Arab Conservatism The new works were put in hand in the spring ofand entrusted to the firm of Sir John Jackson, Ltd. Operations had to be carried out in an extremely hot country, where malaria was rife, and many hundreds of miles from the base of supplies. Of transport facilities to the spot there were virtually none. Soon, however, a busy settlement, with machine shop, factory and other necessary buildings, sprang up near the site.
Several thousand Arabs and other natives were engaged as labourers. They were accommodated in huts and tents, and hospitals and isolation camps were also formed. For the European engineers and their assistants, mosquito- proof dwellings were built and ice plants installed.
On the whole the Arabs made good workmen, though their inherent conservatism was inclined to retard the progress of the work. The Arab normally digs up the earth with a kind of scoop. He puts the earth into a bag Iraqnaphobia - Euphrates - The Euphrates Collection (CD) his left shoulder, walks away with the bag and tips the earth on a bank.
Planks and wheelbarrows were provided. My people have been here since before the time of Moses. Are you going to teach me how to carry earth? The water was turned into the diversion, a head regulator was built for the Hilla branch and a new channel cut to convey water from the river to a point in the channel above where the silting up had occurred.
All this work was carried out between February and December Ancient Chaldean engineers built a dam across the Euphrates so that its waters would irrigate the surrounding country, which was thus able to produce rich harvests of grain. Near this ancient work the Hindiya Barrage was built across a new bed prepared for the river.
Farther north the new escape works divert water to be stored for irrigation purposes in a lake at Habbania. No portion of the barrage came within the original bed of the river. The dam was built alongside the old river, in the dry.
Only when it was completed and the necessary excavation upstream and downstream had been finished was the water of the river allowed to reach the barrage by the demolition of the river bank and the erection of an earthen dam across the river.
The barrage is built mainly of brickwork with a certain amount of cement concrete. The bricks were manufactured on the site. The lime came down the river from the old quarries of the city of Hit. The ground on which the barrage stands was composed of fairly hard silt of such a consistency that when excavated it would stand up to a vertical face.
It was not considered necessary, therefore, to excavate the foundations to any great depth. Under the barrage itself the concrete put in was 3 ft. These dimensions were maintained for the whole length of the barrage. The upper part of the brickwork was set in cement and the lower part in lime mortar. It was on this foundation that the piers of the Hindiya Barrage were built. The whole area covered by the works, including the lock through which vessels can pass up and down the river, was enclosed by a complete fence of interlocking sheet piling.
Above and below the barrage there was made an artificially built- up river bed, known as pitching. A line of short piling was driven across the centre of the pitching on the downstream side of the barrage. Upstream of the barrage there is stone pitching for a width of 32 ft.
It is about 3 ft. Thirty- Six Barrage Openings On the downstream side of the barrage this artificially built- up bed extends for a distance of ft. The pitching for the first 65 ft.
At this point the bed is crossed by the transverse line of sheet piling, and beyond this, for a width of 72 ft. Now comes a subsidiary barrage or weir, which extends right across the channel; the weir is 8 feet wide and is built on a concrete foundation.
Beyond the weir is a brickwork apron set in concrete, 57 ft. Finally comes pitching for a further width of 65 ft. The barrage itself has thirty- Iraqnaphobia - Euphrates - The Euphrates Collection (CD) openings, each 16 ft.
All the piers, except the twelfth counting from either side, are the same width, namely 5 feet, the two exceptions having a width of 11 ft.
Ali Abbas for NPR hide caption. Cliffs that were once submerged now reveal pre-Christian tombs built into the rock face. Ali Omar for NPR hide caption. Iraqi archaeologist Yousif Jasir Muhammed picks up a shard of pottery at a newly discovered Roman-era site on the banks of the Euphrates. Iraq is suffering one of the worst droughts in decades. While this is bad news for farmers, Iraqnaphobia - Euphrates - The Euphrates Collection (CD) is good news for archaeologists in the country.
Iraqnaphobia - Euphrates - The Euphrates Collection (CD) receding waters of the Euphrates River have revealed ancient archaeological sites, some of which were unknown until now. For Ratib Ali al-Kubaisi, the director of Anbar province's Antiquities Department, the drought has opened up a whole new land of opportunity. But we discovered that this area is one of the most important archaeological areas in all of Iraq. This part of Iraq was the first to be settled," he says.
In the mids, Saddam Hussein's government dammed the Euphrates in the area, flooding a mile-long stretch of land near Iraq's border with Syria. What once was an enormous reservoir that stretched as far as the eye could see has shrunk an astonishing 90 percent since summer, officials say.
Ratib says that at least 75 archeological sites had been partially excavated before the area was flooded. They ran the gamut of civilizations — from 3, B.
Ancient Jewish settlements were also submerged in the area. But because of the receding waters, Ratib has been able to access some sites for the first time — including, for instance, a cliff with a series of pre-Christian tombs carved into its face. Though they have been heavily damaged by the water, Ratib says they still have value.
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