Centuries-old water supply system discovered in Iran

January 12, 2019 - 21:52

TEHRAN – A team of Iranian archaeologists has found remnants of a centuries-old network, which used to supply water to an underground “city” in central Iran.

“An intricate water supply system is unearthed in the underground city of Nushabad, located in the central district of Aran-Bidgol County, Isfahan Province,” IRNA reported on Saturday.

“This system, which includes historical water structures, has been constructed in two historical periods, probably the eras of Ilkhanids (1256–1335/1353) and Safavids (1501–1736),” said Zahra Saroukhani who currently leads the fifth season of excavations at Nushabad.

An exact proof the antiquity of the structure, which may also date back to the pre-Islamic era, requires further excavations and studies in this regard, she added.

The labyrinthine “city” is comprised of three stories of tunnels, chambers, air ducts, staircases, and canals. It is widely considered a marvel of ancient architecture and engineering.

For thousands of years, man-carved subterranean canals (best known as qanats) have delivered water to agricultural and permanent settlements in arid regions of Iran. They simply enjoy the force gravity.

The concept of “Persian Qanat” was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016, representing a select of eleven aqueducts across Iran.


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