Dams History

Early dam building took place in Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Dams were used to control the water level, for Mesopotamia's weather affected the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Roman Cornalvo DamThe earliest known dam is the Jawa Dam in Jordan, 100 kilometres (62 mi) northeast of the capital Amman. This gravity dam featured an originally 9-metre-high (30 ft) and 1 m-wide (3.3 ft) stone wall, supported by a 50 m-wide (160 ft) earth rampart. The structure is dated to 3000 BC.

The Ancient Egyptian Sadd-el-Kafara Dam at Wadi Al-Garawi, located about 25 km (16 mi) south of Cairo, was 102 m (335 ft) long at its base and 87 m (285 ft) wide. The structure was built around 2800 or 2600 BC as a diversion dam for flood control, but was destroyed by heavy rain during construction or shortly afterwards. During the Twelfth Dynasty in the 19th century BC, the Pharaohs Senosert III, Amenemhat III and Amenemhat IV dug a canal 16 km (9.9 mi) long linking the Fayum Depression to the Nile in Middle Egypt. Two dams called Ha-Uar running east-west were built to retain water during the annual flood and then release it to surrounding lands. The lake called "Mer-wer" or Lake Moeris covered 1,700 km2 (660 sq mi) and is known today as Berkat QarounMore details