Tuesday, February 22, 2011
THE SUEZ CANAL HISTORY
The ship canal is as nearly as possible one hundred miles in length, running due north and south from Port Said to Suez. It was not found necessary, however, to excavate the channel for the whole distance. A glance at the map will show that it runs through four great lakes: Menzaleh, Ballah, Timsah, and the Bitter Lakes. The first two of these, with only a few short cuttings, extend for 41 miles, the second for 5, the third for 25, making together about 6o miles, and leaving 40 miles of earthwork to be excavated. Lake Menzaleh was so near the Mediterranean as to be always under water. The others were deep depressions in the soil, marking the spots where lakes of sea-water were left when geological changes raised this part of the isthmus above the level of the Gulf of Suez. It was only necessary, therefore, to admit water into them, to bank the channel, and to make it of the required depth by dredging.