Historic Bam, a desert oasis town, is situated in an environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. Bam and its cultural landscape represents an outstanding example of an ancient fortified settlement that developed around the Iranian central plateau and is an exceptional testimony to the development of a trading settlement in the desert environment of the Central Asian region. This impressive 2500 old construction (the Arg) undoubtedly represents the climax and is the most important achievement of its type not only in Iran but also in a much wider cultural region of Western Asia.
The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC). Its heyday was from the 7th to 11th centuries, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments. The existence of life in the oasis was based on the underground irrigation canals, the Qanāts, of which Bam has preserved some of the earliest evidence in Iran. Arg-e Bam is the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique using mud layers (Chineh) Bam is famous for the delicious dates that grow on its thousands of palms, citrus fruit and for the huge Arg-e Bam mud-brick citadel.
The ancient mud city of Bam is the largest adobe structure on earth and, until the 2003 earthquake, it was one of the jewels in Iran's tourism crown. Arg e Bam is spread on a land area of about 20 hectares and its cultural landscape encompasses an area of about 492 hectares where you can find many palm groves, subterranean water canals – the traditionally made aqueducts or Qanat in Persian – and several other natural attraction. Bam was a staging post on the trade routes between India and Pakistan at one end and the Persian Gulf and Europe at the other. Visitors, including Marco Polo, were awestruck by the city’s 38 towers, huge mud walls and fairy-tale citadel – the Arg-e Bam.