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Shelter of the last emperor of Persia, Yazdegerd III
Shelter of the last emperor of Persia, Yazdegerd III
Zibad is located in Iran
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Country  Iran
Province Razavi Khorasan
County Gonabad
Bakhsh Kakhk
Rural District Zibad
Population (2006)
 • Total 868
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)

Zibad (Persian: زيبد‎‎, also Romanized as Zībad)[1] is a village in Zibad Rural District, Kakhk District, Gonabad County, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 868, in 288 families.[2]

Zibad, meaning beautiful, was a famous ancient city in Shahnameh. According to Shahnameh Ferdowsi (around 1000 AD), it was the place of a famous war called 12 rokh (12 hero) between Iran and Turan. Zibad also has an ancient qanat that may be more than 1600 years old.

File:Qala Zibad-Shah Neshin-Sassanid.JPG
Qala Zibad-Shah Neshin-Sassanid

Zibad is famous for :

  • its saffron and opium production.
  • its ancient castle which was shelter of the last emperor of Persia, Yazdegerd III, the place of 3 ancient war, and its Mithraism monument.
  • its Qanat and darb e soufe a famous mountain wall rock, similar to Taq-e Bostan
  • its water clock which had been in used continuously since 400BCE until 1950.
  • its water mill. Watermill producing flour and crushed wheat. the ancient water mill was at work until 1984 and destroyed for construction of a dam
File:Ancient water clock used in qanat of gonabad 2500 years ago.JPG
Ancient water clock used in qanat of gonabad 2500 years ago


Reconstruction of the scene with a real manager of the water clock, Iran

According to Callisthenes, the Persians were using water clocks in 328 BCR to ensure a just and exact distribution of water from qanats to their shareholders for agricultural irrigation. The use of water clocks in Iran, especially in Zibad, dates back to 500BCE. Later they were also used to determine the exact holy days of pre-Islamic religions, such as the Nowruz, Chelah, or Yaldā - the shortest, longest, and equal-length days and nights of the years. The water clocks used in Iran were one of the most practical ancient tools for timing the yearly calendar.[2] .[3]


  1. Zibad can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3089466" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  2. "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (Excel) on 2011-11-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. conference of Qanat in Iran - water clock in persiaد1383 [1] آفتاب