عنوان مقاله [English]
Seymareh is one of the important cities of western Iran in the early Islamic centuries. Historical texts point to its position in the Jebal province between Khuzestan and Zagros Mountains. After a brief but booming life, the city was abandoned in the fourth century AH. Despite the long history of archeological studies in the city, there are some doubts and questions about its precise location in present-day geography of the region and the real causes of its extinction. In addition, investigating the role of various factors in the prosperity and development of the city is one of the issues that has been overlooked in previous research. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the impact of environmental variables, human factors and political-historical changes on the location, expansion and extinction of Seymareh city. The research approach is historical and its information is collected using documentary studies and field visits. The results show that the location of the historic city of Seymareh coincides with the site known as the kalek on the southern margin of the present-day city of Dareh-e-Shahr. Defense and security have played a major role in locating the city. The strategic position of the city between Khuzestan and west of Iran, along with its environmental benefits and the attention of the Al-Hassanwayhi rulers, led to its growth and prosperity in the early Islamic centuries. Political-historical factors and the decline of the regional communication boom that followed the extinction of Al-Hassanwayhi’s government, had the greatest impact on the desolation of this city.
Keywords: Historical Geography, Archaeological Studies, Seymareh City, Environmental Factors, Human Factors.
Seymareh is one of the most important cities in western Iran in the early Islamic centuries, which has been repeatedly mentioned in historical texts due to its strategic location on the road from Khuzestan to the Central Zagros. Despite the long history of archaeological research on the city and the considerable number of publications about it, many important issues about it are still obscure or have been largely neglected in previous research. The location of this city in the current geography of the region is one of the topics on which there is disagreement. Also, the impact of various factors on the formation, growth and expansion of the city has not been seriously considered so far. Some new studies by according to historical texts, have attributed the city’s extinction to an earthquake, but so far no conclusive evidence has been found to confirm it. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the references of historical texts and archaeological evidence in order to remove ambiguity about the location of the city of Seymareh and to investigate the impact of various factors on the life of the city at three levels of formation, growth and extinction. The importance of Seymareh city as one of the most important cities of the early Islamic centuries in western Iran and the existence of ambiguity about the location of this city and neglecting the real reasons for its formation, prosperity and abandonment, has necessitated independent research in this regard.
The Research Questions are as Follows: 1. where is the historical city of Seymareh located and what is its location in the current geography of the region? 2. What are the main effective factors in location (formation), growth, expansion and extinction of Seymareh city? The research hypothesis is as follows: The historical city of Seymareh is located in the present-day Dareh-e-Shahr city and its location coincides with the ruins known as Kalek in the southwest of the city. Defensive facilities, environmental benefits and its strategic position in the communication routes are the main factors in its formation and development in the early centuries of Islam, and natural events and political-historical developments have caused the extinction of this city.
The research approach is historical-analytical and its information has been collected through library studies and field research. Initially, by reviewing and evaluating ancient sources, a general knowledge of the city of Seymareh and its location in the region was obtained. Archaeological and field evidence was then collected through field visits and finally, by measuring and comparing the information of these two sections, factors affecting the life of Seymareh city have been analyzed in three levels of location, prosperity and extinction.
Historical texts refer to the geographical location of Seymareh, its climatic conditions and vegetation, which to some extent is coincide to the climatic and geographical conditions of the current Dareh-e-Shahr. Historical sources mention the existence of a large bridge between Tarhan and Seymareh. This indicates that the city of Seymareh must be located near a large and roaring river. The roaring Seymareh River is located between Lorestan and Ilam provinces and is the only important river in the region that has such a feature. This evidence shows that the city of Seymareh should be explored on the south bank of the Seymareh River and on the slopes of Kavarkuh. The only large urban area of this region is the ruins of Kalek on the southern out districts of Dareh-e-Shahr city, which is proposed in the present study as the location of the historical city of Seymareh by presenting historical and archaeological evidence.
As can be seen from the study of the geographical location of the city, in the stage of choosing the construction site of the city, the existence of natural defense barriers and the maximum use of these barriers have played the greatest role in the construction of the city. The ecological benefits of the region, the strategic position of Seymareh along the communication routes, the suitable climate and the defensive facilities of Seymareh provided a suitable conditions for its prosperity. With the correct understanding of these talents, the rulers of Al-Hasnawiyah made extensive efforts to prosper the city of Seymareh. These measures accelerated the role of the primary factors and caused the city of Seymareh in the third and fourth centuries AH to be considered as one of the most important cities in western Iran.
Considering that other important cities of the territory of Al-Hasnawiyah, such as Sirvan, Azivja ̅n and Shapurkhast, were abandoned at the same time as Seymareh, It seems that a common factor has played a role in the abandonment of the cities. Examination of historical and archaeological evidence shows that the decline of Al-Hasnawiyah power, the destruction of bridges and the decline of communication routes in the region along with natural disasters such as earthquakes have had the greatest impact in extinction of this city.
The results of this study show that the location of historical city of Seymareh is cocoinciding to the modern city of Dareh-e-Shahr. The process of location, expansion and collapse of this city has been affected by the interaction of environmental and human factors; Security and defense considerations have played a major role in choosing the construction site of the city. The environmental capabilities of the region in combination with the suitable communication position of Seymareh city on the south-west of Iran, has strengthened the role of the primary factor. The strategic position of this city in accessing the of communication roads and its economic talents attracted the attention of the rulers of Al-Hasnawiyah to this city and their works, such as repairing and building bridges and roads leading to prosperity of the city. From the beginning of the fifth century AH, following the decline of Al-Hasnawiyah and the restriction of their territory to the north of Lorestan, The communication routes, which was one of the economic recorses of Seymareh, fell from prosperity, and this factor, along with natural disasters such as earthquakes, reduced the prosperity of Seymareh and eventually abandoned the city.