Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Factoid of the day

comes from StrategyPage about Algeria, about the Arab/Berber conflict.

About 30 percent of Algerians are Berber, but the percentage is higher in the south. Ghardaia is an ancient Berber city of 90,000 that contains many Ibadi shrines.

as they rewrite the history of Egypt, the importance of the Sahel and the oases, along with the Nubian influences, are being reexamined.

But I never knew there was a fairly decent sized city in the Sahara...check wikipedia

no, it's not "ancient": Only 1000 years old according to wikipedia, but I suspect it dates further back...however, the water system is the key to being able to live there:

Gharda├»a's ancient water distribution system was devised by the Mozabites, keeping in view the ephemeral flows of its oueds (rivers). Realising the preciousness of this natural resource, the Mozabites developed a unique hydraulic system of underground tunnels to harvest rainwater and divert it to the oases. They have an equitable water distribution to all gardens and also maintain good flood protection measures.[5][15] The water supply is accessed in a number of ways through an incredible irrigation system that distributes water from many wells.[9] Well drilling occurs to a depth ranging from 350 ft (110 m) to 500 ft (150 m), then drawing the water from the Albian fossil groundwater continental infill whose reserves are estimated at 1.5 trillion m3. It is also sourced[15]

 underground irrigation tunnels?

Bookmarked for further reading.

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