Bronze Age Dam Irrigates Modern Farms

Bible and archaeology news

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.

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  • udumula says

    It is nothing but miracle that still exists.

  • HANS PETER says

    To Andrews: I share your problem with finding the font sizes here and on many other sites too small to read even without strong glasses. One remedy is to change the zoom level. In Windows XP you can adjust this in the bottom right corner of the screen where the default says 100 percent. If that is not enough, use the built-in magnifier at All Programs/Accessories/Accessibility/Magnifier. Click on it to create a shortcut and move that shortcut icon to your taskbar so you launch it with a single click from there. This does not cure the apparent inability of some would-be web designers to post readable text — you cannot cure stupid, but you can work around it. Good luck!

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