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Universiteit Leiden (2019)

Innovating irrigation technologies - four communities in the Southeastern Arabian Iron Age II

Lipp, Anna

Titre : Innovating irrigation technologies - four communities in the Southeastern Arabian Iron Age II

Auteur : Lipp, Anna

Université de soutenance : Universiteit Leiden

Grade : Master Archaeology 2019

Résumé
Irrigation technologies and more particularly qanat-type falaj irrigation and its first emergence, are one of the key topics of Arabian prehistory. Magee suggests that falaj systems and the domestication of the camel considerably facilitated the Iron Age II population boom in Southeastern Arabia (Magee 2004). Here, four irrigation systems are systematically discussed along three research questions addressing their location, characteristics and how they were dated. The four sites are located in regions, were hot desert climate prevails and groundwater was easily available. The communities conducted qanat-type falaj irrigation (Hili, Al Madam), runoff irrigation (Masafi) and potentially manual irrigation (Wadi Fizh). Modification traces (Al Madam, Masafi) indicate a continuous use of the structures and sluices (Hili, Masafi) point towards water management activities. All systems were dated based on Iron Age II pottery ; the system at Al Madam was furtherly dated by radiocarbon dates and the system at Masafi by dates from microcharcoal analysis. The absolute dates from Al Madam and Masafi were strong indicators for a dating to the Iron Age II period, showing that falaj and runoff irrigation were conducted at the time. Reconstructing past water tables and studying construction techniques will be suitable approaches, to further research how Iron Age II communities were irrigating

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