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Kerman

KERMAN

A province and its capital city in south-central Iran.

The province of Kerman is in south-central Iran. The construction of the town of Kerman probably began in pre-Islamic times. When Marco Polo visited the city in 1271 it had become a major trade emporium linking the Persian Gulf with Khorasan and Central Asia. Subsequently, however, the city was sacked many times by various invaders. The present city of Kerman, 661 miles southeast of Tehran, and the capital of the modern province of Kerman, was rebuilt in the nineteenth century to the northwest of the old city, but it did not recover until the twentieth century. Carpet weaving is one of the main industries of the city, and the carpets produced there are renowned internationally. A number of modern establishments such as textile mills and brickworks also have been constructed. The province's mineral wealth includes copper and coal. The population of the city in 1996 was 385,000. The total population of the province in 1996 was 2,004,328.


Bibliography


Fisher, W. B., ed. The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 1: The Land of Iran. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1968.

Islamic Republic of Iran Today. Tehran: Islamic Propagation Organization, 1987.

parvaneh pourshariati

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Kerman

Kerman (kĕrmän´), city (1991 pop. 311,643), capital of Kerman prov., E central Iran. It is noted for making and exporting carpets. Cotton textiles and goats-wool shawls are also manufactured. Kerman was under the Seljuk Turks in the 11th and 12th cent., but remained virtually independent, conquering Oman and Fars. Marco Polo visited (late 13th cent.) and described the city. Kerman changed hands many times in ensuing years, prospering under the Safavid dynasty (16th cent.) and suffering under the Afghans (17th cent.). In 1794 its greatest disaster occurred: Aga Muhammad Khan, shah of Persia, ravaged the city by selling 20,000 of its inhabitants into slavery and by blinding another 20,000. Reminders of historic Kerman include medieval mosques, the beautiful faience found among the extensive ruins outside the city walls, and 16th-century mosaics with Chinese motifs. Nearby is the shrine of Shah Vali Namatullah, a 15th-century Sufi holy man.

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