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II Die natürliche Umwelt

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Chapter Summary

The chapter discusses the natural environmental history of the small region around the al-Ḥīra. The ecological history of the Babylonian river oasis is determined by two factors that differ fundamentally from the other known major river oasis of the region, the Nile Valley: the unstable flow patterns and soil salinity. The settlement and agricultural area of al-Ḥīra, the Sawad al-Ḥīra, were watered by a canal system, which was fed by the Euphrates branch water. Southeast of al-Ḥīra located in the Islamic period is still another waterbodies, namely the large swampy area of southern Mesopotamia. The other determinant of environmental history of the al-Ḥīra was the strong soil salinity due to constant irrigation and high evaporation rate. The chapter concludes that the area around the al-Ḥīra was considered to be a very fertile agricultural area due to soil quality and climatic conditions. The original text of the chapter is in German.

Keywords: al-Ḥīra; Babylonian river water oasis; ecological history; Euphrates; natural environment; soil salinity; swampy area



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