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Limited archaeological studies and discoveries indicate 6,000 years of tribal residence in Ilam. Historical evidence indicates that Ilam province was part of the ancient Elamite Empire. The Ilamians named their territory Hetamiti, meaning the land of god. In some of the epigraphs left from Sumerian history, this territory was called Alam, Alamo, or Alamto meaning the high lands where the sun rises.
By immigration of Aryans and establishment of Aryan kingdoms, Ilam became a part of their territory. It was also part of the Achaemenid Empire. Existence of numerous historical vestiges in Lurestan and Ilam provinces belonging to the Sassanid period indicates the specific importance of the region in that time. In this period Ilam province was divided into two regions, Mehrjankadak in the eastern part and Masabazan at the western part.
Kurdish tribes governed the region from the late 11th century till the early 13th century.
In the 1930 division of Iran, Ilam became a part of Kermanshah province, only later to become a province by itself. Ilam is still a tribal province in many ways, but in recent years the tribal relations have changed drastically.
Bridges from Sassanid era (5 in total), numerous archeological sites (Teppes) and ruins from Sassanid era and earlier (224 in total), Ancient reliefs scattered across the province (8 in total) and ancient urban settlement ruins (22 in total).
Springs, caves (like the cave of Zinegan), 3 protected natural habitats, and provincial parks.
Ilam is a part of the region which created the Elamite Civilization as one of the earliest civilizations. Based on archaeological discoveries, this city was an active centre for different periods of Iranian civilization. In term of architecture there are some historical sites and some dispersed ruined buildings that give evidence of civilizations in this region. The considerable buildings that could be used to study climatic design aspects are mostly referred to the last few centuries.
The settlements of people were built by cheaper materials therefore only weak evidences of these types of settlements are visible today. The Governor Castle, Falahaty Mansion and The Mirgholam Castle are examples of some surviving traditional buildings in Ilam. The courtyard dwelling is the main type of the buildings of this period. This type of building was accepted as the main building type over all Iran for both climatic and cultural reasons. Brick is the main constructional material in these buildings. The passive thermal techniques indicated for the Iranian traditional buildings are commonly used in these buildings. The Governor Castle of Ilam was built in type of courtyard. The Mirgholam Castle of Ilam presents a classic Iranian courtyard. The garden and the pound were the main elements of this type of buildings. The Falahaty Mansion used a pitched roof as it was regular beside the flat roofs in the traditional buildings in Ilam earlier.