ambiguous as ‘freedom’, many things can be legitimized, including the colonial war between 1945 and 1949.

References 1 Andere Tijden, ‘Revolusi in Indonesië’, 27-10-2018, after about 16.20 minutes. 2 Cited in : De Bevrijding, 6 October 1944, 3. 3 The consensus was reflected in a joint declaration of the Resistance arguing for a Dutch military mission to liberate Indonesia. See for analysis of this declaration: Jenifer L. Foray, Visions of Empire in the Nazi-Occupied Netherlands (Cambridge and New York 2012), 277-280 and Hansje Galesloot and Susan Legêne, Partij in het verzet. De CPN in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Amsterdam 1986), 248. 4 De Bevrijding, 1 March 1945, 3-4. 5 Ibidem, 4. 6 De Bevrijding, 6 October 1944, 3-4. 7 Ibidem. 8 Foray, Visions of Empire in the Nazi-Occupied Netherlands, 234. 9 Ons Indië, ‘Indië en wij’, 31 March 1945. 10 Ons Indië, ‘Vrijwillig of dienstplichtig?’, 14 April 1945. 11 This is an old Dutch name for Indonesia given to the archipelago by the colonial reformer Eduard Douwes Dekker. It consists of the Latin noun ‘insula’, meaning island, and ‘Indae’, meaning Indies. As Douwes Dekker was a colonial reformer, this name carried a progressive meaning within Dutch society. 12 Ons Indië, ‘Waarvoor wij strijden’, 16 December 1944. 13 Ons Indië, ‘Blank en Bruin’, 18 November 1944. 14 Ons Indië, ‘Vrijwillig of dienstplichtig?’, 14 April 1945. 15 Ons Indië, ‘Onze vrijwilligers na de bevrijding van Indonesië’, 13 January 1945.


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Abzu and Tiamat The progenitor gods of Babylon

“W

hen the heavens above did not exist, and the earth beneath had not come into being, there was Abzu, the first, the begetter, and demiurge Tiamat, who gave birth to all.”1

These are the first lines of the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian tale describing the origin of the gods, of the world and of human beings. The Enuma Elish was written on 7 tablets and is remarkably complete for being at least 2600 years old. This article is my own retelling of the story. In the legend, Abzu and Tiamat are seen as the villains, who are heroically defeated by their children. I take a different angle and describe the story from Abzu and Tiamat’s perspective. Abzu and Tiamat were both water gods: Abzu was god of fresh water, while Tiamat was god of salt water. They mingled and mixed, giving birth to new gods. While all was well at first, Abzu and Tiamat soon became annoyed by their children. They played and danced all day and night, and made children of their own, keeping Abzu from his sleep (parents of young children may understand this predicament). For several generations, this went on and neither Abzu nor Tiamat considered telling their children to quiet down.

“Abzu did not diminish their clamour, And Tiamat was silent when confronted with them.” (I:25-26) Instead, Abzu turned to his wife and told her he intended to “destroy and break up their way of life [so] that silence may reign and we may sleep.”2 This horrified Tiamat, and she pleaded Abzu to discipline the children instead of killing them. However, Abzu was convinced his way was the only way forward. Parenting was an entirely new concept, so his overreaction could perhaps be excused to some degree. Nonetheless, Tiamat warned her children. They panicked, until Ea, the god of wisdom, conceived of a plan: he drugged Abzu so he would fall asleep and he could tore him apart, thus killing him. Ea took his crown for himself and turned Abzu’s remains into his home, where his wife Damkina and he lived.The Enuma Elish is unfortunately not particularly descriptive in how this would have worked. In


47 Daan Jansen This bas relief is often associated with the battle between Tiamat (left) and Marduk (right), although we do not know for certain. British Museum reference BM 124571, via Wikimedia.org. One of the tablets of the Enuma Elish.This tablet is damaged, but since various copies were found it was possible to reconstruct almost all of the story. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin on ancient.eu. other Mesopotamian mythology, Ea is considered to live in the Abzu, an underground water source deep under the city of Eridu. Damkina and Ea have a child in Abzu, known as Marduk, the hero of the Enuma Elish.

“He bound Apsû and killed him; (...) He set his dwelling upon Apsû” (I:69-71) While Tiamat had considered Abzu’s plan a bit of an overreaction, she understandably was not pleased with how Ea handled the situation either. She tried to stay calm, but when Marduk became god of the wind and created hurricanes and dust storms, some of her children came to her, begging her to take a stand against Marduk and his father. She agreed and assembled an army. Eleven monsters were created and fashioned with terrifying weapons: “the Hydra, the Dragon, the Hairy Hero, the Great Demon, the Savage Dog, and the Scorpion-man, fierce demons, the Fishman, and the Mighty Bull.”3 After their creation, she made the monsters into gods. Tiamat took their leader, Qingu, as her husband and they marched on her troublesome children.

Tiamat was really mad this time, which led to panic on the side of Marduk. Ea’s father, Anshar, wanted Ea to give himself up to Tiamat to spare the rest, since he began the whole affair by killing Abzu. Ea disagreed, arguing that he had no way of knowing at the time that Tiamat would be mad about him killing her husband and using his corpse as his house. Somehow, Ea’s reasoning convinced Anshar. They assembled all the gods close to Marduk and tried to

The Enuma Elish The Enuma Elish is a Babylonian religious text describing the creation of the universe and how the god Marduk became the most important god of all. The title means “when on high,” which is a literal translation of the first two words of the story. It is unknown when it was written: estimates range from the 12th century BCE to the 6th century BCE.We can imagine that the Enuma Elish was written during one of the high periods of the Babylonian empire. Marduk was the patron god of Babylon, so a tale that describes how Marduk became the most powerful god would probably have been written at a time when Babylon ruled over Mesopotamia. This might have been under the Kassite dynasty (ca. 1475-1155 BCE) or the Neo-Babylonian Empire (626-539 BCE). In this way, the text was political as well as religious, because it legitimized Babylon’s rule over its neighbours. Many events in the Enuma Elish are described vaguely, leaving a lot to the reader’s imagination. This led some historians to speculate that the story might have been supplemented with visual aids, such as images which have since been completely lost.6


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figure out what to do. While all agreed that, since Tiamat was a woman, a male god should be able to defeat her, none dared face her and her mighty army. Finally, Marduk volunteered to face her, in exchange for becoming the ruler of all gods.4

“You are Marduk, our avenger, We have given you kingship over the sum of the whole universe.” (IV:13-15) The gods agreed, making Marduk king of the universe during an elaborate feast they somehow had time for. After the feast, Marduk left to confront Tiamat. When he saw her, her army surrounded him. She had become a monster herself. He yelled at her: “Why are you aggressive and arrogant, and strive to provoke battle?”5 He accused her of unjustly taking Qingu as her husband, making him a supreme male god, completely skirting the issue of the murder of Abzu. Tiamat was enraged by his speech and they fought a battle. By sending wind into her mouth

and stomach, Marduk managed to split Tiamat apart. He imprisoned Qingu and the other gods who supported Tiamat and killed her monsters. Then he used her corpse to create the sky and the earth. At this point, the narrative of the Enuma Elish leaves the primordial water gods Tiamat and Abzu behind and continues with the further exploits of superstar-diety Marduk. A large portion of the remaining text consists of the gods enthusiastically reciting Marduk’s 50 names in celebration.

“He split [Tiamat] into two like a dried fish: One half of her he set up and stretched out as the heavens. (...) [the other half] he stretched out and made it firm as the earth.” (IV: 137-138; V:62) The Enuma Elish paints Abzu and Tiamat as the great enemies that our protagonists, Marduk and Ea, must defeat. They are monsters, bent on destroying the Gods

The 50 Names of Marduk More space in the Enuma Elish is dedicated to the 50 names of Marduk than any other individual part. For the modern reader it seems like a boring postscript, but according to W.G. Lambert, whose translation I used for this article, this part was likely the most important section for the Babylonian reader and listener. The number of 50 names is important as Enlil seems to have had the same amount of names. Enlil was worshipped as the prime god of the pantheon before Marduk. The names may be a way to reinforce Marduk taking over from Enlil.7 You might notice from the list below that many names are repeated with different endings. These sub-names were not as important as the five main ones: Marduk, Asalluḫi, Tutu, Šazu and Enbilulu. These were gods from other cities that had the same functions as Marduk and eventually became known as the same god. In this way, the 50 names of Marduk show his history as a god. Marduk Marukka Marutukku Meršakušu Lugaldimmerankia Narilugaldimmerankia Asalluḫi Asalluḫi-Namtilla Asalluḫi-Namru Asarre Asaralim Asaralimnunna Tutu

Tutu-Ziukkinna Tutu-Ziku Tutu-Agaku Tutu-Tuku Šazu Šazu-Zisi Šazu-Suḫrim Šazu-Suḫgurim Šazu-Zaḫrim Šazu-Zaḫgurim Enbilulu Enbilulu-Epadun Enbilulu-Gugal

Enbilulu-ḫegal Sirsir Sirsir-Malaḫ Gil Gilima, Agilima Zulum Mummu Gišnumunab Lugalabdubur Pagalguenna Lugaldurmaḫ Aranunna

Dumuduku Lugalšuanna Irugga Irqingu Kinma Dingir-Esiskur Girru Addu Ašāru Nēberu “Lord of the Lands” Ea (like his father)


49 Daan Jansen of the Babylonians. Them being wrong was obvious to the Babylonian readers and listeners of the tale. For us, the story becomes more bizarre, as if one were to watch the film Avengers: Endgame (2019) if they had only heard of Superman in passing. Because the story is divorced from its cultural context, a modern reader might read the story in an entirely different way, as I have just done. Babylonians took many lessons from this story. One of the morals it teaches is that order will prevail over chaos. A lesson I would like to add is that families should talk out their problems, before children kill their parents and turn their corpses into houses.

References 1 W.G. Lambert, Babylonian Creation Myths (Winona Lake 2013) 51. 2 Ibidem, 53. 3 Ibidem, 59 & 65. 4 Ibidem, 79. 5 Ibidem, 91. 6 Ibidem 439-445. 7 Ibidem, 147-152.

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50

The Fight Against Cholera in Amsterdam in the Nineteenth Century Clean Drinking Water as a New Weapon Against Disease

C

holera may be a distant memory for our country today, but in centuries past, it spread rampantly throughout the population much like the novel coronavirus does now. The disease traveled from Asia to Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Once people were ill with cholera, their feces, sweat and other bodily fluids contained the dangerous bactaria. Consequently, cholera invaded the waste water systems. The most harmful cycle occured when drinking water sources were in contact with waste water. Before 1900, this was often the case in cities around the world, as separate drinking water and waste water systems did not exist and when they were present, they often leaked. As a result, groundwater in wells and surface water in canals and other bodies of water that served as sources for drinking water became contaminated with the cholera bacterium. In this essay I want to show how important the provisioning of clean, piped drinking water was in the fight against cholera. As a case-study I have chosen Amsterdam, the first city in the Netherlands where very clean drinking water, pumped in from the coastal dunes, was introduced in 1853. This chapter of environmental urban history is included in my course on the history of Amsterdam. I think it beneficial for all students living in Amsterdam to know about the fascinating history of the city. The Amsterdam city archive features a rare item, the famous map of the last cholera epidemics of 1866. I interpret it as a visualization of how the introduction of piped drinking water contributed to ending the cholera epidemics. The Amsterdam cholera map of 1866 The cholera map was made in 1867 by a research committee chaired by the medical doctor Isaac Texeira de Mattos. The map is based on mortality figures compiled in lists at the time. The drawing was printed with chromolithography (kleurensteendruk), a technique allowing the use of colours. The map is a very early example of visualizing epidemic statistics and certainly deserves more research. The cholera map shows the development of the number of deaths in Amsterdam during the 20 weeks from June 1 to October 18, 1866 in the city’s 50 neighbourhoods. On

top of the map, a big circular aggregated diagram shows the total number of deaths per week for the whole city. We can extract two types of information from the map. The first is a chronological relationship: we notice how the number of deaths steadily rose and reached its peak at the end of July and at the beginning of August, with more than 100 casualties per week, and then decreased again. The second type of information is a spatial relation. Cholera killed people in all neighbourhoods, but far less in some than in others, varying from 0 to 8.6 per thousand. Moreover, we can infer from the map that the total number of fatalities was 1029 deaths. Obviously, the total number could also be calculated with the mortality lists, so this was not the reason the map was made. The miasma explanation The spatial connection, between the death toll and place of residence, I find fascinating. For deeper insights, we will study one section of the map in detail, where the contrast is very striking. We focus on two clusters of neighbourhoods which are in close proximity to each other and were built during the same phase of city extension, 1610-1613. In the neighbourhoods SS-KK very few or no deaths occurred. Yet in the nearby neighbourhoods GG-QQ


51 Petra van Dam

Cholera Map of 1866, printed by G.L.A. Amand. Source: Stadsarchief Amsterdam/Gustave L.A. Amand Legend: The neighbourhoods are marked by capital letters like AA. In the small circular diagrams, the weeks when people died are coloured in. Around the diagrams, tiny (red) figures show the number of deaths per week. Large (black) figures indicate the initial size of the total population in May 1966. Below that, the figure indicates how many died, as per thousand of the neighbourhood population. At top of the map, the big circular diagram shows the total number of deaths per week for the whole city.The colours denoting the week in the big diagram correspond to the colours in the small diagrams.Thus, the big circular diagram indicates the total number of deaths per week for the whole city, and it provides a key to understand the small diagrams (heading: ‘Verklaring’ = Explanation).


52 Public cistern with pump, c. 1850, drawn by J. ter Gouw The rainwater collected on the permeable square is stored in the underground water cellar. Source: Stadsarchief Amsterdam/Johannes ter Gouw

a large number of people died. The urban form of the neighbourhoods differs greatly. SS-KK consists of large almost rectangular neighbourhoods. This is the area of the big canals (Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht, and Herengracht), where wealthy citizens lived in spacious houses with green gardens. In contrast, the neighbourhoods GG-QQ belong to the so-called Jordaan, a densely populated neighbourhood, where labourers lived in small, dilapidated houses, close to the industries in which they worked. We know the differences in the structural environment and the social-economic conditions in the nineteenth century quite well, and we also know how they came about.1 Before houses were built along the large canals, the ground was raised with masses of sand, imported over water, and the land was divided into fairly big parcels. The large expensive houses were to stand high and dry and often had cellars, for their intended owners were wealthy merchants. By contrast, in order to save money, in the Jordaan, the city did not raise the ground level, and built the houses almost immediately on the peaty, wet soil. As a result, reminding us of the original situation, the streets and small canals followed the direction of the pre-existing ditches that used to drain the former meadows. We can draw the conclusion that cholera correlates with poverty, bad housing conditions, and humid environments. The same correlation did not go unnoticed by medical doctors and others in the nineteenth century. They knew

the characteristics of the neighbourhoods, though they may have been less aware of their histories. Moreover, bad, humid housing as a cause for cholera fitted their theories. According to medical theory at the time, disease was linked to miasma: bad smells and bad air, and the source was thought to be located in humid soils. Swamps in particular were thought to be sources of harmful vapours.2 Air composition was also related to temperature and season according to medical experts. Maybe this is why the deaths in the 1866 map were registered meticulously per week, in order to show the influence of the hot summer months. The miasma theory originated in the philosophies of famous authors from Antiquity and for almost two thousand years, it remained uncontested. The major reason was that medical doctors at university only learned theories, but were not taught to adapt theory to experimental evidence nor to conduct experiments themselves. It is only in the nineteenth century that we see the slow growth in an experimental attitude among medical scholars. For the more ‘modern’ contemporaries, and of course for the modern observer, the map of 1866 also conveys another message linked to the revolutionary changes in drinking water provisioning. The introduction of high-quality dune water In the sixteenth century, both canal- and groundwater became unsuitable for human consumption in Amsterdam.

Cholera Cholera is a horrible disease. The responsible bacterium Vibrio cholerae, affects the small intestines. People can dehydrate and die within a few days. Meanwhile they often acquire a bluish hue, which gave rise to the nickname of the Blue Death. Because of its quick spread and devastating effects, cholera reminded people of the Plague of the fourteenth century, the infamous Black Death. Fortunately, one can also experience mild symptoms and survive. The English physician and pioneer medical scientist John Snow (1813-1858) was the first to find a link between cholera and contaminated drinking water in 1854. The Cholera bacterium was finally isolated in 1884 by the German physician and micro-biologist Robert Koch (1843-1910). Today, effective treatments and cures exist and although an average of 3 to 5 million people are affected each year, although only 28.000 to 130.000 die after contracting the disease.


53 Petra van Dam Both had become brackish. The IJ had an open connection to the North Sea, making it just as salty, and during the late middle ages, it gained a strong influence on the city waters as it expanded and its level rose. Moreover, the water in the canals became polluted by human debris, feces, and industrial waste, as the city grew rapidly, particularly in the seventeenth century. A solution for this problem was found in the collection of rainwater. In the sixteenth century, brewers started to build reservoirs for storing rainwater intended for brewing beer. It was not long before private households followed suit. In the second half of the seventeenth century, cisterns (underground water reservoirs) were installed in many large houses. We know of some of these due to excavations by the city archeologists of Amsterdam, as well as those that survived in historic buildings. Public cisterns were also built by the city and many of the design drawings of cisterns intended for large social institutions, such as orphanages, are still kept in the Amsterdam archives. Water was collected on roofs and squares and led to the cisterns by pipes. Many cities in Europe had such rainwater collection systems. However, Amsterdam also imported water from the countryside. A fleet of specialized water ships brought water from the river Vecht into the town. The water was distributed in big, wooden floating reservoirs (waterleggers) that were moored, in the eighteenth century, in the canals at 250 places. For access to the drinking water numerous pumps were installed all over the city, in kitchens, in backyards, at squares, and on top of the floating reservoirs. For people who could collect water themselves, drinking water was free, for the others, it had a price. The shipped water w a s the most expensive.3 In essence, this multisource drinking water system led to a high level of ‘hydro-resilience’.4 People could cope with changes in the

water provisioning fairly well, though, in times of drought, prices rose to the disadvantage of the less well–to-do. When the cholera bacterium entered Amsterdam in 1834 for the first time, it found an ideal aquatic habitat. In Amsterdam no strict separation existed between the drinking water systems and the waste water flow. The reservoirs, pumps and pipes and other elements of the drinking water system were not watertight, many elements were made of wood that could rot or had holes, and maintenance was often inadequate. A closed sewage system as we know it, did not exist. Waste water was thrown in the canals, directly or indirectly. Some buildings had sewage pipes but they might easily end in a canal, or anywhere else. Public toilets were built under bridges and emptied directly into the canal. Thus, once the cholera bacterium entered Amsterdam, it moved from people to wastewater, to canals, into the floating reservoirs, and into the pipes connecting pumps to cisterns, and probably into the cisterns themselves. In England, the relation between cholera and contaminated drinking water was already discovered in 1854 and soon accepted among medical doctors. Yet in the Netherlands medical specialists were not convinced, because they followed the theories of the high-standing German scientists who focused on soil as the source of diseases. Fortunately, in spite of this, some people initiated a large project to provide Amsterdam with clean drinking water in a modern way. The group comprised of engineers and other experts, and was headed by Jacob van Lennep (18021868).5 He was a famous literary author from a wealthy Amsterdam family, who had a luxurious residence in the coastal dunes in the village of Vogelenzang, near Haarlem. He was accustomed to the taste of good drinking water,

In the 18th century some 250 of these water reservoirs lay in the Amsterdam canals; the water was supplied by 40 water ships, which took in water at the river Vecht. Source: Starsarchief Amsterdam/Augustus Wijnantz


54 for he had the wonderful dune water on his property – chemical testing of water quality did not exist yet. However, one of the issues blocking the project was the need for investors to finance the expensive iron steam pumps and pipes, which would carry the water from Vogelenzang to Amsterdam over dozens of kilometers. In Amsterdam, too few people dared to take the financial risk, so an investing company was founded in London. Once the investors were secured, the steam pumps were ordered from English manufacturers and English engineers took charge of the installation project. In 1853 the new Dune Water Company (Duinwatermaatschappij) started operating and it delivered 100.000 liters of extremely high-quality water per day to Amsterdam. In the fight against cholera, the new drinking water proved to be a success. In the next cholera outbreak of 1866, in Amsterdam, which was the only city to boast of a modern piped drinking water system, much fewer people died than in other Dutch cities.6 Now returning to the cholera map, who could afford this water? In 1854 only 960 households bought a connection to the main drinking water pipes running through the streets of Amsterdam. As Abraham de Swaan emphasizes, these were the rich households.7 Their high subscription rates enabled the Dune Water Company to invest in the large main pipes. Unfortunately, the archives of the early years of the company have been lost, so we do not have the addresses of these households. Yet I think it is a fair guess that the large houses of the neighbourhoods on the broad canals (SS-KK) were among this first group. This would explain why so few inhabitants of these neighbourhoods died of cholera in 1866. Here the chain of contaminated water and drinking water, once so beneficial for the spread of cholera, was broken. But how is it possible that in the poor neighbourhoods relatively high numbers of people survived during the cholera outbreak? The Dune Water

Company, apart from the private conscriptions, erected independent solitary pumps, the so-called ‘standpijpen’. They followed the tradition of the older pumps in squares and on the floating water reservoirs. These pumps were leased to small entrepreneurs and people could buy drinking water for a reasonable price of one cent per bucket. Conclusion In Amsterdam, a major problem in dealing with cholera was the lack of knowledge. The cause of the disease was unknown, only some vague ideas existed based on antiquated miasma theories. This lasted until well into the second half of the nineteenth century, when, finally, medical professions acquired new knowledge based on experimental research in laboratories and in the field, and discovered the bacterium that caused cholera. Clean, piped drinking water turned out to be a very effective measure to prevent cholera outbreaks. Once it was installed in Amsterdam by the Dune Water Company in 1853, only one more cholera outbreak followed in 1866, which resulted in very few deaths. This outbreak is visualized in the famous cholera map of 1866. It shows that people in wealthy neighbourhoods had a much higher chance of surviving the disease compared to those living in poor neighbourhoods. Contemporaries following the old miasma theories saw a relationship with bad housing quality and the humid condition of the subsoil. More upto-date contemporaries had a different interpretation of this map, as does the modern observer. The houses in the wealthy neighbourhoods were connected to the closed pipes of the Dune Water Company. Here the cholera bacterium had no chance to enter its favourite aquatic environment of the drinking water systems and thus lacked access to new hosts.

References 1 J.E. Abrahamse, De grote uitleg van Amsterdam. Stadsontwikkeling in de zeventiende eeuw (Bussum 2010), 34-70. 2 R. Aerts, De maatschappelijke orde. Aanvaarding, verschil en onderlingen afhankelijkheid, in: R. Aerts en P. de Rooy (red.), Geschiedenis van Amsterdam. Hoofdstad in aanbouw 1813-1900 (Amsterdam 2006) 217-292. 3 F.Van Roosbroeck, ‘The water supply of early modern Amsterdam: A drop in the bucket’, Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geschiedenis 16 (2019) 2, 71-9.

4 J. Beattie and R. Morgan, ‘Engineering Edens on this ‘Rivered Earth’? A review article on water management and hydro-resilience in the British Empire, 1860s -1940s, Environment and History, 23 (2017) 39-63. 5 M. Mathijsen, Jacop van Lennep, een bezielde schavuit (Amsterdam 2018), 360-63. 6 Aerts, De maatschappelijke orde, 222-226. 7 A. Swaan, ‘Aantekeningen uit het ondergrondse. Over de stedelijke waterhuishouding in de negentiende eeuw’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 101 (1988) 337-351.


55

CODEX Thema: Lucht Oktober 2020

Historiae

Colofon Hoofdredactie Chief editor

Daan Jansen

Redactie Amanda van Dord Editors Ellen van Heteren Claire Majoor Eindredactie Carlijn van Esch Copy editors Wade Hankin Laurens Kemp Gastschrijver Dominique Ankoné Guest writer Petra van Dam Even Grimstad Tijs Hopman Sjoerd Kluiving

In oktober verschijnt het nieuwe nummer van codex Historiae. Deze editie zal verder gaan met het jaar van de elementen. Het element van dit nummer is: Lucht. In dit themanummer kun je alles lezen over onder andere de vroege luchtvaart, historisch weer en door de lucht verspreide ziekten. Heb jij iets geschreven dat met lucht te maken heeft (of niet) en wil je het graag laten publiceren? Neem contact met ons op! De deadline is 1 augustus. Blijf op de hoogte via onze socialmediakanalen of via onze website codexhistoriae.nl.

The next issue of codex Historiae will appear in October, and will be all about Air. In this issue, you can read all about early aviation, historical weather and airborne diseases, amongst other topics. Have you written something related to air (or not) and want to publish it? Contact us! The deadline is the 1st of August. Stay up to date through our social media channels or via our website codexhistoriae.nl.

Vormgeving Graphic design

Daan Jansen

Omslag Cover

“Water” Daan Jansen

Jaargang 41, nummer 2, juni 2020 Postadres: Redactie codex Historiae Vrije Universiteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen T.a.v. codex Historiae De Boelelaan 1105 1081 HV Amsterdam Mail voor meer informatie over abonneren, publiceren of adverteren naar info@codexhistoriae.nl. Financieel mogelijk gemaakt door de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Amsterdam, juni 2020. Abonnement: voor studenten en personeel aan de faculteit geesteswetenschappen aan de VU: gratis. Voor anderen €15 per jaar. Email ons voor meer informatie over abonneren. Subscription: For students and employees of the faculty of humanities at the VU: free. For others €15 per year. Email us for more information about subscribing. ISSN: 2666-9048 e-ISSN: 2666-9056 Historiae maakt gebruik van de Creative Commons CC-BY-NC licensie: inhoud mag worden hergebruikt voor nietcommerciele doeleinden, mits de bron goed wordt aangegeven. codex


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