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Neolithic Dew-Ponds and Cattle Ways

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Neolithic Dew-Ponds and Cattle Ways



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Neolithic Dew-Ponds and Cattle Ways by Arthur John Hubbard
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"There is [in England] at least one wandering gang of men... who will construct for the modern farmer a pond which, in any suitable situation in a sufficiently dry soil, will always contains water. The water is not derived from springs or rainfall, and is speedily lost if even the smallest rivulet is allowed to flow into the pond. "The gang of dew-pond makers commence operations by hollowing out the earth for a space far in excess of the apparent requirements of the proposed pond. They then thickly cover the whole of the hollow with a coating of dry straw. The straw in turn is covered by a layer of well-chosen, finely puddled clay, and the upper surface of the clay is then closely strewn with stones. Care has to be taken that the margin of the straw is effectively protected by clay. The pond will eventually become filled with water, the more rapidly the larger it is, even though no rain may fall. If such a structure is situated on the summit of a down, during the warmth of a summer day the earth will have stored a considerable amount of heat, while the pond, protected from this heat by the non-conductivity of the straw, is at the same time chilled by the process of evaporation from the puddled clay. The consequence is that during the night the warm air is condensed on the surface of the cold clay. As the condensation during the night is in excess of the evaporation during the day, the pond becomes, night by night, gradually filled. Theoretically, we may observe that during the day, the air being comparatively charged with moisture, evaporation is necessarily less than the precipitation during the night. In practice it is found that the pond will constantly yield a supply of the purest water.
Release date NZ
April 1st, 2003
Illustrations, unspecified
University Press of the Pacific
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