سال انتشار: ۱۳۸۶

محل انتشار: سمینار بین المللی تاریخ آبیاری و زهکشی

تعداد صفحات: ۷

نویسنده(ها):

Omid Esfandiari – M.S., PhD, Society of Iranologists

چکیده:

Modern civilization, as we knew it today, is not the product of the genius of one sole nation. In fact, to achieve what we have today, the legacies and contributions of many nations have played their part. We can, indeed, liken the present civilization to a pot into which almost every nation of the world, whether extinct or alive, has thrown its share.
Iran being situated in the middle of the old world before the discovery of the Americas and the growth of Europe was an active member of the world and had to take part in almost every historical and worldwide upheaval or disturbance. It had to shed its intolerance very early in its long history, which is full of glorious periods and disturbed episodes. In this position Iran contributed continuously to the enrichment of civilization, it not only placed its own inventive genius at the disposal of the pot, but gleaned what it could from the East and West, transformed and transmitted it. In the sphere of agriculture, Iran has helped the development of agriculture in two ways; first by controlling the forces of nature and domesticating animals and plants existing in the wild state in the plateau, and secondly by inventing ways and means of procuring water from the places where it could be found and diverting it to the places where it was needed for irrigation; by inventing various agricultural implements, Qanats, water-mills and windmills and storing the wheat, by creating gardens and using manure to restore to the land what had been lost through uninterrupted cultivation. Iranians have devised a number of ingenious methods for preserving and obtaining, where and when it is wanted, enough water to grow sufficient food. Irrigation was considered a good deed in the eyes of Ahura-Mazda in the Avesta, the sacred book of
the ancient Persians. The Achaemenids Kings granted exemption from land tax for five generations to any man who made a tract of desert land cultivable through the construction of an irrigation system. Technically, irrigation water may be obtained from dams (Band, Band-e Ab, and Sadd), underground channels (Qanats), and wells (Chah). Describing the water supply in this way is the traditional Islamic classification.
The Qanat system was invented by the people of the plateau of Iran. It is unique to Iran and a typical feature of Iranian scenery. It is used all over the plateau including Baluchistan and Afghanistan. In the Eastern parts of Iran where the Qanat is constructed, it is often called Kahriz which is a double word (Kah=straw and Riz=throw), because they used to through kah into the Qanats for purpose of seeing how rapid the movement of water in the wells is and for repair works, the straw used would fill some of the gaps in the side of the subterranean channel. From this derived the word Qah-riz . In Western parts of Iran, Kahriz is called Qanat. The Qanat system was introduced by the Iranians to Transoxania, Fergana, Soghianna and still farther East to Qara Khoja and Turfan as far as the Chinese oasis settlements of East Turkistan. They bore in all these areas the Persian name Kah-riz. Westwards the Qanat system was adopted by the Assyrians. We know that the Assyria King Sargon II (722-705 B.C.) claims that he learned the secret of tapping underground water during his campaign against the old country of Urartu around Lake Urumieh in Northwest Iran. Although the Persian Qanat system is of such venerable age, it is by far the most reliable source for obtaining water, Up to 20 years ago, the 75% of all water used in Iran came from Qanats. W. Benisson, an authority in this subject is convinced that Qanat system undoubtedly is the “most extraordinary method to develop ground water”. C.F. Tolman, in his book called “The Greatest Water Works of theAncients”, calls Qanats “one of the greatest achievements for obtaining water in the ancient times.”