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Euphrates River is historically known as the longest and one of the most important rivers of Western Asia. The river begins at the place where the Karasu and Murat join in northeastern Turkey. The area around the Euphrates River is known as Mesopotamia. It is where the invention of writing and the wheel occurred, and where the cradle of civilization started.
See the fact file below for more information on the Euphrates River or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Euphrates River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Geography and its Physical Features
- It is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. It is 1,740 miles (2,800 km) long.
- Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the “Land between the Rivers”). The river rises in eastern Turkey and flows through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf.
- The ancient Sumerians called it Id-Ugina, “the blue river”, while the Babylonians and Assyrians called it Purattu.
- Euphrates is considered as the largest river in Southwest Asia. It is formed by the confluence of two branches, the Karasu River, which rises in the Armenian Highlands of today’s eastern Turkey north of Erzurum, and the Murat River, which issues from an area southwest of Mount Ararat, north of Lake Van. It descends between major ranges of the Taurus Mountains.
- The Khabur river is the major tributary of Euphrates, originating in southeastern Turkey.
- The Balikh River joins the Euphrates in eastern Syria.
- The general climate of the Euphrates River area is subtropical, hot, and arid. While at the northern end of the Persian Gulf is the vast floodplain of the Euphrates, Tigris, and Karun Rivers, featuring huge permanent lakes, marshes, and forests.
- The volume of water in the Euphrates is high during the months of April and May. It receives its water mostly from rainfall and melting snow.
Ancient Time in Euphrates
- Many civilizations have thrived along the banks of the Euphrates, including during ancient times. One of its most-notable civilizations was the Mesopotamian Empire.
- Ancient Mesopotamia, which is situated today in Iraq, is a part of what is often called the “Fertile Crescent,” occupied the land between the Tigris and Euphrates River.
- One of the ancient world’s most important cities, Babylon, was built along the Euphrates. It was referred to as the Tower of Babel in the bible.
- The Euphrates was part of the “Silk Road,” a trade route which passed through Central Asia and Mesopotamia. Aleppo was a key stop along the famous trade route.
Dams in Euphrates
- Both Turkey and Syria completed their first dams, the Keban Dam and the Tabqa Dam, in 1975 on the Euphrates.
- However, at the same time the area was hit by severe drought and river flow toward Iraq was reduced from 15.3 cubic kilometres (3.7 cu mi) in 1973 to 9.4 cubic kilometres (2.3 cu mi) in 1975. This led to an international crisis during which Iraq threatened to bomb the Tabqa Dam.
Life in Euphrates
- There are many plant species found along the Euphrates, such as various oaks, pistachio trees, and Rosaceae (rose/plum family).
- On the drier parts of the river, wild variants of many cereals, including einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, oat, and rye can be found.
- Euphrates valley was home to the wild boar, gray wolf, golden jackal, red fox, leopard, and lion.
- In Islam, Prophet Muhammad suggested that the Euphrates would dry up, revealing unknown treasures that will be the cause of strife and war.
- Below are some of the prophecies:
“Soon the river Euphrates will disclose the treasure [the mountain] of gold. So, whoever will be present at that time should not take anything of it.” – Sahih Bukhari.
The Prophet Muhammad said: “The Hour will not come to pass before the river Euphrates dries up to unveil the mountain of gold, for which people will fight. Ninety-nine out of one hundred will die [in the fighting], and every man among them will say: ‘Perhaps I may be the only one to remain alive.’” – Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim.
Main Agreements between Syria-Turkey-Iraq
- In 1987, the Protocol on Economic Cooperation, an interim agreement on water quantity, stated that an annual 16 BCM (500 m3/s) was to be released at the Syrian-Turkish border.
- In 2009, the Turkish-Syrian Strategic Cooperation Council Agreement addressed joint activities in the field of water such as the construction of water pumping stations and joint dams as well as the development of joint water policies and the improvement of water quality.
- In 1990, the Syrian-Iraqi Water Accord allocated the water of the Euphrates River according to a fixed ratio of 42% to Syria and 58% to Iraq.
- In 2009, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Water was one of 48 MoUs signed between the two countries. Both Iraq and Turkey agreed to share hydrological and meteorological information, and to exchange expertise in these areas.
- Water use in the Euphrates Basin in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey focuses on irrigation, hydropower, and drinking water supply, with agriculture consuming the largest share of water – more than 70%.
- Pollution from agricultural and domestic sources seriously affects water quality. In Iraq, the Euphrates suffers from severe salinity that increases along the course of the river.
Euphrates River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Euphrates River across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Euphrates River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Euphrates River is historically known as the longest and one of the most important rivers of Western Asia. The river begins at the place where the Karasu and Murat join in northeastern Turkey. The area around the Euphrates River is known as Mesopotamia. It is where the invention of writing and the wheel occurred, and where the cradle of civilization started.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Euphrates River Facts
- Is Correct or Not?
- What a River!
- Time to wear the Thinking Hats
- Spot the Words
- Knowing Euphrates
- Life in the Euphrates
- Let’s Clean Up
- All about Agreements
- Article Analysis
- Team Up to Clean Up
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Link will appear as Euphrates River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 11, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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