ʿAJABŠĪR, a town and baḵš in East Azerbaijan. The baḵš, one of four comprised in the šahrestān of Marāḡa, is bounded on the north by the baḵš of Āḏaršahr, on the west and south by Lake Urmia (Reżāʾīya), and on the east by the central baḵš of Marāḡa. It consists of the small town of ʿAǰabšīr and one dehestān named Dīzaǰ-rūd, which has 41 inhabited villages and a total population of 25,463 in 4,623 families (Naẓar-ī be tārīḵ-e Āḏarbāyǰān, pp. 554-56). The local climate is moderate, and adequate water supplies for human consumption and agricultural use are obtained from the Dīzaǰ or Qaḷʿa river, springs, and semi-deep wells with motor-driven pumps (Rāhnomā-ye āṯār-e tārīḵī-e Āḏarbāyǰān, p. 59). The main crops in the dehestān are cereals, raisins, almonds, and various tree fruits. Most of the inhabitants are engaged in farming, fruit growing, carpet weaving (qālīs, gelīms and ǰāǰīms) and other rural handicrafts (Farhang-e ǰoḡrāfīāʾī-e Īrān IV, p. 328). Educational, clinical, and developmental services were provided in most of the villages by the Literacy, Health, and Development Corps. Within the dehestān each of the large villages of Ḵānīān, Ḵeżerlū, Šīrāz, Šīšavān, and Gol-tapa has more than 1500 inhabitants. Also within it lies the ancient castle (qaḷʿa) of Barāzlū, known in the Sasanian and early Islamic periods as Afrārūḏ or Farāzrūd (Abnīa va āṯār-e tārīḵī-e Marāḡa, p. 3); at this site numerous bronze objects attributable to the 6th and 7th/12th and 13th centuries were unearthed not long ago during an unauthorized excavation (personal recollection of the present writer). Among the inhabited places are the ancient castle of Rūyīn-dez and the old village of Jonbaḏaq (Qazvīnī, Āṯār al-belād wa aḵbār al-ʿebād, pp. 521, 533; Waqf-nāma-ye robʿ-e rašīdī, p. 143).
The headquarters of the baḵš is a flourishing small town located 35 km northwest of Marāḡa at 37° 28’ north latitude and 45° 55’ east longitude and an altitude of 1330 m above sea level (Rāhnomā-ye āṯār-e tārīḵī-e Āḏarbāyǰān, p. 59). Until half a century ago, ʿAǰabšīr had the appearance of a small, backward village. Now it possesses asphalted avenues, piped water, 24-hour electricity, a complete intermediate school (dabīrestān), a public library, bookshops, clinics, shopping and commercial centers, offices of government departments, lush orchards, productive farms, a railroad station, and well equipped barracks built recently for the army. The town’s population is 6,298 in 1,225 families (census of 1345 Š./1966). Among its old buildings, the shrine (emāmzāda) and Masǰed-e Jāmeʿ of ʿAǰabšīr deserve mention.
E. Bībāǰ, Rāhnomā-ye āṯār-e tārīḵī-e Āḏarbāyǰān, Tabrīz, 1339 Š./1960.
H. ʿA. Razmārā, ed. Farhang-e ǰoḡrāfīāʾī-e Īrān IV, Tehran, 1330 Š./1951.
Rašīd-ad-dīn Fażlallāh, Waqf-nāma-ye robʿ-e rašīdī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971.
Zakarīyāʾ b. Moḥammad Qazvīnī, Āṯār al-belād wa aḵbār al-ʿebād, Beirut, 1380/1960.
ʿA. Kārang, Abnīa va āṯār-e tārīḵī-e Marāḡa, Tabrīz, 1350 Š./1971.
M. J. Maškūr, Naẓar-ī be tārīḵ-e Āḏarbāyǰān, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 29, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, pp. 695-696
ʿA. Kārang, “ʿAJABŠĪR,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, pp. 695-696; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ajabsir-a-town-and-baks-in-east-azerbaijan (accessed on 25 April 2014).