The Little Zab or Lower Zab (Arabic: الزاب الاسفل, al-Zāb al-Asfal; Kurdish: Zêy Koya or Zêyê Biçûk; Persian: زاب کوچک, Zâb-e Kuchak; Syriac: ܙܒܐ ܬܚܬܝܐ, Zāba Taḥtāya) originates in Iran and joins the Tigris just south of Al Zab in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The river is approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) long and drains an area of about 22,000 square kilometres (8,500 sq mi). The river is fed by rainfall and snowmelt, resulting in a peak discharge in spring and low water in summer and early fall. Two dams have been built on the Little Zab, regulating the river flow, providing water for irrigation and generating hydroelectricity. The Zagros Mountains have been occupied since at least the Lower Palaeolithic, but the earliest archaeological site in the Little Zab basin, Barda Balka, dates to the Middle Palaeolithic. Human occupation of the Little Zab basin has been attested for every period since then.
|- location||Zagros Mountains, Iran|
|- elevation||3,000 m (9,800 ft)approx.|
|Tigris, Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq|
|Length||400 km (250 mi)approx.|
|Basin size||22,000 km2 (8,500 sq mi)approx.|
|- average||197.8 m3/s (6,990 cu ft/s)|
|- maximum||3,420 m3/s (121,000 cu ft/s)|
|- left||Baneh, Qala Chulan, Rubar-i-Basalam|
The Little Zab rises in the Zagros Mountains in Iran at an elevation of circa 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) amsl. In its upper reaches, the course of the Little Zab is determined by the alignment of the major mountain chains that make up the Zagros. Thus, the river flows through valleys that are predominantly aligned along a northwest–southeast axis, parallel to the major mountain chains of the Zagros, only to change its direction abruptly where it cuts through these chains in narrow gorges. The Little Zab enters the plain south of Dukan, where it first assumes a roughly westward course before turning to the southwest upstream from the town of Altun Kopru and uniting with the Tigris near the town of Al Zab. Most tributaries join the Little Zab upstream from Dukan, with the largest being the Baneh River and the Qala Chulan. A number of smaller streams joined the Little Zab in the Ranya Plain, which is now partly inundated by Lake Dukan.
Different estimates have been given for the length of the Little Zab: 380 kilometres (240 mi), 400 kilometres (250 mi) and 456 kilometres (283 mi). For a short distance, the Little Zab forms the border between Iran and Iraq, and along its lower course it also constitutes the border between Erbil Governorate and Sulaymaniyah Governorate, and Erbil and Kirkuk Governorates. The river is fed by snowmelt and rainfall, resulting in a peak discharge in the period February–May. Low water levels are recorded for the period July–October. The average discharge of the Little Zab is 197.8 cubic metres (6,990 cu ft) per second, whereas the maximum recorded discharge is 3,420 cubic metres (121,000 cu ft) per second. Average annual discharge is 7.2 cubic kilometres (1.7 cu mi). Because of its torrential nature, Medieval Arab geographers have described the Little Zab, and the Great Zab as well, as "demoniacally possessed".
The drainage basin of the Little Zab covers 21,475–22,250 square kilometres (8,292–8,591 sq mi); from the location where the Dukan Dam has been constructed, it measures 11,700 square kilometres (4,500 sq mi). The larger part of the basin (74%) is located within Iraqi borders; the remainder is in Iran. On the north, it is bordered by the Great Zab basin while on the south it is adjoined by the basins of the Adhaim and Diyala rivers. The parallel mountain ranges of the Zagros consist of limestone folds rising to elevations over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). Water erosion has filled the Little Zab valley and the foothill zone south-west of the Zagros with layers of gravel, conglomerate, and sandstone. The Ranya Plain is the largest valley in the Little Zab drainage basin, and the second-largest in the Iraqi Zagros behind the Shahrazor.
The Little Zab crosses very diverse climatic and ecological zones. Annual precipitation along the course of the river diminishes from over 1,000 millimetres (39 in) in the Iranian Zagros to less than 200 millimetres (7.9 in) at the confluence with the Tigris near Al Zab. Average temperatures follow a similar gradient, with the mountain valleys generally experiencing colder winters than the foothill zone, while summers in the latter are hotter. In the high Zagros, three different ecozones can be distinguished. The tree line is at approximately 1,800 metres (5,900 ft); above which herbs and shrubs predominate. The dominant vegetation between 1,800 and 610 metres (5,910 and 2,000 ft) was an open oak forest (Quercus aegilops), but not much of this original vegetation remains. The river valleys are characterized by water-loving plants, and marshy areas were in the past – in the absence of drainage – prone to malaria. Although the foothill zone, especially the plain of Erbil, is heavily cultivated, patches of natural vegetation remain, with herbs in the genus Phlomis being very common.
Two dams have been constructed on the Little Zab in Iraq while Iran is currently constructing one with two others planned. The two in Iraq are the Dukan Dam and the Dibis Dam. The Dukan Dam was constructed between 1957 and 1961 as a multi-purpose arch dam upstream from the town of Dukan. The dam’s crest is 116 metres (381 ft) above the riverbed (516 metres (1,693 ft) amsl) and 360 metres (1,180 ft) long. Its functions are to regulate the flow of the Little Zab, to store water for irrigation in its reservoir (Lake Dukan) and to provide hydroelectric power. The maximum storage capacity of the dam’s reservoir is 6.97 cubic kilometres (1.67 cu mi). Because the flooding of Lake Dukan would lead to the submersion of numerous archaeological sites, an archaeological survey and rescue excavations were carried out in the endangered region – notably at the sites of Tell Shemshara and Tell Bazmusian. The Dibis Dam is located approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) upstream from the confluence with the Tigris and was constructed between 1960 and 1965. The embankment dam is 376 metres (1,234 ft) long and 23.75 metres (77.9 ft) wide and provides water for the Kirkuk Irrigation Project. Currently under construction in Iran is the Sardasht Dam. Construction began in 2011 and when complete, the 116 m (381 ft) tall embankment dam will support a 120 MW power station. Above the Sardasht Dam, Iran is planning to construct the Shivahan and Garjhal Dams with the primary purpose of power generation.
Although Iraqi Kurdistan is not well known from an archaeological point of view, the available evidence nevertheless shows that the relatively favourable ecological conditions of the Iraqi part of the Zagros attracted human groups from early prehistory onwards. Lower Palaeolithic archaeological sites have to date not been found in the Iraqi part of the Zagros Mountains, but they are known from the Iranian side where numerous cave sites have been found during archaeological surveys. Information on the early prehistory of the wider Little Zab region itself comes from the excavations carried out by the Oriental Institute at archaeological sites east of Kirkuk and south of the Little Zab. The earliest evidence for human occupation in this region comes from the Middle Palaeolithic site of Barda Balka, where Late Acheulean stone tools have been found. Archaeological research elsewhere in the Zagros confirms the importance of this area to early human hunter-gatherers – including groups of Neanderthals as evidenced by the finds in Shanidar Cave in the Great Zab basin. Mousterian stone tools that were used by either Neanderthals or anatomically modern humans have recently been excavated in Erbil, between the Little Zab and the Great Zab. Both open-air and cave sites are attested for the Zarzian culture, which straddles the Upper and Epipalaeolithic periods. After the Zarzian, the focus of human occupation shifted from cave-sites, which continue to be used as secondary or seasonal occupation sites up to today, to open-air sites and it was in this period that the trend toward domestication of plants and animals set in. Domestication of the goat probably occurred first in this area of the Zagros. Jarmo, a tell east of Kirkuk, was a Neolithic village community that practiced agriculture and animal husbandry. Pottery occurs from the early occupation levels onward; in its later phases it resembles pottery from Hassuna. The early occupation of Tell Shemshara, in the Ranya Plain, can also be dated to this period. The archaeological fieldwork in the Ranya Plain showed that this area was occupied during the Ubaid, Uruk and Ninevite V periods – roughly from the middle 6th to the mid-3rd millennium BCE. Evidence for these periods comes from the Citadel of Erbil as well.
The region enters history at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE, when Erbil is mentioned as Urbilum by king Shulgi of the Ur III dynasty. From that time onward, the Little Zab basin became increasingly entangled in the affairs of the successive Mesopotamian empires that sought control over the Zagros Mountains. In the early second millennium BCE, king Shamshi-Adad of Upper Mesopotamia waged war to the land of Qabra, which was probably located along the lower course of the Little Zab, and installed garrisons in the conquered towns. The archive of clay tablets found at Tell Shemshara (ancient Shusharra) shows that the local governor switched allegiance and became a vassal of Shamshi-Adad. During the 14th century BCE, the region was part of the Mitannian kingdom, with sites like Nuzi and Tell al-Fakhar, south of the Little Zab, yielding clay tablet archives for this period. During the late second–early first millennia BCE, the lower Little Zab basin belonged to the heartland of the Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian empires. After the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, control of the Zagros shifted first to the Medes and in 550 BCE to the Achaemenid Empire. The last Achaemenid ruler Darius III was defeated by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela in northern Iraq and after Alexander’s death in 323, the area fell to his Seleucid successors.
The 112th Infantry were an infantry regiment of the East India Company's Bombay Army and lather the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1796, when they were raised as the 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.
The regiments first action was on the Battle of Khadki in the Third Anglo-Maratha War. They also took part in the Battle of Miani and the Battle of Hyderabad during the conquest of Sindh. They next took part in the central Indian campaign after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. During World War I they were attached to the 17th Indian Division in the Mesopotamia Campaign. They were involved in the Action at Fat-ha Gorge on the Little Zab and the Battle of Sharqat in October 1918.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 112th Infantry became the 3rd Battalion 4th Bombay Grenadiers. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.113th Infantry
The 113th Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1800, when they were raised as the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.
The regiments first action was in Egypt during the Battle of Alexandria part of the French Revolutionary Wars. They then took part in the Battle of Khadki in the Third Anglo-Maratha War. They were then used in the punitive expedition in the Beni Boo Ali campaign in 1821, against the pirates in Eastern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. They next took part in the central Indian campaign after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. During World War I they were attached to the 17th Indian Division for the Mesopotamia Campaign. They took part in the Action at Fat-ha Gorge on the Little Zab and the Battle of Sharqat, in October 1918.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 113th Infantry became the 6th Battalion 4th Bombay Grenadiers. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.114th Mahrattas
The 114th Mahrattas were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1800, when they were raised as the 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.
During World War I they were attached to the 17th Indian Division for the Mesopotamia Campaign. They took part in the Action at Fat-ha Gorge on the Little Zab and the Battle of Sharqat, in October 1918.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 114th Mahrattas became the 10th (Training) Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.116th Mahrattas
The 116th Mahrattas were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1800, when they were raised as the 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.
During World War I the regiment was attached to the 18th Indian Division for the Mesopotamia Campaign. They were involved in the Actions at the Fat-ha Gorge and on the Little Zab and the Battle of Sharqat in October 1918.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 116th Mahrattas became the 4th Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.94th Russell's Infantry
The 94th Russell's Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1813, when they were raised as the 1st Battalion of the Russell Brigade for the Princely state of Hyderabad. Until 1853, the regiment was part of the Nizam of Hydrabad's Army then after signing of a treaty with the then Governor General of India, The Nizam's Contingent was renamed as the Hyderabad Contingent and became part of the regular Indian Army.
The regiment fought in the Battle of Mahidpur during the Third Anglo-Maratha War. They then participated in the Siege of Nowah and the later Capture of Nowah. During World War I the regiment was part of the 18th Indian Division and took part in the Mesopotamia Campaign. The Division was attached to the Tigris Corps and was involved in the Actions at the Fat-ha Gorge and on the Little Zab between the 23–26 October 1918 and the Battle of Sharqat between 28–30 October 1918. After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 94th Russell's Infantry became the 1st Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment. This regiment was allocated to the Indian Army after independence.Altun Kupri
Altun Kupri or Altun Kopru (Kurdish: پردێ Arabic: ألتن كوبري, Turkish: Altınköprü, lit. 'Golden Bridge') is a town north of Kirkuk in Kirkuk Governorate in Iraq. Its population of approximately 9,275 is predominately Turkmen. It is located on the shores of the Little Zab river's Dibis Lake, near the Dibis Dam. The Little Zab river divides the town into three parts: Büyük yaka (Big side), Orta yaka (Central side), Küçük yaka (Small side). It's strategically located on the middle of the Erbil–Kirkuk road.
Altun Kupri, along with Tal Afar, Amirli, Bashir, Bustamli, Mahalabiyah, Qara Tapa, Sulaiman Bek, Taza Khurmatu, Tuz Khurmatu and Yenice, make up the largest Turkmen-majority cities in Iraq, while Mosul, Kirkuk, Kifri, Daquq, Miqdadiyah, Jalawla and Saadiyah have significant Turkmen minority populations.Barda Balka
Barda Balka is an archeological site near the Little Zab and Chamchamal in the north of modern-day Iraq.The site was discovered on a hilltop in 1949 by Sayid Fuad Safar and Naji al-Asil from the Directorate General of Antiquities, Iraq. It was later excavated by Bruce Howe and Herbert E. Wright in 1951. Stone tools were found amongst a particular layer of Pleistocene gravels that dated to the late Acheulean period. The tools included pebble tools, bifaces and lithic flakes that were suggested to be amongst the oldest evidence of human occupation in Iraq. They were found comparable with tools known to have been made around eighty thousand years ago.
Similar material was found in other locations around the Chemchemal valley.A Neolithic megalith is also located at the centre of the site around which the tools were found.Battle of Arrapha
Battle of Arrapha took place in 616 BC between the Assyrian forces and the Babylonians.
Babylonian king Nabopolassar succeeded by driving the Assyrians back to the Little Zab, in doing so capturing many Assyrian prisoners, horses, and chariots.
The next year, Cyaxares, king of the Medes, defeated the Assyrians and conquered Arrapha.Beth Garmai
Beth Garmai, (Arabic: باجرمي Bājarmī, Middle Persian: Garamig/Garamīkān/Garmagān, New Persian/Kurdish: Garmakan, Classical Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܓܪܡܐ Bêṯ Garmē, Latin and Greek: Garamaea) is a historical region around the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. It is located at southeast of the Little Zab, southwest of the mountains of Shahrazor, northeast of the Tigris and Hamrin Mountains, although sometimes including parts of southwest of Hamrin Mountains, and northwest of the Sirwan River.Dibis Dam
The Dibis (Dibbis) Dam or Dibis Regulator is a gravel-alluvial fill embankment dam located on Lesser Zab River approximately 130 km upstream from its confluence with the Tigris River. The dam is located directly north of the town of Dibis in Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq. The main-purpose of the Dibis Dam is to divert water from the Lesser Zab River into the Kirkuk Irrigation Project.
The Dibis Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1965 as part of the larger Kirkuk Irrigation Project for the irrigation of 300,000 ha of land. The dam has a capacity of 4,000 m3 through the spillway and 278 m3 through the head regulator (diversion to the Kirkuk Irrigation Project).
Inflow is from Dokan Dam, approximately 140 km upstream. In 1984 the dam failed due to heavy outflows from the Dokan Dam. The fuse-plug that allows the emergency spillway to work did not erode because heavy sediment had built up behind it. Repairs were carried out by China International Water and Electric Cooperation between October 1985 and March 1987.Dukan Dam
The Dukan Dam (Sorani Kurdish: بەنداوی دووکان Arabic: سد دوكان) is a multi-purpose concrete arch dam in As Sulaymaniyah Governorate, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It impounds the Little Zab, thereby creating Lake Dukan. The Dukan Dam was built between 1954 and 1959 whereas its power station became fully operational in 1979. The dam is 360 metres (1,180 ft) long and 116.5 metres (382 ft) high and its hydroelectric power station has a maximum capacity of 400 MW.Glyptothorax kurdistanicus
Glyptothorax kurdistanicus is a species of sisorid catfish. It is known by several common names, including Mesopotamian sucker catfish, Kordestan catfish and Iran cat. This grey or brown fish with black spots is best known from the Little Zab in Iran and Iraq. It is poorly studied; the full extent of its range is not known and the taxonomic relationships between members of its genus are uncertain.Koy Sinjaq District
Koy Sanjaq District is a district in Iraq, this district encommpass five Sub-Districts Shorash, Ashti, Segrdkan and Taqtaq, it is neighbored from east and south by the Little Zab river, which separates it from Governorate of Kirkuk and Suleimaniyah, and is bordered to the north east of Mount Haibat Sultan and embraced by the west of Mount BawageLake Dukan
Lake Dukan (or Lake Dokan) (Sorani Kurdish: دەریاچەی دووکان) is the largest lake in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is located close to the city of Ranya, and is a reservoir on the Little Zab created by the construction of the Dukan Dam. The Dukan Dam was built between 1954 and 1959 as a multi-purpose dam to provide water storage, irrigation and hydroelectricity. Prior to the flooding of Lake Dukan, the area has been subjected to archaeological research to investigate as many archaeological sites as possible. An archaeological survey in the Ranya Plain documented some 40 archaeological sites with evidence for occupation ranging from the sixth millennium BCE up to the present. Five of these sites were then excavated: Tell Bazmusian, ed-Dem, Kamarian, Qarashina and Tell Shemshara. The excavations at Tell Bazmusian revealed a temple dating to the second millennium BCE. At Tell Shemshara, an early-sixth millennium BCE village was excavated, as well as an early-second millennium BCE palace with a small archive of clay tablets. The inhabitants of some 50 villages in the flooded area, around 1,000–1,200 families, were resettled to the west of the lake.The surface area of the lake is 270 square kilometres (100 sq mi). At normal operation, the capacity of the reservoir is 6.8 cubic kilometres (1.6 cu mi) while its maximum capacity is 8.3 cubic kilometres (2.0 cu mi). At that capacity, the surface elevation is 515 metres (1,690 ft) above sea-level. In order to operate the power station, the surface elevation must be between 469 and 511 metres (1,539 and 1,677 ft). The drainage basin of the Dukan Dam is 11,700 square kilometres (4,500 sq mi).Sardasht Dam
The Sardasht Dam is an embankment dam currently under construction on the Little Zab 13 km (8 mi) southeast of Sardasht in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan. Reconnaissance studies for the dam were completed in 1999 by Moshanir Consulting Engineers Company. When complete, it will be a 116 m (381 ft) tall and 275 m (902 ft) long rock-fill earth core dam. It will support a hydroelectric power station with an installed capacity of 150 MW and expected annual generation of 482 GWh. The construction contract for the dam was awarded in 2009. Official construction on the dam began in 2011. The river diversion tunnels were complete in November 2012 in a ceremony attended by Iran's Ministry of Energy Majid Namjoo. The dam began to impound its reservoir on 22 June 2017.Sarli language
Sarli, or Sarliya, is an Indo-Iranian language and belongs to the subgroup Zaza-Gorani of the Northwestern Iranian languages. It is spoken in Iraq by a cluster of villages north of the Little Zab river, on the confluence of the Khazir River and the Great Zab river, just west-northwest of the city of Kirkuk. Many speakers have been displaced by conflicts in the region.
It has no known dialects and reportedly is most similar to Bajelani, but it is also similar to Zazaki, Shabaki and Gorani. The Sarli language contains Kurdish, Turkish and Persian influences like its neighbours Bajelani and Shabaki.The Sarli speakers follow their own branch of Yarsanism.Shalmash Falls
Shalmash Falls is a cluster of three waterfalls situated on the outskirts of the City of Sardasht in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. Near the border with Iraq, they can be easily viewed from stairs built for visitors to these waterfalls. The falls are each about 10 metres (33 ft) high. In addition to being a scenic site, their environs are used for recreation, including swimming. These falls are along a branch of the Little Zab River.Tell Shemshara
Tell Shemshara is an archaeological site located along the Little Zab in Sulaymaniyah Governorate, northeastern Iraq. The site was excavated between 1957 and 1959 by Danish and Iraqi archaeologists and was inundated by Lake Dukan until recently. The excavations showed that the site was occupied, although not continuously, from the Hassuna period (early sixth millennium BCE) until the 14th century CE. A small archive recovered from the Middle Bronze Age layers (early second millennium BCE) revealed that, at least in that period, the site was called Shusharra and was the capital of a small, semi-independent polity called māt Utêm or "land of the gatekeeper" ruled by a man called Kuwari.