Wells of Qatar
Qatar’s wells are no longer the indispensible sources they once were, but are important indicators and tools for our research. Located underground and often in now uninhabited areas, most of them have dried up and deteriorated. In the past, they played an important role as the main source of natural water, since there are no perennial rivers in Qatar.
Our archaeologists use wells in their research as indicators for the location of past settlements. We launched a project in 2004 to document and preserve Qatar’s wells as historic landmarks.
In total, 107 wells and springs have been inventoried and documented and their exact locations, construction techniques, history and traditions were collected through oral history documenting. Their condition and conservation is constantly monitored by our team.
Ain Hleetan at Al Khor
Ain Hleetan well is on the west coast of Al Khor. Cylindrical and built of gravel, clay and plaster, it led to the settlement of the Al Mahanda tribe in the city. Local traditions tell us that around 150 years ago a group of hunters found the water source accidentally when they were chasing a hare. Some old oral sources describe the exceptionally salubrious features of its water, that became known locally as cure to illnesses, to the extent that local residents would call it ‘the Doctor’.
In the past the well used to be closed to stop water flow for regular cleaning and maintenance. It would be emptied and burlap would be used to clean its inner walls. Today, this water source is maintained and monitored by our architectural conservation team.