A dunam (Ottoman Turkish, Arabic: دونم; Turkish: dönüm; Hebrew: דונם), also known as a donum or dunum and as the old, Turkish, or Ottoman stremma, was the Ottoman unit of area equivalent to the Greek stremma or English acre, representing the amount of land that could be ploughed by a team of oxen in a day. The legal definition was "forty standard paces in length and breadth",[1] but its actual area varied considerably from place to place, from a little more than 900 square metres (9,700 sq ft) in Ottoman Palestine to around 2,500 square metres (27,000 sq ft) in Iraq.[2][3]

The unit is still in use in many areas previously ruled by the Ottomans, although the new or metric dunam has been redefined as exactly one decare (1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft)), which is 1/10 hectare (1/10 × 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft)), like the modern Greek royal stremma.[3]

History edit

The name dönüm, from the Ottoman Turkish dönmek (دونمك, "to turn"), appears to be a calque of the Byzantine Greek stremma and had the same size. It was likely adopted by the Ottomans from the Byzantines in Mysia-Bithynia.[4]

The Dictionary of Modern Greek defines the old Ottoman stremma as approximately 1,270 square metres (13,700 sq ft),[5] but Costas Lapavitsas used the value of 1,600 square metres (17,000 sq ft) for the region of Naoussa in the early 20th century.[6]

Definition edit

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro edit

In Bosnia and Herzegovina and also Serbia, the unit is called dulum (дулум) or dunum (дунум). In Bosnia and Herzegovina dunum (or dulum) equals 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft). One dulum is equal to 1,600 square metres (17,222 sq ft) for the region of Leskovac, south Serbia. In Albania it is called dynym or dylym. It is equal to 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft).[7]

Bulgaria edit

In Bulgaria, the decare (декар) is used, which is an SI unit, literally meaning 10 ares.

Cyprus edit

In Cyprus, a donum is 1337.803776 m2 or 14400 square feet.[8] In the Republic of Cyprus older Greek-Cypriots also still refer to the donum using the local Greek Cypriot dialect word σκάλες [skales], rather than the mainland Greek word stremma (equivalent to a decare). However, since 1986 officially Cyprus uses the square metre and the hectare.

A donum consists of 4 evleks, each of which consists of 334.450944 m2 or 3.600 square feet.

Greece edit

In Greece, the old dönüm is called a "Turkish stremma", while today, a stremma or "royal stremma" is exactly one decare, like the metric dönüm.[3]

Iraq edit

In Iraq, the dunam is 2,500 square metres (0.25 ha).[9]

Levant and Turkey edit

In the Levant and Turkey, the dunam is 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft), which is 1 decare. From the Ottoman period and through the early years of the British Mandate for 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.[10][11]

United Arab Emirates edit

The Dubai Statistics Center and Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi use the metric dunam (spelt as donum) for data relating to agricultural land use.[12] One donum equals 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft).

Variations edit

Other countries using a dunam of some size include Libya and Syria.[citation needed]

Conversions edit

A metric dunam is equal to:[citation needed]

Comparable measures edit

The Byzantine Greek stremma was the probable source of the Turkish unit. The zeugarion (Turkish çift) was a similar unit derived from the area plowed by a team of oxen in a day. The English acre was originally similar to both units in principle, although it developed separately.[citation needed]

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. ^ Cowan, J. Milton; Arabic-English Dictionary, The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (4th Edition, Spoken Languages Services, Inc.; 1994; p. 351)
  3. ^ a b c Λεξικό της κοινής Νεοελληνικής (Dictionary of Modern Greek), Ινστιτούτο Νεοελληνικών Σπουδών, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1998. ISBN 960-231-085-5
  4. ^ Ménage, op.cit.
  5. ^ Λεξικό, 1998
  6. ^ Lapavitsas, Costas. "Social and Economic Underpinning of Industrial Development: Evidence from Ottoman Macedonia" (PDF). Ηλεκτρονικό Δελτίο Οικονομικής Ιστορίας. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  7. ^ Мерне јединице у КЗ и КН (in Serbian). Republic Geodetic Authority of the Republic of Serbia. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  8. ^ Department of Lands and Surveys web site http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/dls[permanent dead link] (retrieved April 2014)
  9. ^ Al-Shawi, Ibrahim (2006). A Glimpse of Iraq. ISBN 9781411695184.
  10. ^ 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 5 May 2009.
  11. ^ Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. "explanatory notes" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "Chapter 8: Agriculture Statistical Yearbook" (PDF). Dubai Statistics Center. 2009. p. 184. Retrieved 17 April 2019.

External links edit