Irrigation Systems in Samarkand

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_9925-1

Dealing with the irrigation systems in the Samarkand oasis with a historical perspective means discussing both the canals watering the territory and the city supply. Commonly considered as the major center in the trade network along the Silk Road, since ancient times, the wealth of Maracanda (Samarkand in Greek sources) is based on a mixed economy, combining the irrigated agriculture in the floodplain with breeding and herding in the uncultivated steppe. However, like many other areas of Central Asia with low rainfall (ca. 350–400 mm/year) and arid environmental conditions, Samarkand and its territory could develop because of a complex irrigation network. The water of the Zeravshan, which is the third longest river of Central Asia, gives rise to the whole system. Springs and wells are less important and usually connected to the water supply in rural mountain areas.

Irrigation in Modern Times

The area of Samarkand is one of the most fertile in Central Asia, and today its cultivated...

Keywords

Irrigation System Major Canal Hydraulic Engineering Project Arid Environmental Condition Historical Canal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and CulturesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly