Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by D. P. Crouch.
Man environment relations in the ancient Greek world, as now, were complex interactions. To understand them, we need to study a range of physical features and man’s impact on the setting. The underlying geological reality of this area is karst, which is widely dis- tributed, dominating Greece, the southern half of Turkey, and southern Italy and Sicily, where the Greco-Roman cities that we study were located. Year-round water from karst springs was important because of scarce rainfall, intense evaporation, and infertile soil–none under human control. Examples from the Greek mainland (Corinth), an Aegean island (Rhodes), Turkey (Priene), and Sicily (Syracuse) are selected and described to suggest the way that karst water potential played an important role in site selection and development. A wider look at criteria for urban location and a new classification of urban patterns help to revise conventional understandings of these an- cient cities. In conclusion, some modern findings about the interaction between city and setting suggest new research agendas for geologists and engineers, ancient historians and archaeologists, and water policy makers–preferrably working together.