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1.3. History

Human settlements in this area date back to 10 000 BCE. Evidence of the ancient city of Jorjan can still be seen near the current city of Gonbad-e Kavus. This was an important city of Persia, located on the Silk Road.
Under the Achaemenid Iran, it seems to have been administered as a sub-province of Parthia and is not named separately in the provincial lists of Darius and Xerxes. The Hyrcanians, however, under the leadership of Megapanus, are mentioned by Herodotus in his list of Xerxes’ army during the invasion of Greece.
The Buwayhid and Ziyarid dynasties of Persia were from this region. They were known for the revival of pre-Islamic Persian culture. For example, Buwayhid leaders entitled themselves as Shahanshah, literally king of kings, a term used by Sassanid rulers.
The world's tallest brick tower stands in this province. It is the famous Gonbad-e Qabus, built by a famous Amir of this region.
The name "Hyrcania" is the ancient Greek record of the local name in Old Persian name Varkana. The capital of Hyrcania was "Zadracarta", the largest city and site of the "royal palace" of Hyrcania, most probably located at the great mound of Qal'a-ye Kandan, on the western fringe of present-day Gorgan city (formerly Astarabad). At the time of Sasanids Gorgan appeared as the name of a city, province capital, and a province.
Hyrcania became part of the Persian Empire during the reign of Cyrus the Great (559-530 BC) - the first emperor the first Persian Empire dynasty - or Cambyses (530-522 BC). It was conquered by Arabs in 8th century and by Mongols in 13th century.
Gorgan (and in general, the Golestan province), has a world-famous carpet and rug industry, made by Turkmen. The patterns of these carpets are derived from the ancient Persian city of Boxara (Bukhara) which is now located in the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. Jajim carpets are also crafted in this province.

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