Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a system of interconnected tunnels, waterfalls, bays, mills and large water channels that work together with great harmony and continuity  and have been built in the Achaemenid to Sassanian periods for more water use.Assigning this collection to Darius the Great.

Famous French archaeologist Madame Jean Diulaux has mentioned this site as the largest industrial complexes known in the pre-industrial revolution era of the world and have been called the "masterpiece of creativity" by UNESCO.

This astounding structure is known as the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, located in the corner of Khuzestan Province, and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

This structure has a deviant channel in the Karun city, which was excavated in the ancient times with the goal of creating a large ditch in the city of Shushtar to prevent the invasion of invaders.

Why Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System?

Due to the time of construction, this work is considered to be the masterpieces of engineering in the world, and is one of the world's most impressive works in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and has been named as the largest industrial complex in the world before the Industrial Revolution.

History of Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Perhaps at first glance, this question arises in your mind why the need for these structures in the city was felt?

Here, to answer this question, we need to know a bit about the history of Shushtar. The oldest works discovered in this city belong to the prehistoric period. In the vicinity of Shushtar with Karoon, the privileged position and decent living conditions in the city were provided to different tribes, and for this reason, many people were willing to reside there. Evidence suggests that Shushtar had a special reputation in the era of Elamite because of its proximity to the Choghaznlab Temple. During the reign of Artaxerxes I, from 465 to 424 BC, the city was restored and became an island between the waters. The need for the construction of water structures in the form of canals, bridge bridges and mills became increasingly important, and the city's face was transformed by the presence of new structures. Of course, the foundation stone of these blue structures had already been laid by Darius the Great and evolved in this era.

Shushtar was considered as the capital of the local rulers of Khuzestan during the period of the Parthians, and at the time of the Sassanid was considered one of the most important centers of Khuzestan. According to the history of Shushtar, the rise of Sasanian Shapur peaked and this city had the brightest historical period of its life. At this time, equipping the irrigation plant, agriculture became a prosperous profession.

The building of the field mills was mostly built during the Safavid era, and the flood of 1342 brought serious damage to them. Of course, the foundation of these mills belongs to the Sassanid period, which has been restored to the present day in the Qajar period.

Today, Shushtar is referred to as the Museum of Aquatic Structures and Water, which is why it is considered as an unspoilt city all over the world.

The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is a complex irrigation system based on evidence dating back to the time of Darius the Great and the 5th century BC.

Residents of Iran during the Achaemenid period to the Sassanian, using a clever scheme of interconnected pools of bridges, bays, mills, waterfalls, canals and massive water tunnels, created water to get more water. Today, perhaps, only part of this complex structure remains, but the water from the effluent of the mills creates beautiful artificial waterfalls that pour into pond areas and create an amazing view of the city.

This collection can be considered a museum of the ancient Iranian water industry, which is a documentary evidence of Iranian advanced knowledge in water engineering sciences, a knowledge that many do not know about it. Closing the Karoun River Route as the bridge is built on a river that is more than 2 meters in width, and then the containment of the water and raising the surface of the water and sending it to agricultural land more than 1700 years ago with tools of that time something Not to be ignored.

Shushtar Daryoun Creek

The Daryoun creek was drilled during Darius 1st Achaemenid period and it was the duty of irrigation in the middle of the Shooshtar plain. This creek is numbered 4141 in the national monuments list. The Daryoun Canal, Dariush Creek or Darah is the name of the lake that was drilled in Darius I of Achaemenid period. This canal brings water from the north to the south and from the west to Shushtar and agricultural land.

This creek, which is responsible for irrigation of Shushtar Mianab plain, separates from Shatie River and after a long distance, it rejoins.

Dams and rivers of this area

Sharabdar dam Bridge

The Sharabdar dam bridge is located in the south of Shushtar and is located on a branch of the Daryoun Creek called the River East-West. We see this structure between the two important structures of the bridges Bandelashgar and the mahibazan bridge, which on the south side is part of the city's fence. This bridge has been registered with the number 4218 on the national list of works.

Band mizan(Mizan dam)

"Band mizan" is a man-made structure whose history dates back to the Sassanid era and is attributed to the Sassanid Shapur. This dam, as its name suggests, has been between two branches for setting or adjusting the waters of the Karun River. The dam divides the amount of water of Karun into two parts and makes it in ratios 2 and 4 in the Gregorian and Shatit rivers. Because of the ratios, the Gurgae River is called Dodange or Merseragh, and Shatit River is chahardange.

Shushtar Gargar Creek

Gargar Creek is an artificial branch of the Karun River, which separates from the Karun River north of Shushtar and leads southward. This Gargar creek with the number 17599 is on the national unesco list.

The reasons for constructing the gargar River include the following:

Reducing the volume of water in the Karun River:

Reducing water levels would reduce the risk of flooding in the city, and also create water structures such as bridges on the river. As the water flow went down, the security of the structures was also provided.

Irrigation of the Upper Territory of the Karun River:

The natural gradient of the region from the east to the west is that by digging the grave the possibility of water flowing in the highlands of the Karun province was provided.

Eٍnhance City security:

The Gregor River has been an obstacle to preventing the arrival of enemies in the city and has been a security point of view.

Shushtar Mahibazan dam

The mahibazan dam has been built on the lands of the historic city of Dasva to keep the water level high. This clause is numbered 4207 in the national list of works.

ِDokhtar Dam(girl dam)

The "Girl Dam" is based on the last mountain passage through which the Karun River passes through it. One of the shallow aquifers of the area, named for its proximity to the castle, is the dokhtar dam. However, some people believe that the reason for this naming is the assignment of the area to Anahita, the goddess of flowing waters and fertility.

Collection of waterfalls and mills

The collection of waterfalls and water mills is the most significant part of this complex, which is evident along the Gargger Bridge and on the riverbank. In this series, a significant number of water mills are seen, which is a great example of the use of water for rotating mills in the past. It is said that in the Shushtar waterfall there were about 40 mills used to make flour. All areas of the cascades and mill structures are made of lime and lime mortar, and the small rooms of this section are also made of stone carvings and rocky walls. In general, this set is divided into three parts:

Collection Eastern Area

There are about 10 mills in this area, including two brothers mill, Darab Khan, Haj Mendel, Ratagh and City Crater. Each of these mills has two millstones and their water needs are supplied from the city's crater tunnel and from the tunnel.

Collection North area

The buildings in this area are less old than other buildings. In this area, we can see the works: Goddess mills, Raza Golab or Cheese mills, Razvand mills, facilities related to the Mostofi Electric Power Plant, built in 1332, and a pumped house that was supplied with water from the city. The triple furnace tunnel provides these mills, and the water needed by the power plant comes from the city's crater tunnel.

Collection Western Area

There are 21 mills in this area, the water needed for these mills is provided by a three-tunnel. The entrance to the western area is via the Pol-called Duplon. The mills of this site are made in two types of slopes. In addition to mills, the Jolazade Ice Factory (1334) and a water pump are also available. Below the staircase on the western plaza (the staircase was the link between the old texture of the city and the western area) and on the roof of the so-called Vulli building with a square plan and a dome-shaped ceiling in the style of the fire that is attached to the chapel. At the end of the enclosure is Sika. The entry into these chambers is provided through rock formations.

Shushtar collection Address:

Shoushtar, Khuzestan Province, south of Gargar Bridge and Shariati Street, between Gargar Branch

Visits information

Collection Visitation time:

Every day other than Ashura and Tasua, 21 Ramadan, 25 Shawal, 28 Zero and 14 Khordad.

Collection Visiting Hours:

08:00 to 20:00 in the first six months of the year and from 08:00 to 17:30 in the second six months of the year.