Table of Contents

  • ĀB

    Multiple Authors

    Persian word meaning “water.”

  • ĀB i. The concept of water in ancient Iranian culture

    Mary Boyce

    The ancient Iranians respected water as the source of life, which nourished plants, animals, and men. In their cosmology water was the second of the seven “creations.”

  • ĀB ii. Water in Muslim Iranian culture

    I. K. Poonawala

    Water constitutes an essential element in Islamic ritual, as a means of purification, and serves as a common theme in folklore. 

  • ĀB iii. The hydrology and water resources of the Iranian plateau

    P. Beaumont

    Over the most of the central part of the plateau, in the Dašt-e Kavīr and Dašt-e Lūt, annual precipitation averages less than 100 mm, making these among the most arid parts of the world.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    R. Holod, M. Sotūda

    "Water reservoir,” a term commonly used throughout Iran as a designation for roofed underground water cisterns.

  • ĀB-ANBĀR i. History

    R. Holod

    The āb-anbār was one of the constructions developed in Iran as part of a water management system in areas reliant on permanent (springs, qanāts) or on seasonal (rain) water. A settlement’s capacity for storing water ensured its survival over the hot, dry season when even the permanent water supply would diminish.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • AB-ANBĀR ii. Construction

    M. Sotūda

    Cisterns are built in towns and villages throughout Iran, as well as at crossroads, caravanseries, and hospices (rebāṭ). While town cisterns may be filled with rain water or from qanāts, most āb-anbārs along caravan routes are filled from the spring torrents of nearby streams.

  • ĀB-E DEZ

    H. Gaube

    a major river of Ḵūzestān and the one most vital to its economy. It rises in the central Zagros mountains about 20 km northeast of Borūǰerd near the village of Čahār Borra.


    E. Ehlers

    There is a special kind of spring, the karst spring, in areas which have no consistent water table. The water usually collects in great clefts within chalky formations or flows in a subterranean channel and often includes the best-known springs in Iran.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.


    Āb-e Ḥayāt, also called ʿAyn al-Ḥayāt or Nahr al-Ḥayāt, meaning the fountain of life, is associated with Ḵeżr, who is identified with the unnamed companion of Moses in the Koran (18:65-82). See ĀB ii. Water in Muslim Iranian culture.