A qanat village

   We were invited to this un-named village while visiting a nearby ruined caravanserai.  Both settlements owe their existence to the extraordinary and ancient system of underground water channels which are still found all over the Iranian plateau. Invented 3000 years ago by the Ancient Persians, this reliable source of fresh water has allowed rural communities to grow crops and orchards, despite the desert-like surface conditions everywhere else.


    The water emerges from the underground channels (some of them hundreds of kilometers in length) and is collected in a large pool before being allowed to run along irrigation ditches through the walled fields. In some villages and cities, the water runs freely beside the road in a way that seems astonishing to those of us from dry countries without this technology and natural resource.

       (A detailed and illustrated explanation of the qanat system can be seen here.)


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