Have you ever wondered about the imaginary place of Atlantis? Was the ‘lost city’ really swallowed by the Bermuda Triangle? These speculations about Atlantis being somewhere deep down Bermuda will always be intriguing for us.
What will be your reaction if a treasure emerges out of a river on its own in front of you and then goes into hiding again by an increase in the water level? This is the story of one such incident that has taken place not once but twice on the banks of River Tigris, and will leave your mind blown, thinking “heavens above is that even possible?”
The Mosul Dam reservoir on the bank of river Tigris is the largest dam in Iraq, 3.4 km in length and 113 m in height. The dam was built in 1986 and has been a topic of controversies ever since. And the discovery that was unveiled in 2010 added to the headlines that the dam has been making ever since its construction.
The building of the Mosul Dam was allotted to a German-Italian construction company which started building the dam in 1981 and the work of constructions continued late till 1986 when the dam was finally inaugurated and started under the ownership of Ministry of Water Resources.
When the plan for the construction of the dam was established, the engineers were aware of the characteristics of the weak rocks which were to be the foundation of the dam. The rocks consisted mainly of marls and limestones and many cavities were found during the excavations. So what could have sustained under such a weak construction that would startle the whole world?
Kurdistan is a mountainous region and the Tigris-Euphrates river system is essential for Iraq’s water supply, and dams are one of the most common resources to help irrigation. But the Tigris river has proved to be much more than just a resource for the history as well the present of Iraq with the treasure that is kept hidden inside it.
Each member of the construction company was aware of the problems that would occur after the building of the dam since the riverbed is made up of gypsum and anhydrite, which means it is a potentially unstable place to construct a dam. But the work moved forward due to political pressure on the location and the schedule.
Though Iraq is known as the ‘land of two rivers’, because of Tigris and Euphrates, the region of Kurdistan in Iraq has faced drought-like situations due to very less rainfall and therefore a fall in the water level of the rivers.