Hamedan or Hamedān is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Its center is Hamedan city. The province of Hamedan covers an area of 19,546 km². In the year 1996, Hamedan province had a population of approximately 1.7 million people. Hamedan is one of the most ancient parts of Iran and its civilization. Relics of this area confirm this fact. Today’s Hamedan is what is left of Ecbatana, The Medes’ capital before they formed a union with the Persians. The poet Ferdowsi says that Ecbatana was built by King Jamshid.