The Mesopotamian civilization flourished in the Euphrates River area (in modern-day Iraq, Iran, and Syria) from 4000-2500 BCE. It is known for complex drainage systems in cities like Babylon and Eshnunna, and for the earliest known clay pipe.

The Indus Valley civilization of Pakistan and northwestern India flourished from 2600-1900 BCE. Harappa, Lothal, and Mohenjo-daro are three of the extensive archeological excavations in the region. They are noted for sophisticated public works that included sewage drainage systems, public wells, and private and public baths.

See Tracking Down the Roots of Our Sanitary Sewers for more information.

Harold Farnsworth Gray, “Sewerage in Ancient and Medieval Times,” Sewage Works Journal, Volume 12, No. 5 (Sept. 1940), pp. 939 – 946. Reprinted with permission from Sewage Works Journal. Copyright 1940 Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, VA.

See pages 939-941 for section on Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.

PDF version (printer-friendly).

Steven J. Burian, Stephan J. Nix, S. Rocky Durrans, Robert E. Pitt, Chi-Yuan Fan, and Richard Field, “The Historical Development of Wet Weather Flow Management” (Internet publication).

PDF version.

For Reference

Khurshid Hasan Shaikh and Syed M. Ashfaque, Moenjodaro: A 5000-year-old Legacy, UNESCO, 1981