My Journey Around The Iran

Geography

Iran has an area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi).Iran lies between latitudes 24° and 40° N, and longitudes 44° and 64° E. Its borders are with Azerbaijan(611 km or 380 mi, with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave, 179 km or 111 mi)and Armenia (35 km or 22 mi) to the north-west; the Caspian Sea to the north;Turkmenistan (992 km or 616 mi) to the north-east; Pakistan (909 km or 565 mi) and Afghanistan (936 km or 582 mi) to the east; Turkey (499 km or 310 mi) and Iraq (1,458 km or 906 mi) to the west; and finally the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south.

Iran consists of the Iranian Plateau with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan Province. It is one of the world's most mountainous countries, its landscape dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate variousbasins or plateaux from one another.

Classical antiquity

During the 2nd millennium BC, Proto-Iranian tribes arrived in Iran from the Eurasian steppes,rivaling the native settlers of the country.As these tribes dispersed into the wider area of Greater Iran and beyond, the boundaries of modern Iran were dominated by the Persian, Median, and Parthian tribes.

From the late 10th to late 7th centuries BC, the Iranian peoples, together with the pre-Iranian kingdoms, fell under the domination of the Assyrian Empire, based in northernMesopotamia.Under king Cyaxares, the Medes and Persians entered into an alliance with Nabopolassar of Babylon, as well as the Scythians and the Cimmerians, and together they attacked the Assyrian Empire. The civil war ravaged the Assyrian Empire between 616 BC and 605 BC, thus freeing their respective peoples from three centuries of Assyrian rule.The unification of the Median tribes under a single ruler in 728 BC led to the foundation of the Median Empire which, by 612 BC, controlled the whole Iran and the eastern Anatolia.

People

The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of Iranian languages.

Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid 2nd millennium BC.At their peak of expansion in the mid 1st millennium BC, the territory of the Iranian peoples stretched across the Iranian Plateau and the entire Eurasian Steppe from the Great Hungarian Plain in the west to the Ordos Plateau in the east.The Western Iranian Persian Empires came to dominate much of the ancient world at this time, leaving an important cultural legacy, while the Eastern Iranian nomads of the steppe played a decisive role in the development of Eurasian nomadism and the Silk Route. Ancient Iranian peoples include the Alans, Bactrians, Dahae, Massagetae, Medes, Khwarezmians, Parthians, Saka, Sarmatians, Scythians, Sogdians and other peoples of Central Asia,...