Iranian Cities: Settlements and Water Management from Antiquity to the Islamic Period

in Eurasian Studies
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

This article attempts a long-term perspective on cities and water from Late Antiquity to the early Islamic centuries (until ca. 1000 CE). It focuses on the question of how cities and their agricultural hinterland were supplied with water. The topography of the site, its geomorphological features, are shown to influence both the setup and subsequent history of the cities. The article uses two sets of examples, one chosen from the Iranian plateau where qanāt irrigation predominates, and the other one from Persianate Central Asia (Transoxiana), where water is derived from larger and medium-sized rivers. The type of irrigation influences the ways in which the city grows, and more generally, the layout of the city is also determined by the water supply. Cities tend to grow towards the source of water, and it can also be observed that in many cases, the political and administrative centre is located where the best water is available. One of the major questions is whether imperial will was behind the construction of irrigation systems or whether local players such as landlords were the decisive factor.

The article combines archaeological research and the study of textual sources but is mostly based on recent archaeological fieldwork.

Iranian Cities: Settlements and Water Management from Antiquity to the Islamic Period

in Eurasian Studies

Sections

References

AdamsRobert McC. Land behind Baghdad. A History of Settlement on the Diyala Plains (Chicago: University of Chicago Press1965).

AdamsRobert McC.Agriculture and Urban Life in Early Southwest Iran” in CaldwellJ.R. (ed.) New Roads to Yesterday: Essays in Archaeology (London: Thames and Hudson1966): pp. 436-65.

ĀḏarnūšMas‘ūdĠarāriš-i kāvūšhāy-i lāye-šināḫtī tipi Haġmatāna (TehranICHHtO-ICAR: 2008).

AdleChahryar. “Qanāts of Bam: an archaeological perspective” in Qanāts of Bam (Tehran: UNESCO2006): pp. 33-85.

AllanTonyThe Middle East Water Question: Hydropolitics and the Global Economy (London: Tauris2001).

AndrianovBoris V. et al. “Rol’ irrigatsii v sotsial’noj istorii drevnej srednej Azii” in MassonVadim (ed.) Drevnie tsivilizatsii Vostoka (Taškent: Fan1986): pp. 34-44.

AskarovAkhmed Ali et al. Rannaja gorodskaja kul’tura ėpokhi bronzy juga Srednej Azii (Samarqand: Institute of Archaeology of Samarqand1993).

BeaumontPeters.v.Āb iii. The Hydrology and Water Resources of the Iranian Plateau” in EIrI (1982): pp. 28-39.

BelenitskijA.M.BentovičI.B. and G.O. Bol´šakovSrednevekovyj gorod Srednej Azii (Leningrad: Nauka1973).

BosworthEdmunds.v.Nishapur. Historical Geography and History to the Beginning of the 20th century” in EIr online www.iranicaonline.org/articles/Nishapur-i (2010).

BoucharlatRémyLes galeries de captage dans la péninsule d’Oman au premier millénaire avant J.-C.: questions sur leurs relations avec les galeries du plateau iranien” in BriantP. (ed.) Irrigation et drainage dans l’Antiquité qanāts et canalisations souterraines en Iran en Egypte et en Grèce (Paris: Thotm éditions2001): pp. 157-83.

BriantPierre (ed.) Irrigation et drainage dans l’antiquité qanats et canalisations souteraines en Iran en Egypte et en Grèce. (Paris: Thotm éditions2001).

BrownStuart C.s.v.Ecbatana” in EIrVIII (1997): pp. 80-4.

BullietRichardThe Patricians of Nīshāpūr: A Study in Medieval Islamic Social History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press1972).

BullietRichardMedieval Nīshāpūr: A Topographic and Demographic ReconstructionStIrV (1976): pp. 67-89.

BullietRichardCotton Climate and Camels in Early Islamic Iran (New York: Columbia University Press2009).

ChristensenPeterThe decline of Iranshahr. Irrigation and Environments in the History of the Middle East 500 BC to AD 1500 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press1993).

De la VaissièreEtienneDe Bactres à Balkh par le NowbahārJACCXCVIII/2 (2010): pp. 517-33.

De la VaissièreEtienne and MarquisPhilippeNouvelles recherches sur le paysage monumental de BactresComptes-rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres2013.3: pp. 1155-71.

De PlanholXaviers.v.Cities: Geographical Introduction” in EIrV (1991): pp. 603-7.

De PlanholXaviers.v.Iran i: Lands of IranEIrXIII (2004): pp. 204-12.

FouacheEricCosandeyCl.WormserP.KervranM. and R.A.Kh. LabbafThe River of NishapurStIrXL/1 (2011): p. 99-119.

FouacheEricBesenvalR.CosandeyC.Coussot. C.GhilardiM.HuotS. and M. LamothePalaeo-Channels of the Balkh River (Northern Afghanistan) and Human Occupation since the Bronze Age PeriodJournal of Archaeological ScienceXXXIX (2012): pp. 3415-27.

FouacheEricFrancfortH.-P.CosandeyC. Adle Ch. “La crise d’aridité climatique de la fin du 3ème millénaire av. J.-C., à la lumière des contextes géomorphologiques de 3 sites d’Iran Oriental (Bam, Tepe Damghani, Jiroft)” in RanteR. (ed.) Greater Khorasan. History Geography Archaeology and Material Culture (Berlin: De Gruyter2015): pp. 27-37.

FouacheEric et al. “The Role of Catastrophic Floods Generated by Collapse of Natural Dams Since the Neolithic in the Oases of Bukhara and Qaraqöl: Preliminary ResultsInternational Journal of Geohazards and EnvironmentIII/2 (2016): pp. 150-65.

FrancfortHenri-Paul and LecomteO.Irrigation et société en Asie Centrale des origines à l’époque achéménideAnnales. Histoire et Sciences SocialesLVII/3 (2002): pp. 625-63.

FrankeUteAncient Herat Revisited. New Data from Recent Archaeological Fieldwork” in RanteR. (ed.) Greater Khorasan. History Geography Archaeology and Material Culture (Berlin: De Gruyter2015): pp. 63-88.

GardinJean-ClaudeCéramiques de Bactres (Paris: Mémoires de la délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan1957).

GaubeHeinzBukhara up to the Tenth Century” in GanglerAnetteGaube Heinz and Attilio Petruccioli (eds.) Bukhara the Eastern Dome of Islam: Urban Development Urban Space Architecture and Population (Stuttgart: Axel Menges2004): pp. 39-59.

GaubeHeinzIranian Cities” in JayyusiS.K.HolodR.PetruccioliA. and A. Raymond (eds.) The City in the Islamic World (Leiden: Brill2008): pp. 159-80.

GillmoreGavin K. ConinghamR.A.E.FazeliH.YoungR.L.MagshoudiM.BattC.M. and G. RushworthIrrigation on the Tehran Plain, Iran: Tepe Pardis – the Site of a Possible Neolithic Irrigation Feature?CatenaLXXVIII (2009): pp. 285-300.

GrenetFrantz and RapinClaudeDe la Samarkand antique à la Samarkand médiévale: continuités et ruptures” in GayraudR.P. (ed.) Colloque international d’archéologie islamique (Cairo: Publications de l’IFAO1998): pp. 387-402.

GrenetFrantzCrise et sortie de crise en Bactriane-Sogdiane aux IVe-Ve s. de notre ère: de l’héritage antique à l’adoption de modèles sassanides” in La Persia e l’Asia Centrale da Alessandro al X secolo Atti dei Convegni LinceiCXXVII (Rome: Accademia dei Lincei1996): pp. 367-90.

HerrmannGeorginaMassonV.M.KurbansakhatovK. et al. “The International Merv Project. Preliminary Report on the First Season (1992)IranXXXI (1993): pp. 39-62.

HerrmannGeorgina (ed.) Monuments of Merv: Traditional Buildings of the Karakum (London: The Society of Antiquaries of London1999).

HonariMortezaet al. “Qanāts of Bam. A Multidisciplinary Approach” in Qanāts of Bam (Tehran: UNESCO2006).

HourcadeBernards.v.Jājrud River” in EIrXIV (2008): pp. 399-400.

HourcadeBernards.v.Karaj River” in EIrXV (2010): pp. 543-4.

Ibn ḤawqalK. Ṣūrat al-arḍ ed. de Goeje (2nd edition revised by J.H. Kramers Leiden: Brill 1967). Trans. J.H. KramersG. WietConfiguration de la terre 2 vols. (Paris and Beirut: Maisonneuve et Larose1964).

Ibn RustaK. al-Aʿlāq al-nafīsa ed. de Goeje (2nd edition Leiden: Brill 1967). Trans. G. WietLes atours précieux (Cairo: Société de géographie d’Egypte1955).

KarīmānḤusaynRayy-i bāstān 2 vols. (TehranAnjuman-i Āṯār-i millī1345-1349/ 1966-70).

KennedyHughIslamic Geographies” in HerrmannGeorgina (ed.) Monuments of Merv: Traditional Buildings of the Karakum (London: The Society of Antiquaries of London1999): pp. 121-6.

KennedyHughInherited Cities” in JayyusiS.K.HolodR.PetruccioliA. and A. Raymond (eds.) The City in the Islamic World (Leiden: Brill2008): pp. 93-113.

LabbāfKhānikī Rajab‘alīReports of excavation (Tehran: ICHHTO-ICAR2004).

Le BerreM. and SchlumbergerD.Observations sur les remparts de BactresMonuments Préislamiques d’Afghanistan Mémoires de la Délégation archéologique française en AfghanistanXIX (1964): pp. 65-103.

Le StrangeGuyThe Lands of the Eastern Caliphate (3rd editionLondon: Frank Cass1966).

LioubimtsevaElenaClimate and Environmental Change in Arid Central Asia: Impacts, Vulnerability, and AdaptationsJournal of Arid EnvironmentsLXXIII (2009): pp. 963-77.

LisitsynaGorislava N.Orošaemoe zemledelie ėpokhi ėneolita na juge Turkmenii (Moscow: Nauka1965).

LisitsynaGorislava N.The Earliest Irrigation in TurkmeniaAntiquityXLVII (1969): pp. 279-88.

MageePeterThe Chronology and Environmental Background of Iron Age Settlement in Southeastern Iran and the Question of the Origin of the qanat Irrigation SystemIranica AntiquaXL (2005): pp. 217-31.

MargueronJean-ClaudeCités invisibles (Paris: Geuthner2013).

MelvilleCharlesEarthquakes in the History of NishapurIranXVIII (1980): pp. 103-20.

MukhamedzhanovA.R.SemenovG.L.MirzaakhmedovD.K. and Š.T. AdilovGorodišče Pajkend (Taškent: Fan1988).

Naršaḫī/QubāwīTārīḫ-i Buḫārā ed. M.T. Mudarris Rażawī (2nd edition Tehran: Intišārāt-i Ṭūs 1362/1984); trans. Richard Nelson FryeThe History of Bukhara (Princeton: Marcus Wiener2007).

Omel’čenkoAndrej B. and MirzaakhmedovD.K.Raskopki v Pajkende v 2011 godu. Materialy bukharskoj ėkspeditsii (St Petersburg2012).

PrickettMarthaSettlement during the Early Periods” in BealeT.W. (ed.) Excavations at Tepe Yahya Iran 1967-1975. The early periods (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press1986): pp. 215-46.

RanteRoccoLes fouilles de Paykend: nouveaux éléments” in Bendezu-SarmientoJ. (ed.) Archéologie française en Asie centrale. Nouvelles recherches et enjeux socioculturels (Paris: de Boccard2013): pp. 219-40.

RanteRoccoRayy: from its Origins to the Mongol Invasion. An Archaeological and Historiographical Study (Leiden: Brill2015).

RanteRocco and Di PasqualeS.C.The Urbanisation of Rayy at the Seljuq epoch” in TorD.SchmidtkeS. and H. Ansari (eds.) The Religious and Intellectual History of Rayy from 900 Through the Seljūq Period [Der IslamXCIII/2 (2016)]: pp. 413-32.

RanteRocco and CollinetA.Nīshāpūr Revisited. Stratigraphy and Ceramics of the Qohandez (Oxford: Oxbow Books2013).

RapinC. and IsamiddinovM.Entre sédentaires et nomades: les recherches de la Mission archéologique franco-ouzbèke (MAFOuz) de Sogdiane sur le site de Koktepe” in Bendezu-SarmientoJ. (ed.) Archéologie française en Asie centrale. Nouvelles recherches et enjeux socioculturels (Paris: de Boccard2013): pp. 113-34.

SarrāfMuḥammad-RaḥīmHagmatāna” in KiāniM.Y. (ed.) Šahrhā-yi Īrān (Tehran: ICHHTO-ICAR1989): pp. 290-311.

ṢarrāfMuḥammad-RaḥīmHagmatāna (Tehran1392š/2013).

SemenovGrigorij L.Sogdijskij gorod v rannem srednevekov’e: formirovanie plana” in SmirnovaG.I. (ed.) Itogi rabot arkheologičeskikh ėkspeditsij Gosudarstvennogo Ėrmitazha (Leningrad: Gosudarstvennyj Ėrmitazh1989): pp. 128-140.

SemenovG.L.Dwelling Houses of Bukhara in the Early Middle Ages” in ComparetiM.RaffettaP. and G. Scarcia (eds.) Ērān ud Anērān. Studies Presented to B.I. Maršak on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday (Venice: Cafoscarina2006): pp. 555-70.

SemenovG.L. and MirzaakhmedovD.K.Raskopki v Pajkende v 2000 godu. Materialy bukharskoj ėkspeditsii (St Petersburg2004).

SpoonerB.City and River in Iran: Urbanization and Irrigation of the Iranian PlateauIrStVII (1974): pp. 681-713.

TorgoevA.I. and MirzaakhmedovD.K.Raskopki v Pajkende v 2006 godu. Materialy bukharskoj ėkspeditsii (St Petersburg2009).

TskitishviliOTwo Questions Connected with the Topography of the Oriental City in the Early Middle AgesJESHOXIV/3 (1971): pp. 311-20.

VallesVincentGholamiM. and R. LambertChimie des eaux et alimentation du bassin versant du Djajerud (Iran)Hydrologie ContinentaleV/1 (1990): pp. 61-9.

WilkinsonCharles K.Nīshāpūr Some Early Islamic Buildings and Their Decoration (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Arts1986).

WilkinsonTony J.Archaeological Landscapes of the Near East (Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona Press2003).

WilkinsonTony J. et al. “From Human Niche Construction to Imperial Power: Long-Term Trends in Ancient Iranian Water SystemsWater HistoryIV/2 (2012): pp. 155-76.

WilliamsTimThe City of Sultan Kala, Merv, Turkmenistan. Communities, Neighbourhoods and Urban Planning from the Eight to the Thirteenth Century” in BennisonA.K. and GascoigneA.L. (eds.) Cities in the Pre-Modern Islamic World. The Urban Impact of Religion State and Society (London and New York: Routledge2007): pp. 42-62.

WittfogelKarl AugustOriental Despotism. A Comparative Study of Total Power (New Haven: Yale University Press1957).

WordsworthPaulMerv on Khorasanian trade routes from the tenth-thirteenth centuries” in RanteR. (ed.) Greater Khorasan. History Geography Archaeology and Material Culture (Berlin: De Gruyter2015): pp. 51-62.

YangBaoWangJ.BräuningA.DongZ. and J. EsperLate Holocene Climatic and Environmental Changes in Arid Central AsiaQuaternary InternationalCXCIV (2009): pp. 68-78.

YaʿqūbīKitāb al-buldān ed. de Goeje (Leiden: Brill 1892). Trans. G. WietLes pays (Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale1937).

YāqūtMuʿjam al-buldān ed. F. WüstenfeldJaqut’s Geographisches Wörterbuch 6 vols. (Leipzig: Brockhaus 1866-73). Partial trans. C. Barbier de MeynardDictionnaire géographique historique et littéraire de la Perse et des contrées adjacentes (Paris: Imprimerie Impériale1861).

Figures

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 57 57 38
Full Text Views 19 19 15
PDF Downloads 11 11 6
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0