Bam is a city in Kerman Province of Iran.
city is the center of Bam County
Iranian city of Bam surrounds the Bam citadel.
Before the 2003
earthquake the official population count of the city was roughly
43,000. There are various opinions about the date and reasons for
the foundation of the citadel. Some people believe that Bam city
was founded during the Parthian
. Economically and commercially, Bam occupied a very
important place in the region and was famed for its textiles and
clothes. Ibn Hawqal
), the Arab
traveller and geographer
, wrote of Bam in his book
- Over there they weave excellent,
beautiful and long-lasting cotton cloths which are sent to places
all over the world There they also make excellent clothes, each of
which costs around 30 dinars; these are sold
in Khorasan, Iraq and Egypt.
The ancient citadel of Arg-é Bam probably has a history
dating back around 2000 years ago, to the
(248 BC–224 AD), but
most buildings were built during the Safavid
dynasty. The city was largely abandoned due
to an Afghan
invasion in 1722
. Subsequently, after the city had gradually
been re-settled, it was abandoned a second time due to an attack by
invaders from Shiraz.
was also used for a time as an army barracks.
The modern city of Bam was established later than the old citadel.
It has gradually developed as an agricultural and industrial
centre, and until the 2003
experiencing rapid growth. In particular, the city is known for its
. The city also benefited from tourism
, with an increasing number of people
visiting the ancient citadel in recent years.
Arg e Bam Before the earthquake.
The 2003 Bam earthquake was a major earthquake that struck Bam and
the surrounding Kerman province of southeastern Iran at 1:56 AM UTC
(5:26 AM Iran Standard Time) on December 26, 2003. The most widely
accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude
(Mw) of 6.5 on the
Richter scale; estimated by the United States Geological Survey.
The earthquake was particularly destructive, with the death toll
amounting to 26,271 people and injuring an additional 30,000. The
effects of the earthquake and damage was exacerbated by the fact
that the city chiefly consisted of mud brick buildings, many of
which did not comply with earthquake regulations set in Iran in
Due to the earthquake, relations between the United States and Iran
thawed. Following the earthquake the U.S. offered direct
humanitarian assistance to Iran and in return the state promised to
comply with an agreement with the International Atomic Energy
Agency which supports greater monitoring of its nuclear interests.
In total a reported 44 countries sent in personnel to assist in
relief operations and 60 countries offered assistance.
Post 2003 Development
Immediately following the 2003 earthquake the Iranian government
began to plan a new city based on population control theories in
order to eliminate problems that existed with the old city. The
development of the plan took at least six months and resulted in
significant complaints against the central government and local
government by the Bam earthquake survivors. Nevertheless,
government in Tehran continued
its plans and currently the city is being rebuilt.
citadel is also being rebuilt with specialist care from the
Ministry of Culture and from Japanese universities. The earthquake
was an extreme tragedy and stunted the growth of Bam as a city.
Costs of the earthquake mounted to between $700,000,000 and
$1,000,000,000 U.S. dollars.
On 16 March 2007
130 km/h sandstorm
hit the city of
Bam without warning, suffocating 3 children, killing 2 in car
accidents, and wounding 14 others.