Outlet from Emperor Nicholas I Canal to the Main Canal. Golodnaia Steppe
In the late 19th century Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I, initiated a development project in Russian Turkestan to create an area for raising cotton, wheat, and livestock in the Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe”) by diverting water from the Syr Darya River. This photograph of canal embankments gives some idea of the massive earthworks involved in creating the irrigation system. Shown here is the outlet of the Tsar Nicholas I Canal (which served the grand duke’s estate) from the mainline canal, begun in 1907 and completed in 1913. Although the loess soil is fertile, the bare plain indicates the extent to which agriculture in this area depended on irrigation. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. In 1911 his travels took him to Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), where he photographed traditional culture as well as the development brought about by Russian settlement and investment.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
- 1800x1672 / 466.2KB
- Contained in galleries