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Carpet from Quchan, Iran

Town in northeastern Iran with 90,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate) at an elevation of 1,149 metres above sea level, and north of the Shah Jahan Mountains. It lies in the Khorasan Province.
Even today, many of the people in the Quchan region are nomads. Grain and wine are produced.
Quchan is connected by road to Mashhad, 150 km southeast, and Turkmenistan, 100 km north.
Quchan has suffered from many earthquakes, and the town was relocated 13 km east of the original town in 1895.
Most of the inhabitants are Kurds, originating from the Zafaranlu tribe.

17th century: Shah Abbas 1 re-settles the Zafaranlu Kurdish tribe here. They serve as frontier soldiers, receive great autonomy in return, have their own hereditary tribal leader, and do not pay any tributes.
1895: Following a devastating earthquake killing 12,000 of the inhabitants, Quchan is relocated 13 km east.

By Tore Kjeilen