Les Qanats de Dumat al-Jandal (publication)

Summary :
As an obsolete underground water supply system, the qanat is particularly affected by the destruction and demolition taking place within the oases of Saudi Arabia. In a period of economic and demographic growth, the oasis of Dumat al-Jandal (province of Jawf) is a good example of such an evolution. Qanats have been replaced by ever deeper pumping systems since the mid-twentieth century, and the series of shafts associated with these monumental structures, well known elsewhere in the Middle East, are no longer visible from the surface, primarily for reasons of security. The investigation conducted since 2011 by the Saudi–Italian–French archaeological project in Dumat al-Jandal provides a first image of the ancient hydraulic network through a combination of complementary analyses integrated into a GIS : field surveys, oral information gathering, underground exploration, analysis of old aerial photographs and comparison with recent satellites images.