Diyala River

The Diyala River, is a river and tributary of the Tigris. It is formed by the confluence of Sirwan river and Tanjero river in Darbandikhan Dam in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate of Northern Iraq. It covers a total distance of 445 km (277 mi).

Diyala river
Dyala river
Physical characteristics
 - locationNorth of Iraq/Western Iran
 - location
Tigris River
Length445 km (277 mi)
Basin size32,600 km2 (12,600 sq mi)[1]
Basin features
 - leftSirwan
 - rightTanjero


Diyala river

It rises near Hamadan, in the Zagros Mountains of Iran. It then descends through the mountains, where for some 32 km it forms the border between the two countries. It finally feeds into the Tigris below Baghdad. Navigation of the upper reaches of the Diyala is not possible because of its narrow defiles, but the river's valley provides an important trade route between Iran and Iraq.

The river flows southwest of the Hamrin Mountains.


Its Aramaic origin is "Diyalas" and in Kurdish it is called "Sirwan", meaning 'roaring sea' or 'shouting river'. In early Islamic period, the lower course of the river formed part of the Nahrawan Canal. The Diyala Governorate in Iraq is named after the river.


Bil-Sirwan intersection
Junction of the Bil And Sirwan Riv

The river is mentioned in Herodotus' Histories under the name Gyndes, where it is stated that the king Cyrus the Great dispersed it by digging 360 channels as punishment after a sacred white horse perished there. The river returned to its former proportions after the channels disappeared under the sand.

The Battle of Diyala River took place in 693 BC between the forces of the Assyrian empire and the Elamites of southern Iran.

In March 1917 the British Empire defeated the Ottoman Empire at the confluence with the Tigris, leading to the Fall of Baghdad, part of the Mesopotamian Campaign of World War I.


This area flourished already during the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods, through to the Akkadian period. During the Larsa period, Eshnunna especially became prominent.

Major excavations were done in the lower Diyala river basin in the 1930s. They were conducted by the University of Chicago Oriental Institute (1930–1937) and by the University of Pennsylvania (1938–1939). The sites such as Tell Agrab, Tell Asmar (ancient Eshnunna), Ishchali (ancient Neribtum), and Khafaje (ancient Tutub) were excavated.

In Tell Asmar, the Tell Asmar Hoard is particularly notable. Twelve remarkable statues were found belonging to the Early Dynastic period (2900–2350 BC).

At that time, the Diyala was relatively unexplored compared to southern and northern Mesopotamia. But looting of sites was already underway. As the result, the professional excavations were launched.

Archaeologists James Breasted and Henri Frankfort were leading these projects.

These excavations provided very comprehensive data on Mesopotamian archaeology and chronology. They covered the time between the late Uruk period and the end of the Old Babylonian period (3000–1700 BC).

Subsequently, nine detailed monographs were published, but most of the objects, numbering 12,000, remained unpublished. Launched in 1992, the Diyala Database Project has been publishing a lot of this material.[2]

Other scholars who worked there were Thorkild Jacobsen as epigrapher, Seton Lloyd, and Pinhas Delougaz.[3]

More recently, the Diyala region was also explored intensively as part of the Hamrin Dam Salvage Project.[4]

The following sites were excavated from 1977 to 1981: Tell Yelkhi, Tell Hassan, Tell Abu Husaini, Tell Kesaran, Tell Harbud, Tell al-Sarah, and Tell Mahmud.[5]

Scarlet Ware

A type of pottery known as 'Scarlet Ware', a brightly coloured pottery with pictorial representations, was typical of sites along the Diyala River.[6] It developed around 2800 BC, and is related to the Jemdet Nasr ware in central Mesopotamia of the same period. The red colour was achieved predominantly by using haematite paint.

Scarlet Ware is typical of Early Dynastic I and II periods.[7] Along the Diyala is located one of the most important trade routes linking south Mesopotamia with the Iranian plateau. Thus, Scarlet ware was also popular in Pusht-i Kuh, Luristan, and it was traded to Susa during Susa II period.


In Iran the Daryan Dam is currently under construction near Daryan in Kermanshah Province. The purpose of the dam is to divert a significant portion of the river to Southwestern Iran for irrigation through the 48 km (30 mi) long Nosoud Water Conveyance Tunnel and to produce hydroelectric power.[8][9] In Iraq, the river first reaches the Darbandikhan Dam which generates hydroelectric power and stores water for irrigation. It then flows down to the Hemrin Dam for similar purposes. In the lower Diyala Valley near Baghdad the river is controlled by the Diyala Weir which controls floods and irrigates the area northeast of Baghdad.

Lake Darbandikhan

Lake Darbandikhan

Darbandikhan Dam Spillway USACE NWD

Darbandikhan Dam

Diyala Weir3 USACE NWD

Diyala Weir

See also


  1. ^ Hussein, Haitham A. (June 2010). "Dependable Discharges of The Upper and Middle Diyala Basins". Journal of Engineering. 16 (2): 4960–4969. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  2. ^ Diyala Project
  3. ^ POTTERY FROM THE DIYALA REGION. By Pinhas Delougaz (The University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications, vol. LXIII). XXII+182 pp. +204 plates, Chicago 1952.
  4. ^ McGuire Gibson (ed.), Uch Tepe I: Tell Razuk, Tell Ahmed al-Mughir, Tell Ajamat, Hamrin Reports 10, Copenhagen, 1981.
  5. ^ IRAQ - Hamrin Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino per il Medio Oriente e l'Asia
  6. ^ Francesco Del Bravo, 'Scarlet Ware': Origins, Chronology and Developments, in M. Lebeau - P. de Miroschedji (eds), ARCANE Interregional Vol. I: Ceramics (ARCANE Interregional I), Turnhout (Brepols), 2014: 131-147
  7. ^ Scarlet Ware jar
  8. ^ "Darian Dam" (in Persian). Iran Water Resources Management. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Water Tunnel Nosoud" (in Persian). JTMA. Retrieved 17 May 2013.

Coordinates: 33°13′15″N 44°30′23″E / 33.2208°N 44.5064°E


Al-Sadiyah or As-Sadiyah (Arabic: السعدية‎) is a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq. It is located near the Diyala River 8 km south of Jalawla.


Baqubah (Aramaic: ܒܰܩܽܘܒܰܐ‎, Arabic: بعقوبة‎; BGN: Ba‘qūbah; also spelled Baquba and Baqouba) is the capital of Iraq's Diyala Governorate. The city is located some 50 km (31 mi) to the northeast of Baghdad, on the Diyala River. In 2003 it had an estimated population of some 467,900 people.

Baqubah served as a way station between Baghdad and Khorasan on the medieval Silk Road. During the Abbasid Caliphate, it was known for its date and fruit orchards, irrigated by the Nahrawan Canal. Situated on the main road and rail routes between Baghdad and Iran it is a centre of trade for agricultural produce. It is now known as the centre of Iraq's commercial orange groves.

Battle of Diyala River

The Battle of Diyala River took place in 693 BC between the forces of the Assyrian empire and the Elamites of southern Iran.

Battle of Mount Hamrin

The Battle of Mount Hamrin was an unsuccessful British effort to cut off part of the Ottoman Sixth Army after the capture of Baghdad during the Mesopotamia campaign during the First World War.

Bawanur Dam

The Bawanur Dam is an earth-fill dam currently being constructed on the Diyala River just upstream of the town of Bawanur in Sulaymaniyah Governorate, Iraq. The 23 m (75 ft) tall dam will support a 32 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power station. It will also serve to control floods and provide water for irrigation. In August 2013, the Kurdistan Regional Government signed a US$200 million contract with the Romanian firm, Hidroconstrucția, to build the dam and power station. The project is expected to be complete in 2018.

Darbandikhan Dam

The Darbandikhan Dam (Kurdish: Bendava Derbendîxanê‎; Sorani Kurdish: بەنداوی دەربەندیخان‎, translit. Bendawî Derbendîxanê) is a multi-purpose embankment dam on the Diyala River in northern Sulaymaniyah Governorate, Iraq. It was constructed between 1956 and 1961. The purpose of the dam is irrigation, flood control, hydroelectric power production and recreation. Due to poor construction and neglect, the dam and its 249 MW power station have undergone several repairs over the years. A rehabilitation of the power station began in 2007 and was completed in 2013.


Diyala (transliterated from the Arabic ديالى) may refer to:

Diyala FC

Diyala Governorate

Diyala River

Diyala Weir

Diyala Weir, also known as the Diyala Barrage, is a diversion dam on the Diyala River 90 km northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. It was constructed between 1966 and 1969. The main purpose of the dam is to divert outflow of the Hemrin Dam (11 km upstream) on the Diyala River to the Khalis and Sadr Al-Mushtarak canals for irrigation.The weir and its associated extensive irrigation scheme, were designed in the 1960s by the Consulting Engineers Sir Murdoch McDonald and Partners, of High Holborn, London. At each end it incorporates irrigation canals. These and the weir are crossed by road bridges designed to take the heaviest loads, namely a tank on a wheeled transporter. The bridge works were designed by the then Captain B P Daly of Royal Engineers, who was attached to the Consultants. The weir was featured on a set of three Iraqi postage stamps.


The Gambulu, Gambulai, or Gambuli were a tribe of Arameans in ancient Babylonia. They were the most powerful tribe along the eastern border of Babylonia, or in the south toward the border with Elam. It is difficult to pinpoint their exact location. H. W. F. Saggs places them "south of the Diyala river toward the Elamite border."When Assyrian king Sargon II (722-705) waged war against them in the city of Dur-Athara, 18,430 were deported.The Gambulu, along with the Puqudu, continued to be politically important as far as the sixth century.

Hemrin Dam

The Hemrin Dam is a dam on the Diyala River 100 km northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. The main purpose of the dam is flood control, irrigation and hydroelectric generation. Its power station has a 50 MW capacity. The dam and the attached power house were built in years 1976-1981 by the then Yugoslav company GIK Hidrogradnja (of Sarajevo, now Bosnia-Herzegovina). All the equipment (gates, turbines, generators) were also supplied by the then-Yugoslav companies.


Jalawla (Arabic: جلولاء‎, Turkish: Celavla, also known as Gûlala, or mistranslated as Jalula) is a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq. It is located on the Diyala River 8 km north of Al-Sadiyah.

Kalar, Iraq

Kalar (Kurdish: که‌لار‎, Kelar ) is a city in Iraq located on the west bank of the Sirwan (Diyala) river in Sulaymaniyah Governorate. It is located east of Kifri and west of the Kermanshah, Iran towns of Qasri Shirin and Sarpol Zahab.


Khanaqin (Arabic: خانقين; Kurdish: Xaneqîn خانه‌قین) is a city in Iraq in Iraq's Diyala Governorate, near the Iranian border on the Alwand tributary of the Diyala River. It is the administrative center of the Khanaqin District, which comprises several towns (such as As-Sadiyah and Jalula) as well as hundreds of villages. The city is divided into two parts by the Alwand, which has played a significant role in land cultivation and the establishment of a strong rural society in the area.

Khanaqin District

Khanaqin District (Kurdish: Xanaqîn), (Arabic: خانقين) is a district in Diyala Governorate of Iraq. It is considered a disputed territory in Northern Iraq between federal and regional government but is officially part of the Diyala province.

The Alwand River runs through Khanaqin District before joining the Diyala River.

The district population was estimated to be 175,000 in 2003. The population of the Judicial Center increased from 20,000 in 2003 to more than 160,000 in 2011-2010 Because of the stability of the security situation.The population of the region in 2017 is estimated at more than 300,000 ( The center of the district ) people and in the judiciary much more than 420,000 people and the district is more than 30% of the province of Diyala

List of dams and reservoirs in Iraq

The following is a list of dams and reservoirs in Iraq. They are sorted according to their location in either the Euphrates or the Tigris river basin.

Nahrawan Canal

The Nahrawan Canal (Arabic: قناة النهروان‎) was a major irrigation system of the Sassanid and early Islamic periods in central Iraq, along the eastern banks of the Tigris and the lower course of the Diyala River. Created in the 6th century, it reached its peak under the Abbasid Caliphate, when it served the main water supply for the Abbasid capital of Baghdad, while the regions irrigated by it served as the city's main breadbasket. Its destruction and progressive abandonment from the mid-10th century onwards mirror the Abbasid Caliphate's decline.


Opis (Akkadian Upî or Upija; Ancient Greek: Ὦπις) was an ancient Babylonian city near the Tigris, not far from modern Baghdad. Akkadian and Greek texts indicate that it was located on the east side of the Tigris, near the Diyala River. While the precise site of the city has been considered uncertain for a long time, recent geographical surveys of ancient Mesopotamia identify Opis with great probability as the mound called Tall al-Mujailāt (or Tulūl al-Mujaili`), 20 miles (32 km) southeast in a straight line from central Baghdad and 47 miles (76 km) northeast in a straight line from ancient Babylon.


Shu-turul (Shu-durul) was the last king of Akkad, ruling for 15 years according to the Sumerian king list. It indicates that he succeeded his father Dudu. A few artifacts, seal impressions etc. attest that he held sway over a greatly reduced Akkadian territory that included Kish, Tutub, and Eshnunna. The Diyala river also bore the name "Shu-durul" at the time.The king list asserts that Akkad was then conquered, and the hegemony returned to Uruk following his reign. It further lists six names of an Uruk dynasty; however none of these six rulers has been confirmed through archaeology. The actual situation of Akkad's collapse, from all evidence outside the king list, is that it was brought about directly by the Gutians, Zagros tribesmen who established their own rule, though several of the southern city-states such as Uruk, Ur and Lagash also declared independence around this time.


Zamua (also Mazamua) was an ancient Pre-Iranic kingdom, corresponding with the earlier kingdom of Lullubi, which stretched from lake Urmia to the upper reaches of the Diyala River, roughly corresponding with the modern Sulaimania governorate (still called Zamua/Zamwa by the Kurds) in Iraqi Kurdistan. It was centered at Sharazur plain. Ameka and Arashtua were two southern Zamuan kingdoms. A tribal chief (Nasiku) bearing the Akkadian name of Nūr-Adad was a Zamuan leader who launched a failed resistance against Assyrian domination. Its inhabitants were most probably related to the Gutians living east and south of Zamua, and the Hurrians living northwest of the Kingdom.

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