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Kirman  

Abbas Daneshvari

[Kirmān, Kerman; formerly Beh-Ardashīr, Bardsīr]

Iranian city that was reputedly founded by the first Sasanian king, Ardashir I (reg ad 224–41), and that has been the capital of the province of the same name since the 10th century. A local school of manuscript illustration flourished there under the Muzaffarid dynasty (reg 1314–93; see Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(c)), and the city is an important centre of textile production, renowned since the 16th century for its carpets and shawls (see Islamic art, §VI, 2(iii)(c) and 4(iv)(c)).

The earliest surviving monuments in Kirman are the Qal‛a-i Ardashir and the Qal‛a-i Dukhtar, ruined fortifications of indeterminate date attributed to Ardashir I. City walls were built when Kirman replaced Sirjan as provincial capital, but, removed from the major centres of power and from invasion routes, the city has often enjoyed protracted periods of peace and prosperity under local dynasties and governors who served for unusually long terms. A number of buildings date from the period between ...