Shushtar Hydraulic System

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is an interconnected set of bridges, gangways, mills, waterfalls, canals and massive guiding tunnels that work together. The initial infrastructure was built during the Achaemenid and the Sassanian era for making more use of water. Madame Jean Diulafova, the famous French archeologist, in an account of her travels, has referred to this site as the largest industrial complex before the Industrial Revolution.

Shushtar Hydraulic System is an interconnected set of bridges, gangways, mills, waterfalls, canals and massive guiding tunnels that work together. The initial infrastructure was built during the Achaemenid and the Sassanian era for making more use of water. Madame Jean Diulafova, the famous French archeologist, in an account of her travels, has referred to this site as the largest industrial complex before the Industrial Revolution.The basis structure of stone mills and waterfalls in Shushtar Hydraulic System is hand-made tunnels located on both sides of the Gargar weir to bring water from behind the dam towards it. “Se Kooreh” and “dahaneh shahr” are two tunnels that lead major water into the complex.

 The “se kooreh” puts the largest volume of water into the complex due to lower level of its spout and supplying with a larger entrance. After that, the “dahaneh shahr” provides water to a number of other mills from other side of complex.

Eventually, a much larger and longer spout, known as a “ bolayti ” spout, does a bypass job in today’s dams, Extra water passed by the complex through “ bolayti ” spout and evacuated out of the complex across the “bagh e khan”  in order to prevent the damage to the mills and waterfalls, as the water level rises in the watery seasons. Finally the guided water by these hand-made tunnels is used for twisting fascinating mills.

Over the years, entrance water has been used for a various uses, such as mills operation, gardens irrigation and agricultural goods, turning the turbines of two power plants, Ice production in ice factories, and pumping water for urban use in the past.

In 1312, a 110-volt power plant was built in this area, which was considered as the second hydroelectric plant after the Abbas Abad plant in Hamadan. Ten years later, another 220 volt power plant was set up.

The ice factory in the complex of mills and waterfalls provided needed ice of Shushtar and villages around it for many years after revolution.

The Marashi House on the northern side of the complex is a beautifully designed house belonging to Marashi’s one of the Qajar lords.  Also “bagh e khan” a Marashi’s resort was a beautiful garden at the end of the complex, with different kinds of trees.

The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System complex was registered on June 26, 2009, at the Annual Meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain, entitled “Shushtar Water Structure” as the tenths of Iran’s heritage in UNESCO World Heritage list with the registration number 1315.

 

  Indite and photo by: Sadeq Hajizadeh 

Gathering by: Omid Aramfar

Translator: Gelareh Ghozati