Sites & cities that bear the name of Dahan-e Gholaman

Dahan-e Gholaman

Today in : Iran (Islamic Republic of)
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Recorded names : 𐏀𐎼𐎣, Zraka, Zranka, Zarin, Dahaneh-e Gholaman, Dahan-i Ġulāmān

Description : Dahan-e Gholaman is the modern name of a major Achaemenid center and archeological site in eastern Iran. It has been identified as Zranka/Zarin, the capital of the satrapy of Zranka/Drangiana. The size of the site, unparalleled in eastern Iran, and the characteristic layout of its public structures indicate that it served as a significant Achaemenid administrative center. Consequently, Dahan-e Gholaman has been identified as the capital of the Achaemenid province of Zranka/Drangiana. As such, the site's ancient name was also probably Zranka or, a variation, Zarin. The site's features exhibit parallels to those attested in the reign of Darius I (522-486 BC), which would match the expected overall time-frame for its construction. The absence of stratigraphy at the site suggests a relatively short period of urban habitation, and it probably did not survive much beyond the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BC). In particular, if the identification with the capital of Zranka/Drangiana is correct, the site would have been visited by Alexander the Great during his pursuit of the usurper Bessos and his conquest of the region in the winter of 330-329 BC. After the decline and abandonment of Dahan-e Gholaman, the administrative center of the region was transferred 31 km to the northeast, to Nād-i `Alī in what is now Afghanistan, which was called Zaranj (or Zarang) in the Middle Ages. The name has since been transferred, yet again, to the modern city of Zaranj in Afghanistan, located 4.4 km south of medieval Zaranj (Nād-i `Alī) and 28 km northeast of ancient Zranka (Dahan-e Gholaman).

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