عنوان مقاله [English]
The present study based on classical texts concentrates on the frontier region separating Fars from Kerman during Islamic periods. The two major nearby administrative centers in this region were Rudan (Rafsanjan) and Shahr-e Babak on the eastern and western side of the mountain that forms a natural barrier separating these two state. The lower height of the northern part of this mountain create the only natural path, which at least from the early Islamic period had been the connecting corridor between the two states of Fars and Kerman. The path was One of the important attributes of the region its cities, and caused it to be mentioned in many geographical texts of the Islamic period. However, following the establishment of the national government by the Safavid dynasty and the diminishing and changing of the interstate borders, the path lost its importance. This situation has caused the administrations of Rafsanjan and Shahr-e Babak to undergo many changes and with the strengthening of one of these two states, the other would be annexed to it. On account of geographical sources, the most important city center in the area was Rudan, the location of which is unclear. There were also about ten other cities that we have little information about, and in many cases their exact location is unknown. This studies attempts to locate the missing cities in the region based on the textual and archaeological sources by regarding Shahr-e Babak as a Rostaq and Rudan as a Nahiya that belongs Fars and Kerman states respectively. The evidence in written source shows how awareness of geographical infrastructures and their potential let to the prosperity of a region that ensured security on the border of the tow important provinces of Fars and Kerman.
Keywords: Historical Geography, Lost Cities, Archaeology of Borders, Route, Fars State, Kerman State, Rudan (Rafsanjan), Shahr-e Babak.
It is by Looking at the geographical setting and historical landscape of the region in two different scales that we would be able to understand why this particular stretch of mountain had been chosen as a border area. In the large scale we need to understand the interstate dynamic between Fars and Kerman and, in the small scale the interaction between two administrative centers, namely Shahr-e babak and Rafsanjan.
The mountain between Fars and Kerman which is part of the Zagros range stretches from northwest to the southeast. The northern parts of which formed a natural barrier and a frontier region separating tow state of Fars and Kerman. The frontier characteristic of the region lasted for about 900 years after the invasion of Arabs, when the interprovince borders were very importance. The mountains around Sarcheshmeh and Pa-qale, have a lower height and create a natural path connecting two important state, namely “Ayalat-e Fars” and “Ayalat- e Kerman”. The lower height of mountains is one of the main connecting road between Fars and Kerman passed. On account of geographical sources, the route started from the city of Estakhr or Shiraz in Ayalat-e Fars and after passing through several Manzels arrived to either Srijan the old capital or Bardsir the new capital of Ayalat-e Kerman. One of the halts that is mentioned on the route is Chahak before Shahr-e babak and from shahr-e babak the route continued to Dehshotoran, Rudan and Bardsir or sirjan. By the Safavid period and the formation of central government, the route had lost its strategic importance, however, it was still frequented and travelers such as Henry Pottinger, Percy Sykes, Beresford Lovett, and Wilhelm Tomaschek described the route and the related cities and villages.
The two major nearby administrative centers are Rafsanjan and Shahr-e Babak on the eastern and western side of the mountain respectively. The strategic location of the region had the governors of the two centers to constantly competing over the border region which remained the case during the Islamic era in both pre- and post-Mongol periods.
The pre- Mongol geographical texts such as those of Ebn- khordadbeh, Estakri, Ebn- Hoghol, Maghdasi Ebne Balkhi and the unknow writer of Hodod alalam, mentioned the city and rostag of Shahre- babak as a part of Khore Estakhr in ayalat-e Fars. However, in the post-Mongol sources such as Semt ol ola and Nozhat ol gholob Shahr-e babak is considered as a part of Kerman state. Shar-e babak, in general, remained part of the Kerman borderline during Al-e Mozafar and Timurid periods when the border area between Fars, Kerman and Yazd was marked with many conflicts and battles among different contenders.
Rafsanjan, the other administrative center was called Rudan up to 14th century. The geographical sources of the 10th century identify Rudan as a part of Kerman which by then had turned among the three largest part of Estakr. In the 11th century and during the reign of Seljuks of Kerman, Soltan Qaverd amassed a lot of power until he succeeded in conquering Shiraz for a short time. Qaverd power led to changes in the borders between Kerman and Fars states and Rudan was once again added to Kerman and has remained so up until today. Thus Rudan like Shahr-e Babak was under the control of Fars and Kerman states; however, because of its location in the eastern side of the mountain, Rudan was often under the control of Kerman. In general, Rudan was a more important urban center and it seem that the Pa qala area where the fortress located was, at least up to the 12th century and before the Qoz invention, under the administrative control of Rudan.
Therefore, we can see that these two administrative centers and Their cities are situated in a strategic border area between two important states that even in the Qajar sources, when the interprovince borders had lost their importance, is mentioned as a border area. Thus, each ruler that could have control over this area undoubtedly increased his power over other part of Fars and Kerman, and it was important enough that could sustain several cities in the region. In the history of this border region during the Islamic era, two periods stand out. The first begins from the 10th century and ends in the 12th century, when the state of Rudān was at the height of prosperity. The second period is during the 14th and 15th centuries and before the establishment of the Safavid central government. In the second period, the region witnessed the rise of Muzaffarid dynasty followed by the Timurids in Fars and Kerman, and was marked with the many conflicts and battles among different contenders, which added to the geopolitical significant of the region.
Having this border area, not only provided control over the Shahr-e Babak or Rfsanjan but also enabled governor to have other part of Kerman and Fars and also closely monitored the transit between Fars and Kerman. Looking at the current map of Rafsanjan and Shahr-e Babak shows that how the discussed area was chosen consciously as a border region between two state of Fars and Kerman. identify the lost cities of this strategic area and estimating the location of them on map show the importance of this range in Islamic era. Having this part of land would bring considerable power and unable commanders to control transit and benefit from all the natural and political potential of the border territory.