Geographical Position, Ilam
Covering an area of 19,086 square kilometers, Ilam province is located in the western Iran. According to the latest divisions of the country in 1996, the cities of the province are Ilam, Mehran, Dehloran, Dareh Shahr, Shirvan Va Chardavol, Aivan and Abdanan. Ilam is the capital city of the province. This province is neighboring the Khuzestan province in the south, Lurestan province in the east, Kermanshah province in the north and Iraq in the the west with 425 kilometers of common border. In 1996 the population of the province was 488,000 of which 53.2% were urban dwellers and 44.6% resided in rural areas and the rest were non-residents.
From geological point of view, there are two parallel folds in the northwestern and southeast of the province which belong to the Mesozoic and Cenozoic periods. The northern and northeast parts of the province are mountainous and western and southwestern parts are low lands. The most important heights of Ilam province are Kabir and Dinar Mounts. There are some small plains in the mountainous areas of the north and northeast of the province like Halilan, Shirvan, Ilam etc. In southwestern and western parts of the province, there are vast plains with a warm climate like Dehloran and Dasht Abbas which join the Khuzestan plain in the east.
From climatic point of view, Ilam province is among the warm regions of the country enjoying a diverse weather so that the signs of three seasons can be seen in different regions of the province simultaneously. The mountainous areas of north and north eastern Ilam are relatively cold with long winters. The plain areas of the west and south west are warm. The central region enjoys a mild climate. Average annual rainfall in the province is 578 mm. According to the records of climatology stations in 1996, absolute maximum temperature has been 38°C in August and its minimum temperature has been 0.4° C in February. Freezing days in winter have been recorded as 27 day.
History and Culture, Ilam
Limited archaeological studies and discoveries indicate that the Gooti tribe has lived there about 4,000 BC. the Kassi or Kassit tribe has immigrated to this region from Caucasia after the Gootis. the Kassis worshipped Souriash or the Goddess of Sun who had Aryan origin. According to valid historical evidences, present Ilam province has been a part of the ancient Elam land.
In Elamite and Babylonian inscriptions, Ilam is called Alamto or Alam which means "mountains" or "the country of sunrise". It has been part of the Achaemenian Empire. Existence of numerous historical vestiges in Lurestan and Ilam provinces belonging to the Sassanide period indicates the specific importance of the region in that time. In the late 4th century AH., Kurdish tribes governed over the region till the early 6th century AH. Between 570-1,006 AH., Atabakan-e-Lor ruled Poshtkooh and Lurestan. Later on, this dynasty transferred their capital to Poshtkooh (present Ilam).
In 1930 AD., in the division of the country, Ilam became a part of Kermanshah province. Then, being a border region and due to important political situation, it was changed into a province and now it is one of the important provinces of the country. Totally, Ilam is a tribal province but in recent years the tribal relations specially the decampment of tribes have changed it drastically.