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A canal is an artificial waterway for irrigation, drainage, navigation, or in conjunction with hydroelectric dams. The first canals were built 4,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. The longest canal able to accommodate large ships today connects the Baltic and White seas in northern Europe and is 227 km (141 miles) long. They heyday of canal-building in England was from the late 18th to the early 19h century.

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