An interdisciplinary investigation about history and culture of Harsin : A study by Mohammad Reza (Fariborz) Hamzehee of Razi University.
Harsin is a relatively small town, lying 60 kilometers south east of Kermanshah, a provincial capital of Western Iranian province of the same name.
Harsin has been inhabited since the pre-historical times. The pre-historical site of Harsin has not yet be excavated, but another site near the town called Ganj Dara, is supposed to have been built eleven thousand five hundred years ago.
Remaining of a fort and a palace, related to the Sassanid period has been studied by German archeologist, Dietrich Huff.
Despite cultural and historical importance of Harsin, the relatively limited research of the above mentioned archeologist is the only scientific work of any kind performed about Harsin up to now.
The author of present work, belonging to a family which has played a main role in political life of Harsin during the Qajar period, had excess to some unknown documents which he has used to reconstruct the history of the town. Due to his unique relations with native people, he has been able for the fist
investigation about history and culture of Harsin
time to collect interesting data regarding material and non-material culture of Harsin.
Therefore in addition to historical part and description of the non-material culture, in the last part of this work, a detailed study of its ancient irrigation system has been presented.
Up to now several researches have been made about Kariz irrigation system as one of the most valuable heritage of Iranian indigenous knowledge. But for the first time in this study, it has been attempted to show that Kariz was not the only efficient irrigation system in this country. In places like Harsin, in addition to Kariz a fascinating system of canalization has been providing water for consumption, sanitation, public houses, mills as well as agriculture in the most scientific methods and for thousands of years.
This study compares the problematic modern system of constructing wells with most ecological traditional system of canalization. Without any commentary the description of different constructed ancient canals is indicating the value of indigenous knowledge within the field of sustainable development.
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