DĀRZĪN, a village (29° 11´ N, 58° 09´E) on the road between Kermān and Bam on the site of a large early medieval town recorded as Dayr-e Wazīn (or Dīrūzīn), Dārjīn, Dāržīn, and Dārčīn and described as having a fine congregational mosque and many orchards (e.g., Ebn Ḵordāḏbeh, pp. 49, 196; Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, pp. 125, 375; Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 161, 169; Moqaddasī, pp. 461, 465-66; Ebn Ḥawqal, pp. 308, 314; tr. Kramers, II, pp. 302, 309). The town was the center of the region of the same name, which is known to have remained prosperous at least until the end of the 12th century (Afżal-al-Dīn, p. 66). Little is known about it in later periods, except that in 811/1408 a battle between Solṭān Oways, son of the amir Īdkū Barlās, who became independent ruler of Kermān in that year, and the Timurid prince Mīrzā Abā Bakr b. Mīrānšāh was fought in the area (Wazīrī, 1340 Š./1961, p. 243; Ḥabīb al-sīar III, p. 57). According to Aḥmad-ʿAlī Khan Wazīrī (1353 Š./1974, p. 96), the site was abandoned, and only in the 19th century was the present village established there.

The ruins of old Dārzīn cover an area 1.5 x 3 km east of the present village. There are abundant surface sherds, mainly underglaze-painted pottery, but earlier wares are also present, including slip-painted and yellow sgraffiato wares. So far the site has not been scientifically excavated, but the ruins of a number of buildings of different periods still stand. The earliest are probably three small forts of similar form (Plate III), built of straw-tempered rectangular mud bricks 27 x 27 x 7 cm. The forts have square plans with round towers at the corners and a semicircular tower in the middle of each of three walls; in the middle of the north wall there is an entrance flanked by two semicircular towers. The walls are about 14 m high, and inside each enclosure there is a series of chambers around a central courtyard at ground level; traces of upper levels are evidence that the buildings probably had three stories. The parabolic profile of the vaults over the chambers and arrow-shaped openings in the curtain walls suggest that these forts may date from the 8th or 9th century; the general layout, too, closely resembles the early palace at Kherbat Menyā, the rebāt (fortress) of Jabal (ʿO)says, and other Omayyad monuments in Syria.

Only the foundations of the large 10th-12th century mosque (or madrasa) survive; the building was constructed of mud brick faced with red-fired brick. It had a central courtyard plan with four ayvāns. In the vicinity there are also a number of later tombs and ruins.



Afżal-al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Ḥāmed Kermānī, ʿEqd al-ʿolā le’l-mawqef al-aʿlā, ed. ʿA.-M. ʿĀmerī, Tehran, 1311 Š./1932.

Schwarz, Iran, pp. 238-39.

M. Shokoohy, “Monuments of the Early Caliphate at Dārzīn in the Kirmān Region (Iran),” JRAS, 1980, pp. 3-20.

Aḥmad-ʿAlī Khan Wazīrī Kermānī, Tārīḵ-e Kermān, ed. M.-E. Bāstānī Pārīzī, Tehran, 1340 Š./1961.

Idem, Joḡrāfīā-ye Kermān, Tehran, ed. M.-E. Bāstānī Pārīzī, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974.



Plate III. View of fortress 2 at Dārzīn, from the east.

(Mehrdad Shokoohy)

Originally Published: December 15, 1994

Last Updated: November 18, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, pp. 83-84