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The Norias of Hama

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The norias of the ancient Syrian city of Hama are seventeen historic waterwheels located along the Orontes River that date back to the Byzantine Era, although locals claim they are older still.

The water wheels, called noria, are part of the city’s now-defunct irrigation system, and were designed to lift water from the river and move it through aqueducts to agricultural fields and people’s home. The wheels were powered by the current of the flowing river. As the wheels moved, wooden buckets placed at the periphery of the wheels scooped water out from the river and emptied it into aqueducts. Gravity then lead the water along aqueducts to its destination in various parts of the city.

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