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The Great Swamp

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Chapter Summary

The great swamp of Lower Mesopotamia is formed: by the flood waters drawn off from the Tigris about and below the latitude of Amara town by six principal canals, Musharrah, Chahala and Michariyya on the left bank (eastern marsh)-Butayra, Majarr as-Saghir and Majarr al-Kabir on the right bank (central marsh); and to the east of Suq ash-Shuyukh by the overflow from the Euphrates (southern marsh). The first operation in the construction of a tunnel-shaped house is to erect in two parallel lines a number of pillars of reeds, embedded in the ground and sloping outwards at an angle of perhaps thirty degrees from the vertical. The rice-lands are a maze of silt-laden canals and clear-water drains, both often attaining the dimensions of broad rivers. The island boasted about seventy primitive huts of Al Bu Ghannam Ma‘dan.

Keywords: Al Bu Ghannam Ma‘dan; Amara; great swamp; lower Mesopotamia; Tigris; tunnel-shaped house



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