Reconstructing irrigation at the Otrar Oasis, Kazakhstan, AD 800-1700

Clarke, D., Sala, R, Deom, J.-M. and Meseth, E. (2005) Reconstructing irrigation at the Otrar Oasis, Kazakhstan, AD 800-1700. Irrigation and Drainage, 54, (4), 375-388. (doi:10.1002/ird.195).


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Irrigation has been practised near the Syr Darya river in Central Asia for over 1300 years. Low-level aerial surveys have been used to determine the extent of the former canal network and archaeological excavations have identified phases of expansion and contraction of towns that depended on irrigated agriculture. From AD 1000 onwards, extensive series of engineered canals were constructed, producing a rich agricultural society in a region formerly considered to be dominated by nomadic pastoralists. Phases and expansion of agricultural development are related to regional changes in climate. Modern irrigation models have been used to reconstruct likely crop water requirements.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/ird.195
ISSNs: 1531-0353 (print)
1531-0361 (electronic)
Keywords: irrigation, central asia, arcaeology, asie centrale, archéologie
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 39459
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
October 2005Published
28 September 2005Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:09

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