GAZ (town)

GAZ (or Jaz), a town in the province of Isfahan, of the šahrestān of Barḵᵛār and Mayma, situated 18 km north of the city of Isfahan at an altitude of 1,578 m above sea level; it has a population of 17,874 (Markaz-e āmār-e Īrān, Āmār-gīrī, p. 7; idem, Naqša [1]; Wezārat-e defāʿ, p. 229). Its products are wheat, barley, vegetables, cotton, fruits, pistachios, and jujube fruit; native plants are ash-tree and milk vetch (gavan; Astragalus). Of wild animals, wolves, jackals, foxes, and rabbits are found in the area. Its handicrafts are carpets and muslin (Razmārā, X, p. 55; Wezārat-e defāʿ, p. 229). A mosque and part of a tower from the Saljuq period, and a caravansary from the Safavid era are still standing (Meškātī, pp. 31, 53, Wilber, pp. 162-63; Honarfar, Eṣfahān, pp. 187-94). The earliest mention of Gaz/Jaz is by the 7th/13th century geographer Yāqūt Ḥamawī, who refers to it as was one of the villages of Isfahan (Boldān II, p. 71). A century later Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfī mentioned Gaz as the largest village of the Barkᵛār district of Isfahan, in which there was a fire temple (ātaškada) reportedly built by Bahman b. Esfandīār (Nozhat al-qolūb, ed. Le Strange, p. 51). In 1142/1729-30, Shah Ṭahmāsb II (1135-45/1722-32) received the representatives of the East India Company in this village (q.v.; Floor, p. 14). In 1145/1732-33 the Afghan invaders under Maḥmūd attacked Gaz around which the Qezelbāš had dug moats. The village resisted the invaders even after the capital, Isfahan, had fallen, until a new Afghan force under Zebardast Khan, a Persian raised among the Afghans, entered the walled village through a tunnel that was dug right into the center of village (Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, Montaẓam-e nāṣerī, ed. Reżwānī, II, pp. 1088-89; Lockhart, pp. 200-201). In 1245/1829-30 Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah Qājār on his way to Fārs (q.v.) and Ḵūzestān received the notables and ʿolamāʾ of Isfahan in that town (idem, III, pp. 1597, 1599). According to Eugène Flandin (tr. p. 129), in 1256-58/1840-42 the inhabitants of Gaz had constructed underground canals (qanāts) which they called karājī; these canals are mentioned also by Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s German physician, Polak (tr. p. 326). According to Arbāb (pp. 296, 298, 299), in 1308/1890-91 Gaz was a vast township of the district of Barḵᵛār.

Bibliography:

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Eugène N. Flandin, Voyage en Perse, Paris, 1851; tr. Ḥ. Nūr Ṣādeqī as Safar-nāma-ye Ūžen Felānden be Īrān, Tehran, 1359 Š./1980.

W. Floor, Bar-oftādan-e Ṣafawīān, bar-āmadān-e Maḥmūd Afḡān ba rewāyat-e šāhedān-e holandī, Tehran, tr. A. Serrī, 1365 Š./1987.

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(Minu Yusuf-Nežād)

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