6 thoughts on “Qanats”

  1. Thanks for this –
    ( We are not, however. to imagine, thirsty prehistoric persons tapping gin-and-tonics out of the hillside. )
    1 Samos Tunnel
    If it was not you, it was coincidence that provided this article on:
    — the geometric challenge of connecting both ends of an underground channel:
    2 http://www.waterhistory.org/histories/qanats/
    tells me :
    The Palestinians and their neighbors had for some 2000 years irrigated terraces of olive groves, vineyards, and orchards with water tapped from some 250 qanat-like tunnels beneath the hills on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. But today the terraces and tunnels are largely abandoned-unused since the day in 1948 when Palestinians vacated following the creation of the state of Israel. The demise of these irrigation systems is, according to Zvi Ron, an Israeli geographer from the University of Tel Aviv who has mapped the tunnels, a human, ecological and cultural tragedy.

  2. The only word I have ever heard for qanat in Iran is qanat. Although I read that the word kariz is the original Persian word for it, my large Haim dictionary gives the word as meaning drain or sewer.
    With reference to George Joffe’s comment, I recommend “Blind White Fish in Persia” by Anthony Smith.

  3. According to Wikipedia: ” The Spanish word acequia (and Catalan séquia) comes from Classical Arabic “as-sāqiya”, which has the double entendre of “the water conduit” or “one that bears water” and the “barmaid”.” I suspect a bit of aqua may have crept in too.

  4. Ancient foggara still function in the cultivated Mozabite oases in mid-Algeria. Likewise in the hills of Andalusia where they are known as ‘acequias’ (pronounced with a lithp!).

  5. Qanats also exist in Japan and were found even in Britain. In Morocco they are actually called khattara or ghattara and, until the twentieth century, Marrakesh depended on them for its water supply. They are actually constructed as a series of wells which are then interconnected. Some of them are populated by a unique species of blind fish as well.

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