Mosul, on the bank of the Tigris, 1861
The Tigris is 1,750 km long, rising in the Taurus Mountains
of eastern Turkey
about 25 km southeast of the city of Elazig
and about 30 km from the headwaters of the Euphrates. The river then flows for 400 km through Southeastern Turkey before becoming part of the Syria-Turkey border
. This stretch of 44 km is the only part of the river that is located in Syria.
Some of its affluences are Garzan, Anbarçayi, Batman
, and the Great
and the Little Zab
, the capital of Iraq
, stands on the banks of the Tigris. The port city of Basra
straddles the Shatt al-Arab. In ancient times, many of the great cities of Mesopotamia
stood on or near the Tigris, drawing water from it to irrigate the civilization of the Sumerians
. Notable Tigris-side cities included Nineveh
, and Seleucia
, while the city of Lagash
was irrigated by the Tigris via a canal dug around 2900 B.C.
The Tigris has long been an important transport route in a largely desert country. Shallow-draft vessels can go as far as Baghdad, but rafts are needed for transport upstream to Mosul
General Francis Rawdon Chesney
hauled two steamers overland through Syria in 1836 to explore the possibility of an overland and river route to India. One steamer, the Tigris
, was wrecked in a storm which sank and killed twenty. Chesney proved the river navigable to powered craft. In 1855, a convoy of rafts carrying antiquities from Victor Place's
expedition to Khorsabad
's to Kuyunjik
's to Babylon
was sunk by local tribes near Al-Qurnah
Later, the Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Company was established in 1861 by the Lynch Brothers trading company
, who had two steamers in service. By 1908 ten steamers were on the river. Tourists boarded steam yachts to venture inland as this was the first age of archaeological tourism, and the sites of Ur
became popular with European travellers.
In the First World War
, during the British conquest of Ottoman Mesopotamia
, Indian and Thames River paddlers were used to supply General Charles Townsend
's army, in the Siege of Kut
and the Fall of Baghdad (1917)
The Tigris Flotilla included vessels Clio, Espiegle, Lawrence, Odin, armed tug Comet, armed launches Lewis Pelly, Miner, Shaitan, Sumana, and sternwheelers Muzaffari/Muzaffar. These were joined by Royal Navy Fly-class gunboats
Butterfly, Cranefly, Dragonfly, Mayfly, Sawfly, Snakefly, and Mantis, Moth, and Tarantula.
After the war, river trade declined in importance during the 20th century as the Basra-Baghdad-Mosul railway
, a previously unfinished portion of the Baghdad Railway
, was completed and roads took over much of the freight traffic.
Bedouin crossing the river Tigris with plunder (c.1860)
The original Sumerian Idigna
was probably from *id (i)gina
which can be interpreted as "the swift river", contrasted to its neighbour, the Euphrates, whose leisurely pace caused it to deposit more silt
and build up a higher bed than the Tigris. The Sumerian form was borrowed into Akkadian
, and from there into the other Semitic languages
(cf. Hebrew Ḥîddeqel, Syriac Deqlaṯ
, Arabic Dijlah
Another name for the Tigris used in Middle Persian
was Arvand Rud
, literally "swift river". Today, however, Arvand Rud
: اروند رود
) refers to the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers (known in Arabic
as the Shatt al-Arab
). In Kurdish
, it is also known as Ava Mezin
, "the Great Water".
The name of the Tigris in languages that have been important in the region:
Management and water quality
The Tigris is heavily dammed in Iraq and Turkey to provide water for irrigating the arid and semi-desert regions bordering the river valley. Damming has also been important for averting floods in Iraq, to which the Tigris has historically been notoriously prone following April melting of snow in the Turkish mountains.
Recent Turkish damming of the river has been the subject of some controversy, for both its environmental effects within Turkey and its potential to reduce the flow of water downstream. Mosul Dam
is the largest dam in Iraq.
Water from both rivers is used as a means of pressure during conflicts.
In 2014 a major breakthrough in developing consensus between multiple stakeholder representatives of Iraq and Turkey on a Plan of Action for promoting exchange and calibration of data and standards pertaining to Tigris river flows was achieved. The consensus which is referred to as the "Geneva Consensus On Tigris River" was reached at a meeting organized in Geneva
by the think tank Strategic Foresight Group
Religion and mythology
Tigris River in Baghdad (2016)
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Iraq 1932–1959 depicting the two rivers, the confluence Shatt al-Arab and the date palm forest, which used to be the largest in the world
- ^ a b Isaev, V.A.; Mikhailova, M.V. (2009). "The hydrology, evolution, and hydrological regime of the mouth area of the Shatt al-Arab River". Water Resources. 36 (4): 380–395. doi:10.1134/S0097807809040022.
- ^ Kolars, J.F.; Mitchell, W.A. (1991). The Euphrates River and the Southeast Anatolia Development Project. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-8093-1572-6.
- ^ "Diyarbakir". europeanwalledtowns. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
- ^ Pliny: Natural History, VI, XXVI, 128-131
- ^ Namio Egami, "The Report of The Japan Mission For The Survey of Under-Water Antiquities At Qurnah: The First Season," (1971-72), 1-45, https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/orient1960/8/0/8_0_1/_pdf.
- ^ Larsen, M.T., The Conquest of Assyria: Excavations in an Antique Land, Routledge, 2014, pp 344-49
- ^ "Mesopotamia, Tigris-Euphrates, 1914-1917, despatches, killed and died, medals". naval-history.net. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- ^ F. Delitzsch, Sumerisches Glossar, Leipzig (1914), IV, 6, 21.
- ^ a b Genesis 2:14
- ^ E. Laroche, Glossaire de la langue Hourrite, Paris (1980), p. 55.
- ^ Vidal, John. "Water supply key to the outcome of conflicts in Iraq and Syria, experts warn" The Guardian, 2 July 2014.
- ^ "Analysis & Water Agenda". ORSAM. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- ^ Borger, Julian (29 February 2016). "Iraqi PM and US issue warnings over threat of Mosul dam collapse". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- ^ "US warns of Mosul dam collapse in northern Iraq". BBC News. BBC. BBC. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- ^ Jeremy A. Black, The Literature of Ancient Sumer, Oxford University Press 2004, ISBN 0-19-926311-6 p. 220-221
- ^ Daniel 10:4
- ^ "Sunan Abi Dawud 4306 - Battles (Kitab Al-Malahim) - كتاب الملاحم - Sunnah.com - River of Dajal(Tigris)". sunnah.com. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tigris
- Livius.org: Tigris
- Hausleiter, A., M. Roaf, St J. Simpson, R. Wenke, P. Flensted Jensen, R. Talbert, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 912964 (Tigris/Diglitus fl.)". Pleiades. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- Managing the Tigris and Euphrates Watershed
- Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law Peace Palace Library
- Outline of WWI Battles involving the Tigris River
- Old maps of the Tigris, Eran Laor Cartographic Collection, The National Library of Israel
Last edited on 8 May 2021, at 11:42
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