Archive for June, 2010

shushtar – 1

June 27, 2010


No: 1

At noon we arrived at the ancient city of Shushtar from chogha zanbil, quite hot, looks like Florence? In a sense that you feel its ancientness, it looks very old

No: 2

No: 3

Shushtar is situated near karun river, from inscriptions found in takhte-jamshid at the Elamite times it was known as Adamdun, In Achaemenid times it was referred to as surkutir, And the modern name is derived from the name of nearby city shush (old Susa) and means “more Sush than Sush”

Shushtar used to be a fortress city but the ancient fortress wall was destroyed at the end of Safavid era (1722 AD)

No: 4

This is the best I can make of the various elements of the historical city of Sushtar. From what I understand at the place where Karun splits in two, Shotate and Gheer,

N0: 5

Water is diverted to what is called Gargar canal by banded mizan (a weir, an overflow dam)

The Sassanid at 300 AD (or perhaps it achaemenids at 500BC) built the first bande mizan (weir) which did not function well? The Gargar canal supplied water to the city of Shushtar part of which is situated between Shotate river and Gargar canal. On Gargar some distance bellow bande mizan a bridge dam was made and the difference in head of water was used to power about 50 mills, a sort of industrial complex of 2500 years ago, and finally the Gargar water was used to irrigate about 40,000 to 150,000 acres of land bellow Shushtar that was called Minab (haven), and finally Gargar joins Shotate North of Shushtar and little further river Dez joins them to create the main karun river

At Sassanid times around 260 AD after shapour -i defeated the Roman emperor  Valerian and his army, he put the defeated Roman army, about 70,000, and its engineering knowhow to god use, to make improvement in Shushtar water supply and irrigation network.

The Romans made a weir bridge (overflow dam bridge), bande-kaisar, on shotate river, using Roman engineering techniques and material such as Roman cement to make the 500 meters long weir bridge with about 40 arches, in 3 to 7 years, this weir would raise the water level of the river about 4 meters sufficient to provide water for the city and agricultural irrigation as well improving the route between Pasargadae to Ctesiphon

The Romans also rebuilt the bande mizan (weir) properly this time, and also built two more bridges in the area

No: 6

Gargar cannel flowing through Shushtar

No: 7

Tunnels dug in sandstone on both side of side of the Gargar canal, some 100 meters long, just before a dam bridge (currently under repair)direct the water to the mill complex bellow the bridge dam

No: 8

The cars and a road running over the old bridge dam, repaired and re-repaired many times since it was built

No: 9

View of the basin bellow dam

No: 10

Flight of stairs leads to the lower level of the dam

No: 11

The map of the dam and the three water tunnels supplying the mill complex

No: 12

bridge dam as used today

The difference in elevation of water (head) was used, as a cheap, clean source of energy to drive the 50 mills that were used to grind various grains like barley, wheat in the complex mill system

No: 13

Interior of water tunnel

No: 14

Water outlet from the tunnel

No: 15

Complex of pathways in the lower section, direct water to various mills, with gates to control flow of water and hence the speed of mills

No: 16

Exterior of a mill

No: 17

The Interior of a mill, on the right is where the water comes in and at the bottom is where the jet of water is formed and directed at the propellers of the mill that turn the grinding stones on top of it

No: 18

No: 19

The view of the houses from the lower part of the mill complex

No: 20

Underground complex of tunnels, perhaps to move thousands tons and tons of wheat in and flower out, amazing hydro engineering, no America, very little Europe, what happened to the knowledge, It migrated we stayed

No: 21

The water, after going through the mill complex, was used to irrigate the plains to the north of Shushtar that were not previously used, the Plaines were called Minab (paradise)

An Elamite city has been found quite near present Shushtar called Hidalo. (To me)It is not clear when the settlement in city of Shushtar started and when it turned into a city? did Sushtar exist  at the same time as Hidalo, was it built later, when did it become a fortress city, and who thought of the idea of diverting water in to Gargar canal and using it as cheap energy source to run the mills, initially how many mills where there, who and when were the mills expanded was the complex gradually expanded as experience accumulated or was it planed in one piece, if so where did the knowhow come from, Mesopotamia or Elam, or others, but one thing is certain that with coming of achaemenids to power the road to Pasargadae gained more importance and perhaps lead to prospering of the area but why was Shushtar developed and not Hidalo, perhaps Shushtar had Gargar and the mills running, or perhaps it had a better defensive position

No: 22

Ali at the main square, hot, Hungary and leaning more to his right, back to reality, time to attend to the more pressing matters such as lunch


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