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Abbasid History Podcast

Apr 1, 2024

Part of the “Source of Life: Water Management in the Premodern Middle East” project (Radboud Institute for Culture and History). 

Ep2. Mesopotamia: Taming the Euphrates

Mesopotamia means “the land between the rivers.” The fertile silt and life-giving waters from the rivers Tigris and Euphrates allowed the region to develop into a key area of human settlement and culture in the late Holocene around 12000 years ago. In this episode we discuss the earliest settlements in Mesopotamia and how humans have managed their rela.tionship to the rivers in Iraq up until today.

Speaker: Jaafar Jotheri. Interviewer: Edmund Hayes.

Dr. Jaafar Jotheri is Assistant Professor in Geo-Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Al-Qadisiyah

This episode was produced by Edmund Hayes and Jouke Heringa.

Further Reading

“Tigris-Euphrates River System”, Encyclopaedia Britannica,

T Wilkinson, L Rayne, J Jotheri, “Hydraulic landscapes in Mesopotamia: the role of human niche construction” Water History 7 (4), 397-418

TJ Wilkinson, J Jotheri “The Origins of Levee and Levee-Based Irrigation in the Nippur Area–Southern Mesopotamia” From Sherds to Landscapes: Studies on the Ancient Near East in Honor of McGuire Gibson, SAOC 71, edited by Mark Altaweel and Carrie Hritz  (Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2021).

Edmund Hayes

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