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Traditional Dam Construction in Modern Iraq: A Possible Analogy for Ancient Mesopotamian Irrigation Practices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2014


Lack of archaeological and comparative ethnographic data has limited our ability to interpret textual information that refers to ancient Mesopotamian irrigation works. This paper presents ethnographic data from modern Iraq regarding the construction, use and maintenance of a traditional irrigation system. Because traditional construction methods make use of organic materials similar to those available in the past, the data presented in this paper are considered to provide a set of analogies that can assist the interpretation of textual evidence and hence lead to a better understanding of irrigation practices in ancient Mesopotamia.

Research Article
The British Institute for the Study of Iraq © 2011

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