It has long been known that irrigation agriculture played a significant role in the history of civilization in the Near East, and it is not surprising, therefore, that many researchers have concentrated their efforts on the study of problems connected with early irrigation, based both on the evidence of literary sources (Jacobsen, 1960), and that provided by archaeology and palaeogeography. Probably the most interesting work of this kind is the systematic research which has been carried out in the Diyala river basin, which covers a wide chronological range (Adams, 1965). However, the thick sedimentary deposits in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, and on the foothill plains and intermontane valleys in many regions of the Near East, have resulted, in most cases, in the ancient irrigation systems lying deeply buried and inaccessible. Very recently, as a result of joint archaeological and palaeogeographical investigations in southern Turkmenia, we have succeeded in discovering very early irrigation constructions in the region, where, in the 6th-2nd millennium BC were situated sites belonging to the painted pottery cultures-the Dieitun culture (Berdyev, 1965) and the so-called Anau culturewhich comprise the northern limits of the Near Eastern cultural world (FIG. I) (Pumpelly, 1908; Kuphtin, 1954; Masson, 1962, 1966 ; Sarianidi, 1965; Khlopin, 1963).