Dizful is an ancient settlement situated on the left bank of the river known as Ab-i Diz. The city's name comes from the Persian words for fortress (diz) and bridge (pul), as the city was known in antiquity for an arched bridge that crossed the river and a nearby fortress that guarded the crossing. Pre-Modern Arabic sources also refer to the town with another, older name: Andamish or Andalmishk.

The bridge and fortress from which the town derives its modern name were constructed during the Sasanian period, possibly during the reign of Shapur I ( II (r. 309-370 CE). This bridge, which also served as a dam, was part of a larger hydraulic network that the Sasanian state constructed to harness the waters of Khuzistan's rivers for irrigation and milling.

Dizful capitulated to Muslim rule with the rest of the surrounding region by 640/19 AH. It continued to persist as a provincial center although its status as imperial breadbasket decreased. 

Modern Dizful's oldest quarter sits along the banks of the Ab-i Diz and the remains of hundreds of years of occupation. Many of the traditional houses feature sardabs - subterranean rooms used for keeping cool during the intense heat of the summer months in Mesopotamia. In a description of the city recorded in 1907, Ernst Herzfeld noted that the style of residential architecture resembled that of Mosul (also built along a steep riverbank on a landmass partly composed of the refuse of earlier habitation) more closely than that of Baghdad.


Herzfeld, Ernst. "Eine Reise durch Lūristān, Arabistān und Fārs." Petermann's Geographische Mitteilungen 53 (1907): 73-75.

Kheirabadi, Massoud. "Dezful i. Geography." Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2015. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/dezful  
[Accessed November 30, 2017].

Le Strange, Guy. The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, 238. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1905.

Lockhart, L. "Dizfūl." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Editionhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_1885 [Accessed November 30, 2017].
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