Hamadān or Hamedān is the capital city of Hamedan Province of Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 473,149, in 127,812 families.Hamadan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE. Hamadan has a green mountainous area in the foothills of the 3,574-meter Alvand Mountain, in the midwest part of Iran. The city is 1,850 meters above sea level. The special nature of this old city and its historic sites attract tourists during the summer to this city, located approximately 360 kilometres (224 miles) southwest of Tehran. The main symbols of this city are the Ganj Nameh inscription, the Avicenna monument and the Baba Taher monument. People of the city identify their mother tongue as Persian.According to Clifford Edmund Bosworth, "Hamadan is a very old city. It may conceivably, but improbably, be mentioned in cuneiform texts from ca. 1100 BC, the time of Assyrian King Tiglath-pilesar I, but is certainly mentioned by Herodotus (i.98) who says that the king of Media Diokes built the city of Agbatana or Ekbatana in the 7th century BC."Hamadan was established by the Medes and was the capital of the Median empire. It then became one of several capital cities of the Achaemenid Dynasty.Hamadan is mentioned in the biblical book of Ezra as the place where a scroll was found giving the Jews permission from King Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 6:2). Its ancient name of Ecbatana is used in the Ezra text. Because it was a mile above sea level, it was a good place to preserve leather documents. During the Parthian era, Ctesiphon was the capital of the country, and Hamadan the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamadan. In the year 633 the battle of Nahavand took place and Hamadan fell into the hands of the Muslim Arabs.