1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kuchān

KUCHĀN, a fertile and populous district of the province Khorasan in Persia, bounded N. by the Russian Transcaspian territory, W. by Bujnurd, S. by Isfaraïn, and extending in the E. to near Radkan. Its area is about 3000 sq. m. and its population, principally composed of Zafaranlu Kurds, descendants of tribes settled there by Shah Abbas I. in the 17th century, is estimated at 100,000. About 3000 families are nomads and live in tents. The district produces much grain, 25,000 to 30,000 tons yearly, and contains two towns, Kuchan and Shirvan (pop. 6000), and many villages.

Kuchan, the capital of the district, has suffered much from the effects of earthquakes, notably in 1875, 1894 and 1895. The last earthquake laid the whole town in ruins and caused considerable loss of life. About 8000 of the survivors removed to a site 71/2 m. E. and there built a new town named Nasseriyeh after Nasr-ud-din Shah, but known better as Kuchan i jadid, i.e. New Kuchan, and about 1000 remained in the ruined city in order to be near their vineyards and gardens. The geographical position of the old town is 37° 8′ N., 58° 25′ E., elevation 4100 ft. The new town has been regularly laid out with broad streets and spacious bazaars, and, situated as it is half-way between Meshed and Askabad on the cart-road connecting those two places, has much trade. Its population is estimated at 10,000. There are telegraph and post offices.

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