Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


As an ancient port on Khuzestan’s coast of Persian Gulf، Mahruban has had a special role in the international marine trade. Apart from a number of references in a few historical sources، there is some historical and archeological evidence such as the chinaware pieces of Mahruban which bear testimony to the currency of their trade، at least، since the Sassanid era. Islamic historical sources from 9th to 13th century consider Mahruban as a secondary port overshadowed by the flourishing port of Siraf. Even after the earthquake of Siraf which left it in ruins، Mahruban was simply called a little port on the western coast of the Persian Gulf، somewhere between Mesopotamia، and the two provinces of Khuzestan and Fars. Yet، the archeological remains especially the chinaware pieces detected by the Iranian-Japanese historians and archaeologists in an earth survey dowsing in Mahruban archaic site in may 2006 bore testimony to the expansion of the trade that geographically had reached China and temporally had survived until the 14th century. The present article tries to answer the following: Regarding the historical and archaeological evidences، how much was the temporal and local range of chinaware trade in Mahruban port? The hypothesis upon which the research is based is that although with the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate and the collapse of Baghdad as their capital as well as the fall of Isfahan by the Mongol invasion both the sea route of Iraq to India via the Indian Ocean، and the inner Persia’s roads toward Mahruban port were weakened، Mahruban flourished once more in the mid 14th century so that much cotton from the inner Persia was traded for chinaware from the Far East.