Water History

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 3–11 | Cite as

The Qanāt: a multidisciplinary and diachronic approach to the study of groundwater catchment systems in archaeology

Introduction of the Special Issue “The qanāt: Archaeology and Environment”
  • Julien Charbonnier
  • Kristen Hopper


The qanāt, as a traditional, low-cost, sustainable, water distribution system, was fundamental for the settlement of arid environments. This brief introduction to the special issue “The Qanāt: Archaeology and Environment” presents an overview of a workshop of the same name, held at Durham University in October 2014, and introduces the key themes that are explored through the papers in this volume. It also lays out the basis of an interdisciplinary research agenda for qanāt studies in archaeology.


Qanāt Archaeology Methodology Geoarchaeology Remote sensing Ethnoarchaeology Absolute dating 



Thank you to The British Institute of Persian Studies, The British Foundation for the Study of Arabia, The British Institute for the Study of Iraq, and The Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University for their support of the workshop. We are grateful to all those who participated in the workshop and contributed to this special issue. In particular, we would like to express our gratitude to the late Tony Wilkinson, an important figure in the water history of the Near East, for his support and encouragement.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEPAM, UMR 7264, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - SJA3Nice Cedex 4France
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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