Channel built by Urartian king to serve Van tourism
VAN - Anadolu Agency
Urartian documents used to call the channel ‘Menua,’ but the name eventually changed to Şaman, according to documents. AA photos3,000 year-old and 51-kilometer-long water channel, which was constructed at the time of the Urartian Kingdom and considered a wonder of engineering, will be used to attract tourism to Van.
Constructed by the Urartian King Menua in the eastern province of Van’s Gürpınar district to carry water to the city center, the Şamran channel is one of the most important surviving pieces of architecture by the Urartian Kingdom. The Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ) Archaeology Department Associate Professor Rafet Çavuşoğlu said some of the large rocks in the area were carved up and used to build the channel and that agriculture had developed in the region thanks to the water carried by the channel.
He said that Urartian documents used to call the channel “Menua,” but the name eventually changed to Şaman, adding: “Armenian historian Movses mentions that the name Şamzran is after the Assyrian queen Semiramis.” According to Çavuşoğlu’s research, after the Urartian cuneiform was deciphered, the water channel was built by the Urartian King Menua in order to irrigate the Van plains. “After the Urartians, the queen Semiramis rebuilt the channel with her 42,000 workers, according to resources,” he said, adding that the Urartian king Menua’s wife Tariri had a garden in today’s Edremit’s “Green Valley,” which was watered by the Şamran channel.
Çavuşoğlu said that the YYÜ had prepared a project that would enable the channel to serve tourism by using the road that runs alongside the water channel for bicycle tours and various other activities.
“The works from the Urartian era have historical importance. This channel should be used for tourism and we have put forward a proposal. The road that runs alongside the channel can be reorganized and used as an area for bicycle competitions or other activities. In this way, it will contribute greatly to the city’s [tourism],” Çavuşoğlu said.