1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ahvaz

AHVAZ, a town of Persia, in the province of Arabist an, on the left bank of the river Karun, 48 m. S. of Shushter, in 31° 18 N., 49° E. It has been identified with the Aginis of Nearchus, 500 stadia from Susa, and occupies the site of what was once an extensive and important city. Of this ancient city vast remains are left, extending several miles along the bank of the river. Among the most remarkable are the ruins of a bridge and a citadel, or palace, besides vestiges of canals and watermills, which tell of former commercial activity. There are also the ruins of a band, or stone dam of great strength, which was thrown across the river for the purposes of irrigation. The band was 1150 yds. in length and had a diameter of 24 ft. at its base. Remains of massive structure are still visible, and many single blocks in it measure from 8 to 10 ft. in thickness. Ahvaz reached the height of its prosperity in the 12th and 13th centuries and is now a collection of wretched hovels, with a small rectangular fort in a state of ruin, and an Arab population of about 400. Since the opening of the Karun to foreign commerce in October 1888, another settlement called Benderi Nássiri, in compliment to the Shah Nássir ed din (d. 1896), has been established on a slight elevation overlooking the river at the point below the rapids where steamers come to anchor, about one mile below Ahvaz. It has post and telegraph offices; and agencies of some mercantile firms, a British vice-consul (since 1904) and a Russian consular agent (since 1902) are established there. The new caravan road to Isfahan, opened for traffic in 1900, promised, if successful, to give Ahvaz greater commercial importance.