BAND-E AMĪR (the amir’s dike) or Band-e ʿAżodī, a dam or weir constructed across the Kor river at the southeast end of the Marvdašt plain in Fārs, approximately 15 km south of the town of Marvdašt and 20 km northeast of Shiraz. It takes its name from the Daylamite ruler ʿAżod-al-Dawla (r. 338-72/949-83; q.v.), who is credited with its construction in 356/975 to provide water to the district of Upper Korbāl. According to 4th/10th-century accounts, the region originally was a desert plain without water. ʿAżod-al-Dawla’s weir raised the waters of the Kor to form an extensive reservoir. Ten waterwheels along the reservoir raised the waters to a higher level and so irrigated the three hundred villages in the area.

Built of stone blocks set in cement, the weir’s foundations were laid in masonry with lead joints. Its upper portion served as a bridge, supported by thirteen pointed arches and measuring 350 feet long and 18 feet wide. The structure was acclaimed in the contemporary account of Moqaddasī as “one of the wonders of Fārs” (Le Strange, Lands, p. 277). Ebn al-Balḵī considered the weir so well built that “even an iron tool could not scratch it and it never would burst asunder” (pp. 151-52). Writing over a hundred years later, Mostawfī found it a mightier weir than that of the Sasanian Šāpūr II at Šūštar (Nozhat al-qolūb, p. 109). It seems to have remained in good repair well into the 11th/17th century, when it was described by French and English travelers to Iran. Yet in 1821, Claudius Rich found it in a ruined condition (Journey to Persepolis, p. 261). It was apparently restored some time after and still remains in use.

A village of the same name has existed on the western side of the weir since at least the early 13th/19th century. A number of mounds in the immediate vicinity cover the remains of the medieval village and possibly pre-Islamic structures. Band-e Amīr figures in Thomas Moore’s orientalist poem, “Lalla Rookh” (1817): “There’s a bower of roses by Bendemeer’s stream, and the nightingale sings round it all the day long.”



Given in the text. See also C. Barbier de Maynard, Dictionnaire géographique, historique et littéraire de la Perse, extrait du Modjem al-Bouldan de Yaqout, Paris, 1861, p. 313. Fasāʾī, II, p. 257.

Forṣat Šīrāzī, Āṯār-e ʿajam, Bombay, 1354/1935, pp. 251, 253-57 and illustration no. 37.

T. Herbert, Travels in Persia, 1627-1929, ed. E. Denison Ross and E. Power, New York, 1929, pp. 84, 87, 110.

J. J. Morier, A Second Journey through Persia . . . between the Years 1810 and 1816, London, 1818, p. 73 and illustration facing p. 74.

M.-T. Moṣṭafawī, Eqlīm-e Pārs, Tehran, 1343 Š./1964, p. 47 and picture no. 96.

W. G. Ouseley, Travels into Various Countries of the East II, London, 1821, pp. 180-85.

C. J. Rich, Journey to Persepolis, London, 1821.

A. B. Tilia, Studies and Restorations at Persepolis and Other Sites of Fars II, Rome, 1978, p. 85.

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(J. Lerner)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: December 15, 1988

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 7, pp. 680-681