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Archaeologists discover a rare hydraulic system in the Nile River

Archaeologists discover a rare hydraulic system in the Nile River

The Nile River competes with the Amazon River for the title of the longest river in the world. In terms of territorial extent, the African river is superior to the Brazilian; Its length from its source on Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea is 6,660 kilometers. Archaeological finds are frequent on the banks of the river. Recently, rock walls along the Nile in SudanIt appears to represent what archaeologists claim is the oldest known hydraulic system of its kind.


According to an article published in the scientific journal GeoarcheologyThe findings indicate that the people living in the ancient Nubian Empire, located in northern Sudan, managed the river to their advantage for about 3,000 years. Exposed structures resemble breakwaters, vertical structures on a coast or bank whose function is to artificially divert water flow. According to researchers, the Yellow River in China had the oldest breakwater in the world, until its discovery in the Nile River. In the article, the archaeologists explain that the buildings were used by the Nubians 2,500 years earlier than the Chinese.


Map of the Amara West Research Project concession (bounded upstream and downstream by dotted lines) and surrounding areas, showing the location of the Pharaonic city, the local ancient canal systems (illustrated with HEC-RAS model of flow 6000 m3/s), major concentrations, walls (white lines) and their land designations, In addition to other sites mentioned in the text. Background image © Bing Maps. [A figura colorida pode ser vista em wileyonlinelibrary.com ]

Using satellite data, local surveys and previous studies, researchers have discovered hundreds of breakwaters on the banks of the Nile in Sudan. “Talking to farmers in Sudanese Nubia, we also learned that river breakwaters continued to be built well into the 1970s, and that the land formed by some of the walls is still cultivated today,” said Matthew Dalton, an archaeologist at the University of Western Australia. “This hydraulic technique played into play. Incredibly durable plants have played a critical role in allowing communities to grow food and thrive in the challenging landscapes of Nubia for more than 3,000 years.”

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The full article has been published in the scientific journal Geoarcheology.

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