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Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

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Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Postby Mehdi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:12 am

Introduction: (Persian:سازه های آبی شوشتر )
Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, can be traced back to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. It involved the creation of two main diversion canals on the river Kârun one of which, Gargar canal, is still in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnels that supply water to mills. It forms a spectacular cliff from which water cascades into a downstream basin. It then enters the plain situated south of the city where it has enabled the planting of orchards and farming over an area of 40,000 ha. known as Mianâb (Paradise). The property has an ensemble of remarkable sites including the Salâsel Castel, the operation centre of the entire hydraulic system, the tower where the water level is measured, damns, bridges, basins and mills. It bears witness to the know-how of the Elamites and Mesopotamians as well as more recent Nabatean expertise and Roman building influence.


The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System demonstrates outstanding universal value as in its present form, it dates from the 3rd century CE, probably on older bases from the 5th century BCE. It is complete, with numerous functions, and large-scale, making it exceptional. The Shushtar system is a homogeneous hydraulic system, designed globally and completed in the 3rd century CE. It is as rich in its diversity of civil engineering structures and its constructions as in the diversity of its uses (urban water supply, mills, irrigation, river transport, and defensive system). The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System testifies to the heritage and the synthesis of earlier Elamite and Mesopotamian knowhow; it was probably influenced by the Petra dam and tunnel and by Roman civil engineering. The Shushtar hydraulic system, in its ensemble and most particularly the Shâdorvân Grand Weir (bridge-dam), has been considered a Wonder of the World not only by the Persians but also by the Arab-Muslims at the peak of their civilisation. The Gargar canal is a veritable artificial watercourse which made possible the construction of a new town and the irrigation of a vast plain, at the time semi-desert. The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System sits in an urban and rural landscape specific to the expression of its value.

Criterion (i): The Shushtar Hydraulic System is testimony to a remarkably accomplished and early overall vision of the possibilities afforded by diversion canals and large weir-dams for land development. It was designed and completed in the 3rd century CE for sustainable operation and is still in use today. It is a unique and exceptional ensemble in terms of its technical diversity and its completeness that testifies to human creative genius.

Criterion (ii): The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is a synthesis of diverse techniques brought together to form a remarkably complete and large-scale ensemble. It has benefited from the ancient expertise of the Elamites and Mesopotamians in canal irrigation, and then that of the Nabateans; Roman technicians also influenced its construction. Its many visitors marvelled at it and were in turn inspired. It testifies to the exchange of considerable influences in hydraulic engineering and its application throughout antiquity and the Islamic period under the various Iranian dynasties.

Criterion (v): Shushtar is a unique and exceptionally complete example of hydraulic techniques developed during ancient times to aid the occupation of semi-desert lands. By diverting a river flowing down the mountains, using large-scale civil engineering structures and the creation of canals, it made possible multiple uses for the water across a vast territory: urban water supply, agricultural irrigation, fish farming, mills, transport, defence system, etc. It testifies to a technical culture dating back eighteen centuries serving the sustainable development of a human society, in harmony with its natural and urban environment.

Integrity and Authenticity
The integrity of the hydraulic footprint is good, but its functional integrity compared with the original model is only partial and reduced, notably for the dams; it remains good for irrigation and water supply. The authenticity of elements reduced to archaeological remains is certain, but has been affected by 20th century works and materials so far as the civil structures and sites still in use are concerned. Efforts directed to the restoration of attributes that demonstrate authenticity must be pursued.

Management and protection requirements
The components of the management plan are satisfactory, but they need to be improved in terms of the interpretation of the sites and the involvement of the local population.
Historical Description

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Location: Shushtar, Khozestan province

Days of trip: (Without air plane) 2-3 Days from Tehran to Tehran (Without heavy traffic you need About 10-12 hr driving from Tehran to Shushtar)
Attention: In holidays there is heavy traffic in all roads around Tehran.

Best time to visit: October-March

Daily time visit: No permission at night

Difficulty level: Easy

Requirements: (Depend on your plan) Guide or GPS track, water, food, warm and waterproof clothes and tent

Legal permission need: No, Just need a ticket


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Overall risk: -

Animal risk: No

Lost risk: No

Rescue: Yes, you can call 115

GSM Mobile Antenna: Yes


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Hotel: Yes

Shop: Yes

Gasoline: Yes

Village: Located in Shushtar city


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How to get there:
1- Go to Baihaghi or south terminal of buses in Tehran (more info), Also you can use train.
2- Take a bus ticket to Shushtar.
3- Take a taxi to the site


Nearest airport: Ahvaaz airport

Nearest train station: Shush station


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Location on map:




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Re: Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:00 am

he Shushtar hydraulic system is located in Shushtar and dates back to the time of the Achaemenid king Darius the Great in the 5th century BCE. It is a spectacular complex of rivers, waterways, dams, waterfalls and canals. It involves two main diversion canals on the Karoon River one of which, the Gargar canal, is still in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnels that supply water to mills. Also known as Mianab, the site includes the Salasel Castle, damns, bridges, basins and mills, the operation centre of the hydraulic system as well as the tower where the water level is measured.



The system forms a cliff from which water cascades into a downstream basin and enters south of the city enabling the people of Shushtar to plant orchards and create farms over an area of 40,000 hectares. This amazing system was developed from earliest times and many examples of it are still in place around Shushtar. It has served the area for thousands of years and was still in use as recently as a few decades ago when it began to fall into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. The structures were used as an irrigation system and encouraged cultural interactions in the region. The waterfalls presented visitors a beautiful unique landscape, enjoying a water engineering technology rare for that point in history.



While the Shushtar water system may have its roots in the Achaemenid times (such as the construction of the artificial Daryoon Canal), however, much of its renovation and expansion was done by the Sassanids. The Gheysar dam was built during Shapur the First’s time in order to regulate the water flow into 6 equal portions. Much of the construction was done by Roman soldiers captured by Shapur following battle with the Roman Emperor Valerian.
Another artificial water way in place is the Gargan Canal that branches off of Karoon and after approximately 80 kilometers rejoins it. Along Gargan’s path it enters many tunnels and feeds adjoining watermills. While the Sassanids have been credited with its creation, however, the many Ashkani artifacts in its vicinity hints at an even older origin. The Salasel Castle was used up until the Qajar Era as the main headquarter for managing and supervising the smooth running of the hydraulic system along this way.


Of course the main attraction of the water system is its waterfalls. As a result of the dam on the Gargan waterway, the water level significantly rises and subsequently enters three manmade canals carved through the rocky surroundings. Once inside the canals, water is branched off in many directions and ultimately ends up feeding the watermills before exiting on the other side and pouring down into the water pools.



There were approximately 40 watermills constructed in the general area of the water falls although many of them have been destroyed with the passing of time and lack of maintenance. Nevertheless much use has been made of the remaining mills. In 1933 on the northern side of the area, an electric company was founded fully utilizing the existing system. Also in 1955 on the west end, an ice factory was built.


Today, the system has been replaced by several dams built in accordance with modern technological methods. As with the old system, these have served the purpose of controlling the river and storing its waters for irrigation, as well as the production of electricity today.


The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System in Iran's Khuzestan Province was registered on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in June of 2009. Merely a few weeks afterwards, the ancient waterfalls of Shushtar were polluted by sewage and sludge being brought by the eight wastewater pipes pouring into the water system in its path by the Water and Sanitation Department. A portion of the Gargar Bridge of the complex was destroyed as result of wastewater leakage and erosion.

http://historicaliran.blogspot.com.ar/2 ... ystem.html

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Re: Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:02 am

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Re: Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:31 pm

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Shush tar Waterfall

Postby Parvaneh » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:18 am

Shush tar Waterfall(Persian:آبشار شوشتر )
Shush tar waterfalls complex is one of the old water structures complex elements. This space that is completed in Sassanid and Achaemenid dynasty located in the way of Gorgor River with exceptional view both in Iran and the world in terms of architecture. This place is an excellent space for tourist during the years. Ancient stone structures researchers travelled to the Shush tar during the year and begin to search about engineering structure of this complex. The mills of this place circle in the result of water pressure. All of the space of this complex make of granite stone, lime stone, and plaster of lime.
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