Gathering and storing food has always been a necessity of human survival. Until the invention of wells and modern water systems the location of all permanent, and most temporary, settlements was tied to access to water sources, such as streams, rivers and springs. People would have to live close enough to collect water but not too close to suffer from floods or to pollute the water source with their waste. Thus collecting water usually required some sort of journey. In many modern societies, the job of collecting water has traditional been seen as “women’s work” and less prestigious. However, ethnographic studies have found that it was collecting and gathering activities that brought in more calories than hunting. It was those that did the collecting that contributed the most to ensuring the survival of their society.

Artist: Ida Murgelj

A women walking along a trail carrier a jug

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Credit: Ida Murgelj and Open Past

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