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Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, is an island city from the Sassanian era with a complex irrigation system.

The river was channelled to form a moat around the city, while bridges and main gates into Shushtar were built to the east, west, and south. Several rivers nearby are conducive to the extension of agriculture; the cultivation of sugar cane, the main crop, dates back to 226 CE. A system of subterranean channels called Ghanats, which connected the river to the private reservoirs of houses and buildings, supplied water for domestic use and irrigation, as well as to store and supply water during times of war when the main gates were closed. Traces of these ghanats can still be found in the crypts of some houses. This complex system of irrigation degenerated during the 19th century.


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Site info

Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System
Country: Iran
Inscribed: 2009
Cultural Heritage
Criteria:  (1) (2) (5)
Category: Secular structure, Civic / Public Works

Site history:
2009 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription

Site links

Official website:
»Shustar's water structures

In the news:
» UNESCO has demanded that Iran explain the situation following the collapse of a portion of the Gargar Bridge at the Shushtar's ancient water system (26-04-2011).

Related links:
» Shustar government website.

Related Forum posts:
Not available

Getting there

This WHS has 1 location(s).


Canals . Notable Bridges .
Sassanid Empire .
Human Activity
Irrigation and drainage .
Built in the 3rd century .
WHS on Other Lists
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) .

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