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Based on Wikipedia, the Persian Qanat water system was started in cr. 1000 BC. The Turpan water system, located in modern north-west China, has a similar idea and later it was used on the Silk path that linked China and Persia (among others).

So we can hypothesise that Turpan water system was somewhat inspired by Qanat.

Is there any evidence to support this hypothesis?

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    Turpan's karez system isn't Chinese. Many may have been constructed after China's conquest, but the system wasn't introduced from China. Of course, one can readily sense a connection to the Persian Qanat, which are called kārīz or kārēz. – Semaphore Feb 21 at 10:19
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    @Semaphore: According to wikipedia articles, kt seems bozh "kariz" کاریز and "qanat" قنات are used in Persian and soewhat interchangebly (though I admit my Persian is a bit limited). Example: fa.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Jan Feb 21 at 10:30
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    @Jan I believe Qanat is the Arabic form; regardless, we can see a clear etymological link to Turpan's system from the Kariz version. – Semaphore Feb 21 at 10:32
  • @Semaphore - I am not sure if etymology is enough of a proof that one system has "inspired" the other, because the words could have been transmitted independently of the engineering systems, or changed at a later stage - do you think it's a possibility? – Yulia V Feb 21 at 10:55

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