Gorgan (gôrgänˈ) [key] or Jurjan jŏrjänˈ, town (1991 pop. 162,468), N Iran, E of the Caspian Sea. The surrounding region yields abundant grain and has extensive forests and marshes. Items of trade include carpets. The surrounding area, the ancient Hyrcania, was captured by the Arabs (716) and conquered by the Mongols (13th cent.). Aga Muhammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty, was born there, and the town flourished (c.1800) with the rise of the dynasty. It was formerly called Astrabad or Asterabad.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Iranian Political Geography

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