This Bronze Age dam at Alacahöyük still irrigates modern farmland. AA photos.
A 3,250-year-old Hittite dam at Alacahöyük features striking similarities to modern water management construction. Archaeologist Aykut Çınaroğlu says the dam in north-central Turkey was built for irrigation and drinking water, and the dam’s clean water is still used by local farmers today. Hittite tablets indicate that it was built under the reign of King Hattushili III or his son Tudhaliya IV in the 13th century B.C.E. and was dedicated to the goddess Hepat. Like other Hittite dams, the large clay construction was built by hand during a period of drought and famine in Late Bronze Age Anatolia, recorded in the historical record by documentation of the importation of wheat from Egypt and evinced by dendrochronological archaeological evidence. However, unlike its contemporaries, the water source for the Alacahöyük dam is located inside the dam’s reservoir, and as a result, it hasn’t run dry over the course of the past three millennia. Professor Çınaroğlu told the Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News
that “The dam had been used to provide water for animals for thousands of years. Analyses have shown that its water is very clean. It could even be sold under the name Hittite water.”
Read more in Hurriyet Daily News.
Interested in ancient water systems? Read “Ancient Reservoir Provided Water for First Temple Period Jerusalem
” in Bible History Daily.
Interested in the Hittites? Read the full article The Last Days of Hattusa: The Mysterious Collapse of the Hittite Empire by Trevor Bryce online for free in Bible History Daily.
During the Late Bronze Age (1500–1200 B.C.E.), the Eastern Mediterranean boasted a flourishing network of grand empires. An interregional destruction known as the Bronze Age collapse is one of archaeology’s greatest mysteries. Learn more in the Bible History Daily article Bronze Age Collapse: Pollen Study Highlights Late Bronze Age Drought.
Posted in News, The Ancient Near Eastern World.