Physical geography and climate
Abarkooh is located in the southwest of Yazd province that from the north is limited to Sadouq in Yazd and Shahreza in Isfahan province, from the east to Khatam in Yazd and from the west and the south to Abadeh in Fars province.
Abarkooh is 5641 km2, and in terms of geographical coordinate, is with the longitude of 52' and 58* east, 30' and 46* north and it is 1550m above sea level. In terms of topography, the plain of Abarkooh is a part of the dry plateau of central Iran which is surrounded by Zagros mounts from the west and south like a fence. The desert of Abarkooh is the lowest place in the field with less than 1450m.
Abarkooh has hot and dry desert climate. The weather in general scale has the properties of Iran plateau desert climate and its characteristics are low rainfall, high amplitude, drought and the heat. The highest average of the temperature belongs to the months of June, July, August and September. Considering the temperature these four months are relatively distinguished from the other months of the year. Also the months of December, January and February are relatively cool comparing to the other months. The highest temperature that has been recorded was 39.1* Celsius in August, and the lowest was in February and March by 0.4* Celsius. The highest amount of monthly rainfall was in February and April which is between 12 and 15.5mm. The prevailing wind direction in the province is northwest to southeast. The highest wind speed in the town from mid-March to mid-October is between 8 and 10 knots.
According to the latest census in 1375, the town's household population is 19164 people and according to general statistics, the population of Abarkooh is about 43500 people and the religion of the people is Islam Shiah.
In the field of agriculture, the main cultivation of Abarkooh is wheat and pistachio is the second major product. The garden products of Abarkooh are apricot, pomegranate and grape. From the total working population in the major sectors of Abarkooh, 12.8% in agriculture, 29.2% in industry and 58% are working in service sector.
Background and history
According to the state division, Abarkooh used to be a part of Isfahan province until 1332 and then in 1332 was attached to Fars province (part of the city of Abade). In 1367 Abarkooh became a part of Taft in Yazd province and in 1373, according to the most recent state divisions, Abarkooh independently became one of the townships of Yazd province with the centrality of Abarkooh.
The appellation of Abarkooh
Since the town was first built on the hillside of a mountain, people called it "Barkooh" which means near the mountain and then in the dialect it became Abarkooh. After the invasion of Islam, like some other names in Arabic dialect, the phoneme of "K" changed to "GH/Q" so Abarkooh was called "Abarghoo". Finally in 1350 the town was officially named "Abarkooh" its name has come in the old and new references with forms of "Abarghoo", "Abarkooyeh", "Abarghooyeh", "Barghooh" and "Darkooh".
Myths and stories about the beginning of Abarkooh
There are some myths and stories told about the creation and archaism of Abarkooh that mostly have no scientific reference documents but the remaining buildings and monuments indicate the great age of this town. The exact time however must be found in scattered literature. In the book "Recognition of Abarkooh and its age" there is a quotation from Ahmed bin Hossein bin Ali kaateb (writer) the author of the book "The new history of Yazd", which says: When Alexander set Katheh (Yazd) as prison (ie, when he newly found Yazd) he appointed himself a deputy to take and send him the tribute of the states of Abarkooh, Isfahan, Estakhr and Qom. If this is true not only the archaism of Abarkooh is more than Yazd, but also it was considered equal to states of Isfahan and Estakhr. There are many sayings about Abarkooh in ancient literature such as "Masaalek al mamaalek" by Estakhri, "Hodud al alam men al mashregh elal Maghreb", "Fars nameh" by Iben Balkhi, "Tamajem al baladan" by Yaaghout Hamayee, "Al masaalek al mamaalek" by Iben Khardazbeh, "Continent of Pars" by Irej Afshar, "Nazhatol gholoob" by Hamdollah Mostoufi, "A tour of southern Iran", "Fars nameh Naaseri" by Haj Mirza Hassan Fasayee, book of "Art of Iran" by Andre Godard, "Continent of Pars" by Mohamed Naghi Mostafavi, "History and geography of Abadeh" by Abdol Rahim Sharif, "Loghat nameh"(Dictionary) by Dehkhoda and Moeen Persian culture. In the book of "Art of Iran" about geographical position of Abarkooh it says:
Abarkooh is located almost in the middle of the way to Estakhr (an ancient city). According to the narrative of Hamdollah Mostoufi: First they had built it (Abarkooh) on a hillside and they called it Barkooh (near the mountain) and then they built it on the plain that it is now. It’s a small town. Whoever comes from Dehbid (Safa shahr) or Surmaq, can still see the ruins of the old town and the view of the new one near where the rocky mountain is still standing. The town (Abarkooh) which is located on the plain has no similarity in terms of prosperity to Abarkooh in the Mongolian era. According to some opinions it's possible that this town has been destroyed during Afghan invasion. (1135 Hijri)
But the real reason for its destruction goes before the Afghan invasion. This town like many other towns that were previously prosperous and green, is presently moribund because the only cause of its prosperity was being located on the Silk road which its division can be named as the main reason. The known caravan road in Mongolian era that stretched from the Persian Gulf to the black sea started from Harz and after passing Soltanieh, Kerman, Yazd and Tabriz, came to the black sea coasts. Spices from China, India and Neil S. musk, silk goods, mastics and baneh from Kerman, Yazd and Shiraz and the precious stones that Shiraz, Hormoz and Soltanieh were known as its market, were brought to Europe along the Silk road.