Sīstān


Sīstān
or Seistan

Extensive border region, eastern Iran and southwestern Afghanistan.

Most of its sparse population and about two-fifths of its area lie in Iran. It comprises a large marshland depression with a true desert climate. It is the reputed homeland of the legendary Kayānian dynasty of Persia and played an important part in Persian history, especially under the Safavid dynasty (1502–1736). In the 19th century it was the centre of a dispute between Persia and Afghanistan that led to the establishment of their modern frontier.

* * *

also spelled  Seistan 

      extensive border region, eastern Iran and southwestern Afghanistan. Forty percent of its area is in Iran, as well as the majority of its sparse population. The region comprises a large depression some 1,500–1,700 feet (450–520 m) in elevation. Numerous rivers fill a series of lagoons (hāmūn) and in high flood form a shallow lake that spills into another depression to the south. Three large deltas form the main regions of settlement: Lash-Juwain on the Farāh River, Chakhānsūr on the Khash River (both in Afghanistan), and Sīstān proper on the Helmand River. Sīstān has a true desert climate, with a highly irregular rainfall averaging less than 4 inches (100 mm) annually, extreme heat in summer, and frosts in winter. A “wind of 120 days” blows unceasingly from the north during summer, causing considerable erosion.

      The population is chiefly Tajik, though of mixed descent. There is a strong nomadic element of Baloch and Brahui, in addition to groups of Jāṭ and Gujars, and of Gavdars, who breed humped cattle.

      Sīstān is bounded on the south by the region of Balochistān. Sīstān's principal town, Zābol, is joined to the Meshed-Zāhedān highway by road; Zāhedān, with its railhead to Quetta (Pakistan), is the region's international outlet. Chakhānsūr is the chief town of Afghan Sīstān.

      Strife, corruption, and isolation hampered Sīstān's economy, which depended on a makeshift dam that annually was swept away by flood. Today two dams irrigate approximately 320,000 acres (130,000 hectares) of land. The chief crops are wheat and barley, with a little cotton and corn (maize).

      Sīstān is the reputed land of origin of the legendary Kayānian dynasty of Persia. From AD 226 the Sāsānian monarchs ruled Sīstān by constructing dams and irrigation canals. In the mid-7th century Muslim Arabs invaded Sīstān and introduced Islam, though less effectively than elsewhere. The region was controlled by a series of local and outside dynasties in following centuries, including the harsh rule of Timur (Tamerlane), a Turkic conqueror, in the 14th century. Sīstān subsequently was independent under its own maliks (kings). Though Shāh Ismāʿīl I (1502–24) of Persia conquered Sīstān, he and his successors left the maliks largely in control. In 1747 Sīstān came under the control of an Afghan, after whose death it was for long a bone of contention between Iran and Afghanistan. This dispute led to British arbitration and the delimitation of the Irano-Afghan frontier in 1872, a work brought to a close only in 1903–05. In the early 1970s the Iranian government sponsored extensive irrigation works in the Iranian portion of Sīstān.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sistan — o Balouchestan استان سیستان و بلوچستان (Ostān e Sistān va Baluchestān) Province du Sistan o Balouchestan Administration Pays Iran Type Province Capitale …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sistan — und Belutschistan Lage der Provinz Sistan und Belutschistan im Iran Basisdaten Hauptstadt Zahedan …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sistan — Sistan,   Seistan, Sagastan, Sakastana, abflussloses Becken im ostiranischen Hochland beiderseits der afghanisch iranischen Grenze mit dem Hamun e Helmand u. a. Endseen; der afghanische Teil gehört zur Provinz Nimruz, der iranischen zur Provinz …   Universal-Lexikon

  • SISTAN — S 壟ST Dénommé Drangiane dans l’Antiquité, appelé aussi Sakastène (Sagest n) lorsque les Saka venus d’Asie centrale s’y furent établis vers la fin du SISTAN IIe siècle, le S 稜st n (parfois écrit Séistan et, pour les géographes arabes, Sidjist n)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sistan — Sistan, Land, so v.w. Sedschestan …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sistan — Modern Sistan (PerB|سیستان) is a border region in southeastern Iran (see Sistan and Baluchestan Province) and southwestern Afghanistan (see Nimruz Province). In ancient times the area was known as Arachosia; it became known as Sakastan in the 1st …   Wikipedia

  • Sistán — Las puertas de Haozdar, en Sistán. Sistán (en persa, سیستان Sīstān) es una región fronteriza en el sureste de Irán (véase la provincia de Sistán Beluchistán) y el suroeste de Afganistán (véase provincia de Nimruz). En la Antigüedad la región era… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sistán — VER Seistán * * * o Seistan Extensa región fronterizadel este de Irán y el sudoeste de Afganistán. La mayoría de sus escasos habitantes y cerca de 40% de su superficie se encuentra en Irán. Comprende una gran depresión pantanosa con un clima… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sistan — /sɪsˈtan/ (say sis tahn) noun an inland drainage basin on the borders of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, surrounding a lake into which the river Helmand drains …   Australian English dictionary

  • Sistan-o-Balouchestan — استان سیستان و بلوچستان (Ostān e Sistān va Baluchestān) Province du Sistan o Balouchestan Administration Pays Iran Type Province Capitale …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.