ARSANJĀN, a small town in Fārs on the northeastern fringes of the Zagros mountain massif. It is situated 30 miles to the east of Persepolis and 55 miles northeast of Shiraz; to its southeast lies Lake Nīrīz. There do not seem to be any mentions of Arsanǰān in the older classical Arabic and Persian geographers, although Ḥamdallāh Mostawfī mentions villages in the region of Ābāda, including Ḵabraz, modern Ḵabrīz, 9 miles to the southwest of Arsanǰān (Nozhat al-qolūb, ed. Le Strange, p. 123, tr. idem, p. 121).

It is now administratively the chef-lieu of the baḵš of Zarqān, in the šahrestān of Shiraz, in the ostān of Fārs. In about 1950 it had a population of 5,000. Local production of cereals, fruit, and opium poppies is by means of qanāt irrigation, and there is also some carpet-weaving (see Razmārā, Farhang VII, p. 9). The districts of Arsanǰān and Kamīn form the summer quarters (yeylāqs) of the Persian-speaking nomadic tribe of the Bāṣerī, one of the component tribes of the Ḵamsa confederation; see A. K. S. Lambton, Landlord and Peasant in Persia, London, 1953, p. 159, and F. Barth, Nomads of Persia. The Basseri Tribe of the Khamseh Confederacy, Oslo, 1961.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 15, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 5, pp. 546-547