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AHVAZ

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 434 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AHVAZ, a town of Persia, in the province of Arabistan, on the left bank of the river Karun, 48 m. S. of Shushter,in 31° 18' N., 49° E. It has been identified with the Aginis of Nearchus, Soo stadia from Susa, a'nd occupies the site of what was once an extensive and important city. Of this ancient city vast remains are left, extending several miles along the bank of the river. Among the most remarkable are the ruins of a bridge and a citadel, or palace, besides vestiges of canals and water-mills, which tell of former commercial activity. There are also the ruins of a band, or stone dam of great strength, which was thrown across the river for the purposes of irrigation. The band was 1150 yds. in length and had a diameter of 24 ft. at its base. Remains of massive structure are still visible, and many single blocks in it measure from 8 to to ft. in thickness. Ahvaz reached the height of its prosperity in the 12th and 13th centuries and is now a collection of wretched hovels, with a small rectangular fort in a state of ruin, and an Arab population of about 400. Since the opening of the Karun to foreign commerce in October 1888, another settlement called Benderi N6,ssiri, in compliment to the Shah Nassir ed din (d. 1896), has been established on a slight elevation overlooking the river at the point below the rapids where steamers come to anchor, about one mile below Ahvaz. It has post and telegraph offices; and agencies of some mercantile firms, a British vice-consul (since 1904) and a Russian consular agent (since 1902) are established there. The new caravan road to Isfahan, opened for traffic in 1900, promised, if successful; to give Ahvaz greater commercial importance. AI [Sept. `Ayyal, 'Ayyat and rat; Vulg. Hai], a small royal city of the Canaanites, E. of Bethel. The meaning of the name may be " the stone heap "; but it is not necessarily a Hebrew word. Abraham pitched his tent between Ai and Bethel (Gen. xii. 8, xiii. 3) ; but it is chiefly noted for its captureand destruction by Joshua (vii. 2-5, viii. 1-29), who made it " a heap for ever, even a desolation." It is mentioned by Isaiah (x. 28), and also after the captivity (Ezra ii. 28; Neh. vii. 32), bat then probably was not more than a village. In the later Hebrew writings the name sometimes has a feminine form, Aiath (Is. x. 28), Aija (Neh. xi. 31). The definite article is usually prefixed to the name in Hebrew. The site was known, and some scanty ruins still existed, in the time of Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast., s.v. 'Ayyal). Dr E. Robinson was unable to discover any certain traces of either name or ruins. He remarks, however (Bib. Researches, ed. 1856, i. p. 443), that it must have been close to Bethel on account of Biblical narrative (Josh. viii. 17). A little to the south of a village called Deir Diwan, and one hour's journey southeast from Bethel, is the site of an ancient place called 'KhirbetHaiydn, indicated by reservoirs hewn in the rock, excavated tombs; and foundations of hewn stone. This may possibly be the site of Ai; it agrees with all the intimations as to its position. ; It has also been identified with a mound now called et-Tell (" the heap "), but though the name of a neighbouring village; Turin= Aya, is suggestive, it is in the wrong direction from Bethel. In this view recent authorities, such as G. A. Smith, generally coincide. See Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement, 1869, p. 123; 1874, p. 62; 1878, pp. 10, 132, 194; 1881, p. 254. (R. A. S. M.)
End of Article: AHVAZ
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AIB4 (AiB2+A1Bs+B4) (—Bs—A1B2B3 —ATB4)

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