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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1148] (197/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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Umm-az-Zora and Laqdqah.
tJmm-az-Zora is a long island lying in the middle of the Bitairah Hor to the north-weSt
of Haddam. It is intersected by numerous channels and mostly covered with tamarisk
having also a certain amount of rice cultivation.
Laqaqah, is a very extensive rice tract lying south-west of Khazainah and almost
due west of Umm-az-Zora from which it is separated by a comparatively narrow strip
of Hor. It abuts on the desert Jazirah. Like Haddam it has to be protected by ex
pensive dykes.
Cereal land# of 'Audah a)id Shaltaniyah (,Bardah, Buraidah, Daivaimah, Al-Bazunand Al
South of the main Bitairah Hor, and partially screened from ifc by the Haddam block,
lies the smaller Hor-at-Tcira. Round the shores of the latter lie the extensive wheat,
barley and millet lands known as 'Audah ; they are, beginning from the north, Bardah,
Buraidah, Al-Bazun and Al 'Audah (sic). The Muntafiq tribe of Al-Bazun under Shaikh
Fa lib ibn Abu 'Oja cultivate them. The 'Audah lands seem to be at present (February
1916) entirely submerged.
Shattaniyah is a large isolated tract, lying on the southern side of the Bitairah Hor,
about 10 miles to south-east of Haddam, and forms the extreme outpost of cultivation in
the tail-lands or bazayiz of the Bitairah. It is separated from the Hor-at-Tafra by
about 12 miles of desert called Al-Khidhr, which is dotted with ruined mounds called
Al-Hiffa or HuSa. The soil here is very rich and has two crops yearly, one millet
and the other wheat and barley. Shattaniyah is protected against the Hor by
exceptionally big dykes faced with camel-thorn.
Bitairah watering.
It seems evident that the flow of the water in the Bitairah might be diminished afld
regulated with advantage ; not only is the rice cultivation liable to be swamped, but the
extensive barley and wheat crops in 'Audah and Shattaniyah are cftsn drowned.
The Al-Bu-Darraj muqata'ahs lie on the right bank of the Tigris between the 'Azairij
Muqata'ahs of Maj'ar-as-Saghir (on the Tabar and Bitairah rivers) to the east, another
Bani Lam Muqatamah of 'Ali Gharbi and Gutba beyond the Dujailah river
on the north-west. To the south-west they are bounded by the desert Jazirah
stretching to the Hai, while due south is the muqata'ah of 'Audah Shattaniyah.
There is a comparatively small enclave round the town of Kumait on the Tigris
which forms the mvqata'ah of Gassat-al-Gharbi. Probably |th of the apparent area of
the muqata'ahs is taken up by the two immense Hors or shallow lakes, the Hor Gassat-
esh-Sharqi on the east, fed by the Safhah and Safaihah channels from the Tigris, and by
the channels from the Bitairah, and the Hor Ataifiyah on the west, fed mainly by channels
from the Dujailah river. These Hors contract and expand with the volume of water in
the Tigris and its channels, and have to be restrained by a vast system of dykes from
flooding the comparatively narrow rim of cultivated land round them. When they
contract after the summer floods, excellent crops of millet are grown in the damp soil
left bare. Rice cannot be cultivated in them, because their waters do not hold enough
of the silt essential to rice cultival ion. They contain no reeds, the reeds having, it is said,
been killed by excessive floods about the year 1903.
There is in the winter a strip of dry land between the Hor Gassat-ash-Sharqi and the
Bitairah river and between the Hor Ataifiyah and the Hor Gassat -ash-Sharqi—but in the
summer the two Hors coalesce and a vast sheet of water stretches uninterruptedly from
the Dujailah to the Bitairah. 1 he rim round the Hors is devoted to wheat and barley
in the winter and spring and to millet in the autumn,—the only rice land beinc a small
tract near Kumait.
The Gassat-ash-Sharqi Muqata'ah consists of the strip immediately north of the Hor
Gassat-esh-Sharqi between the Hor and the Tigris which is watered by the Safhah and
Safaihah canals. The name Gassat-ash-Sharqi is only an official name and the tract is
locally known as Safhah Safaihah. It is about a mile broad in the cold weather and
grows good barley and wheat crops.
There is practically no cultivation on the strip between Hor Gassat-ash-Sharqi and the
Bitairah river, which is salt land apparently covered with tamarisk.
The Jazrah Muqata'ah comprises all the lands on the south of the Hors Gassat-ash-
i Sharqi and Ataifiyah between them and the Jazirah desert. These lands, beginning

About this item


Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1148] (197/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 February 2020]

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