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town, northern Iran, on the Harhaz River. The exact date of the founding of the town is unknown and enshrouded in legend, but it is certain that there has been a town on the site since Sasanian times. During the Sasanian period (AD 224-651), the district of Amol, together with the neighbouring district of Gilan, formed a Nestorian Christian episcopate. After the Arab conquest in the 8th century, the town became an important trading and scholarly centre, and it was the capital of the 'Abbasid province of Tabaristan, famous for its ceramic industry. Amol was sacked in the 11th century and again in the 14th by Timur (Tamerlane). It recovered, however, and an English traveler in the 17th century described it as a fruitful place with groves and well-built houses. Since then the town has suffered earthquake and flood damage several times but each time has recovered, and it is still a considerable town.