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Khenis aqueduct ruins

Here are monumental remains that overlooked a dam (now gone) that was the start point for the manmade Bavian-Khazir canal to bring waters to the Khazir.

This location in the Zagros Foothills is the start point of the Bavian-Khosr canal. It is usually known by one of three names: after the river Gomel on which it is built; after the nearest town, Bavian; or most often, after the nearby village خنس Khenis (also transliterated Khens, or Khans), which takes its name from ancient Khanusa. As the start point of the Bavian-Khosr canal, there was a dam (now gone) and what remains are appropriately magnificent artworks such as bountiful cuneiform remains and ruins of monumental reliefs showing Sennacherib standing on special animals before the god Ashur and his wife Mullissu. Also, there are cuneiform inscriptions detailing his project to provide water to Nineveh, along with other deeds including the destruction of Babylon. Another sight is a stone lamassu fallen in the water.

This site is often confused with Jerwan downstream, where the remains of the aqueduct itself still remain (Khenis is a headwater and had a dam, not an aqueduct). To get to the ruins at Khenis from Shexan (the nearest city), go north to a definitive fork about 10km outside town. There, go left to Lalish or right to Khenis. There is an incorrect sign at the fork and another about 7k along the road, pointing toward Khenis.

View from the ruins toward Mosul Plains

Rainwater collection

Cuneiform inscription

Cuneiform inscription

Cuneiform and relief sculpture


Ruined reliefs

Cuneiform inscription