Sardoba – the main source of water

Sardoba is a hydraulic structure covered with a dome, a semi-underground reservoir, the main source of water.
 In ancient times, the inhabitants of the steppe and desert zones used special facilities to collect and store fresh water, which was brought to them by nature itself.  Such structures had a common name – sardoba, translated from Farsi “sard” – cold, “oba” – water, so Sardoba is obtained – cold water.
 The structures were built of baked bricks in the form of small hills.  In ancient times, sardobas served as places where travelers or caravan traders stopped.
 Most of the sardobas found on the territory of Uzbekistan are located in the Bukhara oasis.  The largest and oldest reservoir is the sardoba near the Rabat-Malik caravanserai.
 Sardoba Rabati Malik between Samarkand and Bukhara was the only source that provided drinking water for passing caravans.  Water was supplied to the sardoba from the Zeravshan River through the Narpay canal and a system of small ditches.
 Thanks to such a hydraulic structure, local residents and passing merchants could stop to rest and quench their thirst.
 A sardoba is a spherical container with a wall thickness of 1.5 meters, a diameter of 12 – 13 meters, and a depth of 15 – 18 meters.  Sardoba usually took 5-7 years to build.  The construction took from 400 to 600 thousand bricks.  Clay for them was mined in the lower reaches of the Amu Darya, since ancient times they have known and appreciated its heat-resistant, waterproof, heat-insulating character.  This clay-gel was kneaded “fried” in the sun and sent to the fire.  At the bottom of the Sardoba, a brick mixed with ganch was laid in a circle.  The next layer was from burnt saxaul charcoal.  Master architects, knew well that underground water was salty, and coal served as a good filter, purifying water from salts.  As a result, the wall was not only strong, but also completely excluding water filtration, keeping it clean, transparent and cold.
  All such structures were usually located in a lowland at the crossroads of rainwater runoff.  During the winter and spring, Sardoba collected more than 20 thousand cubic meters of water.
 Thus, Sardoba between Samarkand and Bukhara was the only source that provided drinking water to passing caravans.

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