First Town on Earth: Yazd, Iran

[Note: there are over 80 images in this blog. The photos include some of the finest examples of Persian architecture in central Asia]

Tour promoters might lead you to think so, but Iran’s southern city of Yazd actually could not be the first town established by human beings. There are many cities vying for this distinction around the world. However, to be honest, Yazd isn’t a bad place to start if you want to trace civilization from its earlier pastoral bartering habits through the era of community-building using wayside rest areas (called caravansarais) and specific trade routes via harsh overland paths and primitive Gulf seaports. Great Chinese, Indian and Persian tribal conferences turned themselves into empires, with the help of charismatic, but often pragmatically brutal, rulers and servant armies. Unlike nearby population centers like Persepolis, though, it seems Yazd was a peaceful place that avoided most of the tumult of Iranian history.