Zonuz (Persian: زنوز‎; Azerbaijani: zunuz; also Romanized as Zunus)[2] is a city in the Central District of Marand County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 2,618, in 826 families.[3]


بخشی از نمای شهر.jpg
Zonuz is located in Iran
Coordinates: 38°35′17″N 45°49′49″E / 38.58806°N 45.83028°E / 38.58806; 45.83028Coordinates: 38°35′17″N 45°49′49″E / 38.58806°N 45.83028°E / 38.58806; 45.83028
Country Iran
ProvinceEast Azerbaijan
 (2016 Census)
 • Total2,465 [1]
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IRDT)

Zonuz is located on a mountain, and has cold and snowy weather in winter and moderate summers. Civilization and culture of city related to Bronze Age (3800 BC), and Kura – Arax culture. The Zonuz valley is located between two mountain ranges, extending east to west. The mountain ranges are connected to each other in the east by Soltan Sanjar Mountain. The height of these mountains decreases from east to west. Soltan Sanjar has an altitude of 3,168 meters; other mountains namely,– Nevasar, Gerdehowul and Diragah – range from 2500 to 2200 meters in height.



According to French geologist Hubet Rieben, Zonuz is formed by rocks from the Devonian to the Quaternary period (the age of rocks is related to different geologic periods).

  • Calcareous rocks, a formation of the Paleozoic, date to the Devonian and form symmetrical layers. The color and hardness of these rocks differ. Calcareous layers are found on the north wall and eastern part of Diragah Mountain and are red and hard, although sometimes they may be light blue. On the southwest part of this mountain, olive-black calcareous layers may be distinguished. On the other hand, dark-brown and blue limestone is laid in the upper part of Zounuz's dam. Here, the eruption of mineral springs through Calcareous rocks are seen. Unfortunately, the site has recently been submerged under water of dam. Different colors of limestone has been seen in the Zonuz area. On the high-altitude western slopes of Soltan Sanjar Mountain the limestone is dark red, whereas on the eastern slopes of Mount Zireh (in the northern part of Zonuz), black limestone may be seen.
  • Formations of the Mesozoic period are similar to those of the Paleozoic era. The limestone layers are hard. Some of them are covered with blue silicated limes; these are found in Safe-Ali, Navasar and some areas of Deravan Daghi. This type of limestone is also found in the western part of Soltan Sanjar. Some of the strata (such as conglomerate rock and rock salt) have risen to high elevations; therefore, travertine rocks overlay them. Near Ramana, at the entrance to the Zonuz Road, the thickness of conglomerate rocks reaches 50 meters. From the third Cenozoic period, strata of igneous rocks have been observed on the highlands of Soltan Sanjar Mountain (east of Diragah) and also on the east part of Oyukhly Mountain. Compared with other layers, they are mostly in a vertical shape. In the eastern part of Zonuz the landscape (of high walls of igneous rocks) extends about 4 kilometers to the east. This igneous rock wall rests on sandstone, salt-shale and gypsum formations.
  • Quaternary period: In this period, horizontal travertine stones have lain on different formations of salt-shale. This quartz travertine is found in eastern

Zonuz (at an altitude of 1800–1900 meters), and also in the east of Zonuzaq at an altitude of 2000 meters. Many springs emerge from these travertine stones – Kal-las-ser and Ali Suei springs, for example.


Zonuz has a continental climate, with cold winters and cool summers.


Zonuz is divided into four districts: Khan Khajeh, Meerjan, Seyedlar and Dibin.


The origins of the Azeris probably derive from ancient mixed Iranian peoples (such as the Medes in Iranian Azarbaijan. It is believed that the Medes mixed with other indigenous population, the Caucasian Mannai (a northeast Caucasian group related to the Urartians). Ancient written accounts, such as one written by Arab historian Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Masudi(896-956), attest to a Turk presence in the region: "The Azerbaijanian are a people whose borders are the Mahat Mountains and Azarbaijan up to Armenia and Aran, and Bayleqan and Darband, and Ray and Tabaristan and Masqat and Shabaran and Jorjan and Abarshahr, and that is Nishabur, and Herat and Marv and other places in land of Khorasan, ...All these lands were once one kingdom. The language, however, is one, in that its letters are written the same way and used the same way in composition. There are, then, different languages such as turkmeni, Azari (Westerin Iranian language known as Pahlavi) as well as other languages."[citation needed] A poem from Shah Ismaeil Safina-yi Tabriz exists which is written in the Turkish dialect of Azerbaijan. Other sources have another belief in this regard.

Archaeological evidence indicates that the religion of Zoroastrianism was prominent throughout the Caucasus before the advent of Christianity and Islam, and the influence of various Iranian empires added to the Iranian character of the area. It has also been hypothesized that the population of Iranian Azarbaijan was predominantly Azari/Persian-speaking before the arrival of the Oghuz Turks. This claim is supported by many ancient literary figures (such as Qatran Tabrizi, Shams Tabrizi, Nezami, and Khaghani), who wrote in Turkic after (and during) the Oghuz migration, as well as by Strabo, Al-Istakhri, and Al-Masudi, who all describe the language of the region as Azari. The claim is mentioned by other medieval historians, such as Al-Muqaddasi.

The Encyclopædia Iranica explain that "The Turkish speakers of Azerbaijan (q.v.) are mainly descended from the earlier Iranian speakers, several pockets of whom still exist in the region.". The modern presence of the Iranian Talysh and Tats in Azerbaijan is further evidence of the former Iranian character of the region. But Talysh and Tats zoon is different from Azerbaijan zoon. to these modern groups, the ancient Azaris are as ancestors of the modern Azerbaijanis.

The Encyclopædia Britannica refers to Azeris in the Republic of Azerbaijan: "The Azerbaijani are of mixed ethnic origin, the oldest element deriving from the indigenous population of eastern Transcaucasia and possibly from the Medians of northern Persia"[citation needed].


The inhabitants originally were Zoroastrians (like most Iranians) they are now Shia Muslims due to the invasion of Arab Muslims.

Social historyEdit

Ownership rights in ZonuzEdit

The study of land ownership in Zonuz demonstrates many historical events and changes. In the History of Tabriz it is mentioned that Malek Mahmoud Tabrizi (son of Malek Mozaffar and a contemporary of Khajeh Rashid-al-din Fazlollah) lived during the Eilkhane-Moghol era. Malek Mahmoud Tabrizi sold Zonuz to Rashid-al-din Fazlollah. After his death, the ownership of Zonuz becomes unclear until the late Zand dynasty and the early Qajar dynasty. At that time, in many Persian cities there was disorder, social unrest and insecurity resulting from the transition between the Zand and Qajar dynasties; Zonuz was no exception under the rule of Donbali Khavanin, during which there were many social and economic problems. Consequently, many residents left Zonuz for other cities; while the government apparently supported the people, the end result was poverty and slavery (a proverb states, "The butcher shows a bunch of grass to the sheep in order to direct the sheep toward the slaughterhouse"). As residents of Zonuz left their homes for opportunity elsewhere, Donbali Khavanin seized their lands with illegal documents (which were transferred to his successors Seyed Ali Mojtahed, Aziz Khan Donbali and Shoa al Saltaneh, uncle of Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar).

Shoa al Saltaneh oppressed the people of Zonuz, many of whom subsequently left for Russia. His cruel behaviour caused him to be murdered in Tabriz by a tailor's employee. Shoa al Saltaneh's successors sold the property document to Mortazavi. Mortazavi (who lived in Tabriz) was a powerful Azerbaijani landlord. Mortazavi selected local powerful men as agents for collecting rent based on farm products.

A large share of farmers' income were collected for him. Crops were divided between landowner and farmer; the base rent was one-third the yield from irrigated lands and one-fourth from dry land. Additionally there were collections of animal oil, butter, sheep, and cheese for the landlords, which oppressed Zonuz farmers. "The poem of harvest which is written by Eftekhari about oppressed farmers of Zonuz is the best evidence".[citation needed] Land reform was undertaken by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1963, and the living conditions of farmers were improved with the end of feudalism. During the Pahlavi period, the total ownership of Zonuz was 90 shares. Each farmer had to buy his own share from successors of Mortazavi (Abdolvah hab). By buying out the landlord, feudalism gradually disappeared from Zonuz society.



At the 20th kilometer of the Marand-Jolfa road, Zonuz is known for its many varieties of apples.[4] It is considered the apple capital of Iran; nearly 25 different types of apple trees grow in Zonuz – half of them unique to the village, including Girde Shirin and Baljeyi. Zonuz economy is based on apple production; it supplies not only the Azerbaijan region, but all of Iran. Its climate, fertile soil and adequate water for irrigation have made the area ideally suited for apple-growing.

Apple trees which grow in Zonuz can be classified into two major groups – native and imported varieties. The main native varieties are:

  • Payeze: tasty, sweet-smelling, attractive color
  • Gabala: round, tart, green/light-red color
  • Torsh Alma: tart, perishable
  • Baljeye: round, dark red, sweet-smelling, tasty (called "sweet honey")
  • Gerdashirin: sweet, tasty summer apple

Imported red and yellow Lobnani apples have become very popular, taking market share from the native varieties; annual production of Lebnani apples is 3000 tons (domestic consumption is about 75 tons). It is a tasty, sweet-smelling, good-sized fruit weighing 300-400 grams. Apple orchards are the chief agricultural activity, in some cases replacing existing apricot orchards. Aside from Lobnani and the native varieties noted above, other apple varieties include Alangheh, Ag Alma, Pir Alma, Marand Almasi, Asheg Alma, Moshki and others. At the end of September, the apples are picked and placed in cold storage (they require cool temperatures to keep for a long period). In addition, Zonuz also has a local fruit known as Malachi. Zonuz also has well-known mountains (such as Mahar) which are tourist attractions. Solta Sanjar Mountain, at 3100 meters height in eastern Zonuz, is popular with mountain climbers and a holy mountain for pilgrims.


  1. ^ https://www.amar.org.ir/english
  2. ^ Zonuz can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3089567" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  3. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (Excel) on 2011-11-11.
  4. ^ Zonuz, Iran Retrieved 2011-03-18.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit