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21 November 2012
Hittites ahead of their time in dam building

A dam unearthed during excavation work in the northern Anatolian province of Corum reveals construction techniques similar to those used today. The dam, which dates back to the Hittite period, is the oldest ever found in Anatolia (now part of Turkey).
     "This dam was built 3,250 years ago but with …clay instead of cement," said Professor Aykut Cınaroglu, who heads the excavations at Alacahoyuk. "There was a big problem of drought in that period. It has been proven …this drought stretched to Spain," Cınaroglu said, adding that 11 to 13 dams were constructed in Central Anatolia during the same period.
     "When we consider that these dams were built by hand, they were [comparatively] very big. It was ordered by Pudu-Hepa, the wife of the King III Hattushili, the 'Hurrem Sultan' of the Hittite period. It was dedicated to the goddess Hepat," Cınaroglu said. "The dam had been used to provide water for animals for thousands of years. Analyses have shown that its water is very clean," he concluded.

Edited from Hurriyet Daily News (5 November 2012)

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