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Lost water canal Al Rudaidah found in Ibri

20 Mar 2024 Lost water canal Al Rudaidah found in Ibri By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Following heavy rains and subsequent flooding caused by a recent weather disturbance affecting the northern governorates of the sultanate, a water canal that had been lost for many decades has been found in Ibri, Dhahirah. 

Called Al Rudaidah, the canal is believed to be of historical significance. It emerged after forceful flow of Wadi al Kabir in Ibri cleared away layers of sand and soil, exposing the canal’s structure. It extends along Wadi al Kabir, running adjacent to Mount Kawas near the centre of Ibri.

Hilal bin Amer al Qasimi, an expert in Omani antiquities and aflaj, informed that the canal was built of stone and plaster, with a tubular-shaped cavity made of brick inside. The canal is  fortified with a wall of slate and stone. It was fed by a falaj which can be traced back to the nearby archaeological site of Al Ghubbi.

Providing details of the canal’s dimensions, Ahmed bin Ali Al Nasiri, who specialises in historical studies, said it is 115m long and 67cm in diameter, with an opening on top to facilitate cleaning and maintenance.

The area at the centre of the wilayat of Ibri along Wadi al Kabir historically benefited from irrigation provided by three falaj systems  – Al Mubuth, Al Mufjur and Al Rudaidah. However, Al Rudaidah faded into obscurity over the years, Nasiri informed.

Abdullah bin Hamad al Jassasi, Supervisor of Ibri Aflaj, highlighted Al Rudaidah’s role as one of the oldest aflaj in the region, responsible for irrigating the Kawas area and its surroundings.

Finding the canal sheds light on the sophisticated water management techniques of the past and underscores the importance of preserving and studying Oman’s rich archaeological heritage.

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