Table of Contents

  • CLOTHING xxii. Clothing of the Caspian area

    Christian Bromberger

    In several aspects the traditional dress (Gīlaki lebās; Ṭāleši ḵalā) of Gīlān and Māzandarān bears a struc­tural resemblance to that of other rural regions of Persia. It is constructed in successive layers, often of similar pieces superimposed, like women’s skirts or men’s shirts in winter. 

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  • CLOTHING xxiii. Clothing of the Persian Gulf area

    R. Shahnaz Nadjmabadi

    Hormozgān is the main focus here. Women’s clothing consists of four basic parts: head covering, dress, trousers, and shoes. The normal head covering is a rectangular black scarf of thin silk (maknā) wrapped round the head and fastened on top with a metal pin (čollāba).

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  • CLOTHING xxiv. Clothing of the Qašqāʾī tribes

    Lois Beck

    In the 19-20th centuries the Qašqāʾī constituted a tribal confederacy of people of ethnolinguistically diverse origin; they were predominantly nomadic pastoralists who migrated seasonally between the low­lands and the highlands in the southern Zagros mountains. They created their own distinctive dress from market-derived goods and the work of village and urban craft specialists.

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  • CLOTHING xxv. Clothing of the Baḵtīārīs and other Lori speaking tribes

    Jean-Pierre Digard

    Members of the Lori-speaking ethnic groups, including the Lors themselves, the Baḵtīārīs, and the Boīr-Aḥmadīs are characterized by similar styles of dress, with variations reflecting differences in tribe and social class of the wearer, variations that can have strong symbolic meaning, particularly among the Baḵtīārīs.

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  • CLOTHING xxvi. Clothing and jewelry of the Turkmen

    P. A. Andrews

    Until the 1970s the clothing and jewelry of the Turkmen formed the most elaborate tribal costume still used in Persia. The principal women’s garment is a shift (köynek), formerly of silk, now replaced by synthetic fibers.

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  • CLOTHING xxvii. Historical lexicon of Persian clothing

    Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī

    The lexicon has been compiled from personal observations, descriptions in Persian and other sources, and from old paintings, drawings, and photographs.

  • CLOTHING xxviii. Concordance of clothing terms among ethnic groups in modern Persia


    This concordance has been compiled from xiii-xxvi, above.


    Eckart Ehlers

    Large tracts of central Persia and the adjacent arid plateaus of Afghanistan lie under cloudless skies for most of the year, which contributes to typical “conti­nental” climatic conditions.



    See ŠABDAR.



    See DALQAK.

  • COAL

    Willem M. Floor

    Ordinary Per­sians claimed that, as they could not burn coal in their water pipes, they had no need of it. Only Europeans living in Tehran and Tabrīz used coal for heating; they collected it from the surface in bas­kets.

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    Elisabeth West FitzHugh and Willem M. Floor

    a chemical element that imparts a blue color to glass and glazes and to certain pigments.


    Charles Melville

    eponymous founder of the Chobanid dynasty and the leading Mongol amir of the late Il-khanid period.




  • COCK

    James R. Russell, Mahmoud Omidsalar

    the male of the subfamily Phasianinae (pheasants), usually having a long, often tectiform tail with fourteen to thirty-two feathers.





    Hūšang Aʿlam

    the fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera L., which grows in the East Indies, as well as in most other humid tropical regions.


    C. Edmund Bosworth

    It is likely that substitution ciphers were used by early Persian states, for nearly identical versions were still in use in Qajar Persia. During the reigns of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah and Moḥammad Shah (1834-48) the minister Abu’l-Qāsem Qāʾemmaqām devised a number of letter-substitution codes for communicating with different princes and viziers.

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    D. N. MacKenzie

    a manuscript of eighty-two paper leaves, measuring approximately 20 x 14 cm, preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale of the cathe­dral of San Marco in Venice and comprising princi­pally vocabularies and texts of the Northwest Middle Turkic language of the Cumans, or Komans, recorded in Latin script.


    Jes P. Asmussen

    forty-three Avestan and Pahlavi codices acquired by Rasmus Kristian Rask (1787-1832) in Bombay, India, and Niels Ludvig Westergaard (1815-1878) in Persia, all originally de­posited in the library of the University of Copenhagen but later transferred to the Royal Library.

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    ʿAlī Āl-e Dāwūd

    a drink made by steeping in boiling water the dried, roasted, and ground berries of the coffee tree (Coffea arabica).


    ʿAlī Āl-e Dawūd

    a shop and meeting place where coffee is prepared and served.





    Abbas Alizadeh

    Čoḡā Bonut is important because it has provided evidence of the earliest stages of settled agricultural life in Ḵuzestān. It is a small mound; in its truncated and artificially rounded state it has a diameter of about 50 m and rises just over 5 m above the surrounding plain.

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    Helene J. Kantor

    Čoḡā Mīš was occupied continuously, except for one or two presumably short breaks, from approximately the late 6th millennium to the late 4th millennium b.c.e. and must have played a key role in the cultural and social development of the region.

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    Frank Hole

    prehistoric site on the Dehlorān (Deh Luran) plain, dating back to the 8th millennium BCE. Excavation of a step trench in 1969 uncovered six archeological phases representing some 1,500 years of occupation, but there remain older deposits as yet unexcavated.

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    Elizabeth Carter

    or Chogha Zanbil, a city founded by the Elamite king Untaš Napiriša (ca. 1275-40 B.C.E.) about 40 km southeast of Susa at a strategic point on a main road leading to the highlands. After his death it remained a place of religious pilgrimage and a burial ground until about 1000 B.C.E.

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    See BEET.


    Jean During

    (also čoḡor, čogūr, more commonly called sāz in former Soviet Azerbaijan), is the typical pyriform lute of the ʿāšeq, the professional minstrel of Azerbaijan.


    Stephen Album, Michael L. Bates, Willem Floor

    During the reign of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (1797-1834) the first steps toward a modern currency were taken. At the Tabrīz and Isfahan mints well-executed silver and gold coins were struck along with the normal, less carefully minted products, with full, even pressure and reeded edges similar to those found on contemporary British Indian coins. 

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    Fridrik Thordarson

    ancient Greek name of the region at the eastern end of the Black Sea and south of the Caucasus mountains, corresponding to the Georgian provinces of Imeretia, Mingrelia (Samegrelo), Guria and Ač’ara and the Pontic regions of northeastern Turkey.

  • COLETTI, Alessandro

    Adriano Rossi

    (b. Trieste, 1928, d. Rome, 1985), Italian scholar of Iranian languages and general oriental subjects, co-author with his wife, Hanne Grünbaum, of the most comprehensive Persian-Italian dictionary (1978) published in modern times.



    term used to designate the American College, founded by Presbyterians and later renamed: see ALBORZ COLLEGE.



    For important individual colleges, see EDUCATION; FACULTIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN.


    Werner Sundermann

    or Codex Manichaicus Coloniensis, a lump of parchment fragments the size of a matchbox, containing a portion of the life and teachings of Mani, discovered in 1969 at an indeterminate spot in the area of Asyūṭ (ancient Lycopolis) in upper Egypt, the smallest ancient codex known to date.


    Annemarie Schimmel, Priscilla P. Soucek

    (Pers. rang). i. Color symbolism in Persian literature. ii. Use and importance of color in Persian art. 


    Wolfram Kleiss

    one of several kinds of upright, load-bearing architectural members encompassed, along with piers, in the term sotūn. In the Achaemenid palaces at Persepolis and Susa columns, whether plain or fluted, reached a height of 19 m and a diameter up to 1.60 m; they were topped by double-protome capitals, themselves an additional 8 m high.

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    See KŪMEŠ.


    Michael Weiskopf

    the portion of southwestern Asia Minor bordered on the east by the Euphrates river, on the west by the Taurus mountains, and on the south by the plains of northern Syria. It was part of the Achaemenid empire and successor kingdoms and did not achieve status as an independent kingdom until the mid-2nd century BCE.

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    Multiple Authors

     within Persia and between Persia and other regions.

  • COMMERCE i. In the prehistoric period

    Oscar White Muscarella

    In this early period “commerce” is best defined as the movement or exchange of material or goods between cultures within the present boundaries of Persia and those in other regions.

  • COMMERCE ii. In the Achaemenid period

    Muhammad A. Dandamayev

    The longest of many caravan routes was the Royal Road, which stretched for nearly 2,400 km from Sardis in Asia Minor through Mesopotamia and down the Tigris to Susa; stations with service facilities were located every 25-30 km along its length.

  • COMMERCE iii. In the Parthian and Sasanian periods

    Richard N. Frye

    There are few contemporary sources on commerce in the Parthian period, and no archeological site on the Persian plateau has yielded finds that shed light on the subject.

  • COMMERCE iv. Before the Mongol Conquest

    Bertold Spuler

    There were no centers of trade of supraregional importance in either Persia or Central Asia during the Middle Ages. In the Islamic world Baghdad, the seat of the caliphate, was the primary center for the exchange of goods, which arrived overland or by sea through the port of Baṣra at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

  • COMMERCE vi. In the Safavid and Qajar periods

    Willem Floor

    The Dutch and English East Indies companies were the first well-capitalized trading partners established in Persia, initially providing a much-needed source of cash for the shahs. In return the companies demanded and obtained treaties (in 1617 and 1623) granting them freedom of trade.

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  • COMMERCE vii. In the Pahlavi and post-Pahlavi periods

    Vahid Nowshirvani

    A prominent feature of Persian export trade was the steady rise in both the value and volume of oil shipments through almost the entire Pahlavi period until the Revolution, when this trend was reversed. Because of the large increase in price in 1352 Š./1973 the value of Persian oil exports climbed substantially more than the volume in the 1970s. Other exports fared less well.

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    Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi and ʿAlī Mohammadi

    the growth of post, telegraph, and telephone service in Persia was closely linked with the growth of railway and highway networks and other modern transportation systems; it was thus a central element in the development of a modern infrastructure in Persia.


    Multiple Authors

    Communism i. In Persia to 1941, ii. In Persia from 1941 to 1953, iii. In Persia after 1953, iv. In Afghanistan, v. In Tajikistan (see Supplement).