Dunam

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A dunam or dönüm, donum was a unit of land area used in the Ottoman Empire and representing the amount of land that can be plowed in a day. The unit is still in use in many areas previously under Ottoman influence.

The legal definition was "forty standard paces in length and breadth",[1] but varied considerably from place to place, from 900–2500 m². In many formerly Ottoman regions, it is now defined as exactly one decare (1000 m²).

History[edit]

The name dönüm, from the Ottoman Turkish دونمك / dönmek (to turn) appears to be a calque of the Byzantine stremma and had the same size. It was likely adopted by the Ottomans from the Byzantines in Mysia-Bithynia.[2] In Arabic, the word is spelled دونم (dūnam) which is "a square measure (Iraq= about 2500 m²; Palestine= roughly, 1000 m²)."[3]

Definition[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia[edit]

In Bosnia and Herzegovina and also Serbia, the unit is called dulum (дулум) or dunum (дунум). It is equal to 1,000 square meters.[4]

Bulgaria[edit]

In Bulgaria, the decare (декар) is used.

Cyprus[edit]

In Cyprus, the donum is 14,400 square feet (1,338 m2).[5] In the Republic of Cyprus older Greek Cypriots also still refer to the donum, although this is gradually being replaced by another local Greek Cypriot dialect word, σκάλες ['skales], rather than the mainland Greek word stremma. However, officially Cyprus uses the square metre.

Iraq[edit]

In Iraq, the dunam is 2,500 square metres (0.25 ha).[citation needed]

Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey[edit]

In Israel, Palestine, Syria (where it is called a dulum), Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey the dunam is 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft), which is 1 decare. Before the end of the Ottoman Empire and during the early years of Palestine, the size of a dunam was 919.3 square metres (9,895 sq ft), but in 1928, the metric dunam of 1,000 square metres (0.10 ha) was adopted, and this is still used.[6][7]

Variations[edit]

Other countries using a dunam of some size include Libya, Syria, Albania, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

The Greek stremma has the same size as the metric dunam.[citation needed]

The metric dunam is particularly useful in hydrological calculations as 1 dönüm times 1 mm (a unit commonly used for measuring precipitation) equals exactly one cubic meter.

Conversions[edit]

A metric dönüm is equal to:

Comparable measure[edit]

The acre, although defined differently today, was originally similar in principle to the dunam. See Acre#Historical origin.

The stremma (Greek: στρέμμα, plural στρέμματα) is a Greek unit of land area, equal to 1,000 square metres, also called the 'royal' stremma. The name comes from a root meaning 'to turn', presumably referring to the amount of land that can be plowed/turned in a day.[8]

The "old", "Turkish", or "Ottoman" stremma was approximately 1,270 m² (Λεξικό, 1998): it was the Greek name of the Ottoman dönüm,[9] which was in turn based on the Byzantine stremma (see below). But Lapavitsas uses the value of 1,600 m² for the region of Naoussa in the early 20th century.[10]

The medieval or Morean stremma was different, somewhere between 900 and 1,900 m², depending on the period and perhaps even the type of land.[11]

The Byzantine stremma was defined as the area of a square whose sides have a length of 100 Greek feet or 40 Greek paces. It is likely the ancestor of the Ottoman dunam/stremma.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ V.L. Ménage, Review of Speros Vryonis, Jr. The decline of medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the process of islamization from the eleventh through the fifteenth century, Berkeley, 1971; in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) 36:3 (1973), pp. 659-661. at JSTOR (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ménage, op.cit.
  3. ^ Cowan, J. Milton; Arabic-English Dictionary, The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (4th Edition, Spoken Languages Services, Inc.; 1994; p. 351)
  4. ^ "Мерне јединице у КЗ и КН" (in Serbian). Republic Geodetic Authority of the Republic of Serbia. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Department of Lands and Surveys web site http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/dls (retrieved April 2014)
  6. ^ El-Eini, Roza I.M. (2006). "Currency and Measures". Mandated landscape: British imperial rule in Palestine, 1929-1948. Routledge. p. xxiii. ISBN 978-0-7146-5426-3. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  7. ^ Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. "explanatory notes". Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Λεξικό της κοινής Νεοελληνικής (Dictionary of Modern Greek), Ινστιτούτο Νεοελληνικών Σπουδών, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1998. ISBN 960-231-085-5
  9. ^ Λεξικό
  10. ^ Costas Lapavitsas, "Social and Economic Underpinning of Industrial Development: Evidence from Ottoman Macedonia", Ηλεκτρονικό Δελτίο Οικονομικής Ιστορίας [1]
  11. ^ Siriol Davis, "Pylos Regional Archaeological Project, Part VI: administration and settlement in Venetian Navarino", Hesperia, Winter, 2004 [2]
  12. ^ V.L. Ménage, Review of Speros Vryonis, Jr. The decline of medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the process of islamization from the eleventh through the fifteenth century, Berkeley, 1971; in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) 36:3 (1973), pp. 659-661. at JSTOR (subscription required); see also Erich Schilbach, Byzantinische Metrologie (referenced but not seen)

External links[edit]