The Ancient Irrigation

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

The model shows how an ancient irrigation system worked.

1. Gates controlled how much water flowed from the river.

2. Main canals led from the river. They sloped gently downward to keep the water flowing. 3. Medium-sized branch canals led away from the main canals.

4. Small feeder canals led water directly to the fields.

Irrigation As early as 6000 B.C., Mesopotamian farmers began to take steps to control the water supply. They built earthen walls along the riverbanks to hold back excess water during floods. They also built canals to carry water from the rivers to their fields. Such a system for watering dry land is called irrigation irrigation. Water from the Tigris and Euphrates was muddy, and silt often clogged the canals. Keeping canals clean and the water flowing was a constant challenge for Mesopotamian farmers.

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