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Geographical Setting

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Chapter Summary

The site of Rayy, today's Šāh ʿAbd al-ʿAẓīm but also Šāhr-e Rayy, was located on the Iranian Plateau, more precisely at the foot of the Elborz (or Alborz) mountain range which passes just to the south of the Caspian Sea. The origins of occupation in the area date to back to the Neolithic period. Situated on a small hill called Češmeh ʿAlī, the continuing settlement owes its existence to the presence of a spring issuing from the hill. The site of Rayy is situated in a zone where significant watercourses are not numerous. It is located on the interfluve between two great watercourses: the larger one, Karaj to the west, which supplies the town of Karaj itself, and that of Jājerud to the east, which supplies the town of Waramin. Geopolitically, Rayy was situated in strategic point between Mesopotamia to the west, and Ḫurāsān and Central Asia to the east.

Keywords: Ḫurāsān; Caspian Sea; Iranian Plateau; Karaj; Mesopotamia; Neolithic period; site of Rayy



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