The archaeological mission of Viterbo in Farafra Oasis was launched in December 2009 by the Department of the Ancient World, University of Viterbo, following a research program - Draining Water Channel (Qanat) in Antiquity (DWCA) - started 2006 in order to investigate origin and spread in North Africa of underground drainage tunnels, known in literature as qanat. This is a technique for exploiting water resources in arid and semiarid regions, that was born and evolved in Persia between the sixth and fifth Century BC, then spread to the Near East and Egypt and from there across norther Africa, where its use continued until recent times. This system is based on drainage tunnels, equipped with vertical shafts, capable of receiving waters of a water table and of distributing it to agricultural areas downstream. In Egypt, the introduction of such systems goes back to Persian age, as shown by evidences of Kharga Oasis (' Ayn Manawir). Recent investigations of Bahariya Oasis (Al Bawiti, El Hayez) testify a significant presence of these water systems and show a close correlation, also documented in the Libyan Fezzan, between the use of qanat and the development of a large-scale agriculture, associated to the establishment of stable communities, between Persian and Roman ages. Starting from this cognitive framework, we considered it appropriate to tum our attention to Farafra Oasis - where the presence of these water systems, hitherto ignored by the literature, is widely documented - with the intent to verify the relationship between the presence of qanat and settlement processes in this oasis in ancient times.

L'Oasi di Farafra. Sistemi idrici a qanat e insediamenti di età romana e bizantina

S. Medaglia
2010-01-01

Abstract

The archaeological mission of Viterbo in Farafra Oasis was launched in December 2009 by the Department of the Ancient World, University of Viterbo, following a research program - Draining Water Channel (Qanat) in Antiquity (DWCA) - started 2006 in order to investigate origin and spread in North Africa of underground drainage tunnels, known in literature as qanat. This is a technique for exploiting water resources in arid and semiarid regions, that was born and evolved in Persia between the sixth and fifth Century BC, then spread to the Near East and Egypt and from there across norther Africa, where its use continued until recent times. This system is based on drainage tunnels, equipped with vertical shafts, capable of receiving waters of a water table and of distributing it to agricultural areas downstream. In Egypt, the introduction of such systems goes back to Persian age, as shown by evidences of Kharga Oasis (' Ayn Manawir). Recent investigations of Bahariya Oasis (Al Bawiti, El Hayez) testify a significant presence of these water systems and show a close correlation, also documented in the Libyan Fezzan, between the use of qanat and the development of a large-scale agriculture, associated to the establishment of stable communities, between Persian and Roman ages. Starting from this cognitive framework, we considered it appropriate to tum our attention to Farafra Oasis - where the presence of these water systems, hitherto ignored by the literature, is widely documented - with the intent to verify the relationship between the presence of qanat and settlement processes in this oasis in ancient times.
Egypt, Sahara, qanat, draining water channel, oasis, roman age, pottery, topographical survey
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/341940
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