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One of the Oldest Iranian Qanat Found in Bam


02 June 2004



The oldest qanat (aqueduct) of Iran, dating to the time of the Achaemenids, was discovered during the preliminary studies in a historical city which surfaced near Bam as a result of the earthquake of 26th of December 2003.

Archaeologists discovered an old city and qanats dating to more than two thousand years ago in a three hectare area, three kilometers south of Bam.

According to head of the Bam Citadel project, Shahriar Adl, studies on the pottery found in the area led the experts to date it to the Seleucids-Achaemenid period, which makes the qanat system there so far the oldest one, identified scientifically in Iran.

The discovered qanats were systematically constructed in areas where water existed underneath and they routed water toward the farms and residential areas, therefore Adl considers their discovery of importance.

The system was functioning until the Islamic period, when they gradually dried out some 800 years ago as a result of foreign invasions and not being cleaned, added Adl.

Iran has many ancient qanats, the construction date of some, such as that of Gonabad, goes back to the Achaemenid era; however none of them have been seriously studied so far.



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