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SAWAD was the name used in early Islamic times (7th–12th centuries) for southern Iraq
Iraq
. It means "black land" and refers to the stark contrast between the alluvial plain of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and the Arabian desert. Under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates , it was an official political term for a province encompassing most of modern Iraq
Iraq
(except for the western desert and al-Jazira in the north).

As a generic term, it was used to denote the irrigated and cultivated areas in any district.

SOURCES

* Schaeder, H.H. (1997). "Sawād". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume IX: San–Sze. Leiden and New York: BRILL. p. 87. ISBN 90-04-09419-9 . * Michele Campopiano, “Land Tax Alā l-misāḥa and muqāsama: Legal Theory and Balance of Social Forces in Early Medieval Iraq (Sixth to Eighth Centuries)”, in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 54/2, 201

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