The Persian Qanat

Iran (Islamic Republic of) (Kerman, Isfahan, Qom)
Location: N34 17 24 E58 39 16
Date of Inscription: 2016
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
iv. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
Ref: 1506

An Iranian technique for quenching the country’s arid regions and supported the agricultural and permanent settlements is the ancient Qanat system. It taps alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and diverts the essential ground water across the desert using underground canals by gravity, often over many kilometers. The eleven Qanats of Iran are still in place, along with their original workers’ quarters, watermills and water reservoirs. They form a sustainable system that allows equitable distribution of water.

The traditional communal management system still in place allows equitable and sustainable water sharing and distribution. The qanats provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate. They are crucial in understanding the way of life of desert communities over the centuries.

Shazdeh Garden, six kilometers outside Mahan, is one of its 11 sites included in the system that ingeniously taps an alluvial aquifer. This rectangular oasis is home to pine, cedar, buttonwood and fruit trees, as well as an eight-level rivulet, and it doubles as a spot where local herdsmen gather to water their animals.

Travelogue:

Feb 04 2017 – Funds Allocated to Restore 11 Qanats; Financial Tribune

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