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Kerman (کرمان)

The city of Kerman is located in south-central Iran, 1,064 kilometers from the capital city of Tehran, at an altitude of 1,860 meters above sea level. Separated from the Dasht-e Lut by mountains, the city's location affords hot summers and heavy, sometimes violent, springtime sand storms. The weather is relatively cool the remainder of the year. Historically, the Kerman area has long been famous for the abundance and length of its Qanats, the underground water channels, a testament to the engineering genius of the ancient world.

Kerman is considered as one of the oldest cities of Iran. Constructed during the third century in the Sassanid period by Ardashir I, the new city was called "Ardashir Khoreh" and was referred to as "Karamani" by the Greeks. Since the seventh century, Kerman has been ruled at different times by the Arabs, the Buyids, the Saljuqs, the Turkomans, and the Mongols, but prospered most under the Safavid Dynasty in the sixth and seventh centuries.

The city was mentioned for its leather workers, silk trading, and embroidery by Marco Polo in his 13th century travel records. While parts of the ancient city remain, majority of Kerman's historical sites were destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1794.

One of the best-known sites to survive into modern times is the Masjed-e Jame of the 14th century. Modern Kerman is famous for its fine carpets as well as other cotton and wool textiles. The Rafsanjan-Kerman area is known for its pistachio production. These enterprises are aided by the still developing transportation system which connects Kerman to cities likeTehran, Bandar Abbas, and Zahedan by air, ground, and rail. In particular, the city has benefited in recent decades by the extension of the Iranian railroad system from Bafq to Kerman.

In addition, the relatively close copper mining industry in Sarcheshmeh has been an economic boon to Kerman since its development in the 1960s. The continuing prosperity of the city seems assured.

 Refrence(s):

Lorentz, H. John. 2007. Historical Dictionary of Iran: Kerman. Lanham, Maryland, Toronto, Plymouth, UK. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Second Edition. Pp. 163-164

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