By Julian Rzóska (auth.)
Scope and boundaries of this e-book i'm making an attempt right here to give the usual historical past of a land mostly created and ruled by way of nice rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris. All rivers have major features, relatively various from lakes; they delivery water and eroded fabric occasionally over huge distances. The astute Greeks, who penetrated right here within the 4th century B.C., referred to as the land Mesopotamia, an apt identify; it's the in basic terms sector within the close to East, other than Egypt, having the advantage of huge rivers. one other identify coined in antiquity was once 'Fertile Crescent', stretching from Egypt to offer day Iraq; Herodotus marvelled on the fertility of the soils, the abundance of water and the awesome towns of Mesopotamia. therefore an additional position of a few nice rivers is well-known as foci of human improvement. the need to collate this publication arose from an analogous motif as within the Nile publication (1976), the elaborate connection among guy and rivers.
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Extra info for Euphrates and Tigris, Mesopotamian Ecology and Destiny
Such flood rises occur also in the Tigris tributaries especially in the Lesser Zab and dams have been built in recent years on the Diyala, and on the Lesser Zab in the mountains (see Fig. 16). The regime of the river system will be treated in the following pages. An outstanding characteristic of both Euphrates and Tigris is the instability of their courses. g. the Gharaf. A widespread old and modern canal system transects the alluvial plain as sign of the· necessary transport of irrigation water; the rivers in Mesopotamia are arteries.
Slopes of Euphrates and Tigris, drawn tentatively from existing sources; slopes govern currents and the capacity of carrying sediments. Note the slight descents towards the junction of the two rivers and the Shatt al Arab. ) Both river courses are prolonged by meandering and this in turn shows the loss of force of the water with great effects on the river vallies. Further we can understand why river communication was laborious and difficult before the steam age and why land communication became preferable.
He stresses the instability of the river regime as an important factor in the life of people. Jacobsen (Iraq, vol. 22, 1960) traces 'The waters of Ur', the ancient river courses and canals, by the 'Ceramic Surface Survey' technique developed earlier in the Diyala region. Mounds (tells) stick out of the covering layers of silt and sand and are recognizable by sherds of pottery and other cultural debris. In this way not only human settlements but also the ancient water courses could be traced, remembering that in an arid desert climate people had to live near water, that is rivers and their derivatives.