Ahvaz reached the height of its prosperity in the 12th and 13th centuries and is now a collection of wretched hovels, with a small rectangular fort in a state of ruin, and an Arab population of about 400.
It was still a wealthy place as late as the 14th century; but in the general decline of the East, and owing to changes in the trade routes, it sunk at length to a poor group of hovels gathered in the courtyard of the Temple of the Sun.
They nowhere built permanent dwellings, but contented themselves with mere hovels for temporary shelter.
Vara slowed their horse, halting on the other side of the city, where wooden dwellings gave way to stone hovels.
The streets formerly consisted largely of mud hovels, but since a great fire in 1894, which destroyed large parts of James Town and Ussher Town, more substantial buildings have been erected.