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These canals are the earliest record of irrigation in the New World.Traces of a canal possibly dating from the 5th millennium BCE were found under the 4th millennium canal.The irrigation works of ancient Sri Lanka, the earliest dating from about 300 BCE, in the reign of King Pandukabhaya and under continuous development for the next thousand years, were one of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world.In addition to underground canals, the Sinhalese were the first to build completely artificial reservoirs to store water.The inventor was Jang Yeong-sil, a Korean engineer of the Joseon Dynasty, under the active direction of the king, Sejong the Great.It was installed in irrigation tanks as part of a nationwide system to measure and collect rainfall for agricultural applications.
The irrigation canal system predates the Hohokam culture by two thousand years and belongs to an unidentified culture.
Perennial irrigation was practiced in the Mesopotamian plain whereby crops were regularly watered throughout the growing season by coaxing water through a matrix of small channels formed in the field.
Ancient Egyptians practiced Basin irrigation using the flooding of the Nile to inundate land plots which had been surrounded by dykes.
They are now found in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
The system comprises a network of vertical wells and gently sloping tunnels driven into the sides of cliffs and steep hills to tap groundwater.
In North America, the Hohokam were the only culture known to rely on irrigation canals to water their crops, and their irrigation systems supported the largest population in the Southwest by AD 1300.