Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System: Achaemenians have built amazing buildings in the history of their rule. Buildings that, in addition to their beauty and splendor, are famous for their precise engineering structure. One of the most beautiful and precise engineering architectures, whose construction lasted until the Sassanid era, is Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System.


Shushtar historical hydraulic systems have a very rich history and their construction dates back to the Achaemenid era. Considering the engineering science and tools of that time, this monument is a very strange phenomenon that has been registered in UNESCO.

 The city of Shushtar has a history of thousands of years and dates back to the Paleolithic era.One of the reasons for Shushtar’s constant prosperity throughout history is its proximity to the Karun River. The proximity of Shushtar to the temple of Chaghazanbil made this city very important among the Elamites. Therefore, the first Iranian civilizations were formed in Shushtar.

 The Achaemenid era was the peak of Iranian civilization, art and science. They built this industrial and water structure with very precise engineering. Shushtar historical hydraulic system was rebuilt many times during the Sassanid, Seljuk, Qajar and even Pahlavi eras. But unfortunately, a strong flood caused severe damage to this structure.

The purpose of the Achaemenians in building this hydraulic system was to make more use of running water. Over time, various parts were added to this clay hydraulic system and formed the largest water museum of ancient Iran.

Among the attractions of Shushtar’s historic hydraulic system, bridges, dams, mills, water guiding channels are all built with the most accurate mathematical and environmental calculations in running water to supply urban water and water needed by agricultural lands in the best way.


Shushtar historical hydraulic system architecture is one of the wonders of history. The architecture and resistance of this building over the years is one of its unique features. Building such a great structure with simple tools required a very high level of knowledge at that time. In order to fully waterproof the structure, the architects created holes in the stone and mortar so that this structure would remain healthy for thousands of years.

One of the most important architectural goals of Shushtar’s historical hydraulic system was the diversion of Karun water to another direction. This work was done with complete precision and elegance, and the bottom of this stream was well waterproofing so that the stream bed would not be destroyed over time.

After that, the water was collected behind a high dam and passed through the holes created on the rock. Then the water was passed through the water mills and finally entered the streams and tunnels. At the end, the water flowed from the rocks into a small pond in the form of a beautiful waterfall to provide the agricultural and drinking needs of the villagers.

 Iranians attached great importance to the water distribution system and, of course, saving its consumption, and Shushtar’s  historical hydraulic system is a sign of this.


Shushtar historical hydraulic system has different parts. Each of these parts has played an important role in the overall performance of the structure.

1- Gargar Bridge-Dam

This bridge was built on the path of the Gargar River to block the water and create a level difference, to direct the water into the three channels. These canals direct part of the water to the mills, and in addition to starting the mill cycle, part of the water flows into the water ponds through waterfalls.

2- Mizan Dam

The beginning of the process of dividing water in Shushtar’s historic hydraulic system takes place from this Dam. This Dam is made of stone and Sarooj in a semi-circle shape and is located on the Karun River. The Mizan dam is responsible for dividing water between the Gargar and Shatit rivers. The dam is about 400 meters long and 5 meters high. The purpose of building this dam was to raise the water level for easier use of water resources in agriculture.

3-Kolah Ferangi tower

At the end of Mizan Band and on top of the hill, there is an octagonal brick tower with a height of 7 meters, which has a complete view of the band. According to the historical documents of this tower, it was the observation point of Caesar Rome or Shapur Sassani to monitor the workers in Mizan Band. Today, a large part of this damaged tower has been registered in the list of national monuments of Iran.

4- The hand-made river of Gregar

When the Mizan Dam divides the water of the Karun River, a part of this water flows into a river whose bed and path were designed and created by the architects of Shushtar’s historic hydraulic system. This 40 km route became known as the Gregar River. Today, there are many green palm trees around this river, which are called Bagh Khan.

5-Water mills

There are many water mills in Shushtar historical hydraulic system. These water mills have shown the government’s focus on the maximum use of natural energy. In this system, the power of water caused movement in the mill cycles. The rotation of the mill was a great help in preparing flour for the farmers. According to historical studies, there were 40 water mills in this area in the past, today only half of these mills remain.

6- 4000 year old staircase

These handmade stairs connected Shushtar’s historic hydraulic system to the residential area. Historians have estimated the age of the stairs to be a thousand years ago. There are stone inscriptions on the path of the stairs, which show that this beautiful clay path has a much longer history.

7-Dara Dam

  Different dynasties used Shushtar’s historic hydraulic system and a new part has been added to it in each period. Dara Dam, which is located on the Gargar River, is considered one of the most important dams in this region. This Dam dates back to the Achaemenid period and has a very high historical value.

8- Darion channel

The name of the Darion River is derived from the name of Darius the Great. The function of this channel is to transfer water from the north to the south of the city. The Mianab plain was irrigated through this channel.


The historical hydraulic system complex of Shushtar is full of tourist attractions. Visiting this historical complex will be a unique experience for every tourist.

This monument is known as one of the technical and engineering masterpieces of the world, which has been registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System have been registered in the world list of UNESCO and by joining the UNESCO tours organized by Oak Travel agency, visit these special and spectacular system.


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