• 7th century BC

    The first inscription mentioning the qanat dates back to the 7th century BC when during a battle in Persia the Assyrian king Sargon II described the unearthing of underground water canals.

  • 5th century BC

    The foggara system is mentioned by Herodotus, Greek historian.

  • 2nd century BC

    Polybius, the Greek historian refers to so many underground wells and canals dug in the desert of Asia Minor that “nowadays he whom exploits those waters does not know whence they spring, nor where they are conveyed”(Tales X, 28).

  • 1st century BC

    Vitruvius, a Roman architect and essay writer describes among “the techniques to find water” the one based on the airing of wells connected to each other by underground pipes (De architectura VIIIm, 1, 6).

  • 7th century AD-onward

    During the Muslim period several essays on the maintenance and the construction of drainage systems are written.

  • 11th century AD

    The mathematician Hasan al-Hasib al Karagi wrote “the art of making hidden waters spring”.

  • 12th - 17th century AD

    Wide use of the khettara /foggara irrigation system in many sites in Morocco. It is possible that khettara first came to Morocco from the Middle East following the Islamic revolution.

  • Today

    Some of the foggara systems are still in use today in many countries

Next: Appendix