3,246-year-old Hittite dam revives farming in Turkish village





In this central Turkish village, peasants and archaeologists celebrate a unique achievement -- a 3,246-year-old dam, once buried under mud and slime, is back in service to irrigate farmlands.

The dam is a heritage of the Hittites, who ruled over vast areas of the Middle East from 2000 to 1000 BC, fought Pharaoh Rameses The Great, among others, and built some of the biggest cities of the time in the heart of Anatolia, the Asian part of modern Turkey.

The 2,500 inhabitants of Alacahoyuk know the Hittites well: since the early 20th century, archaeologists have been digging the remains of a royal city at the entrance of their village about 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Ankara.

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