Kerman city had an estimated population of 533,799 in 2005.
It is believed, that Kerman has been founded as early as the 3rd century by Ardeshir I, founder of the Sassanian dynasty. In Islamic time, Kerman was one of the important cultural centres of Iran.
Kerman was under the Seljuk Turks in the 11th and 12th cent., but remained virtually independent, conquering Oman and Fars.
When Marco Polo visited the city in 1271 it had become a major trade emporium linking the Persian Gulf with Khorasan and Central Asia. Subsequently, however, the city was sacked many times by various invaders.
In 1793 Lotf Ali Khan defeated the Qajars and in 1794 captured Kerman. But soon, he was besieged in Kerman for six months by Agha Mohammad Khan. When the city fell to Agha Mohammad Khan, angered by the popular support that Lotf Ali Khan had received, all the male inhabitants were killed or blinded, and a pile was made out of 20,000 detached eyeballs and poured in front of the victorious Agha Muhammad Khan. The women and children were sold into slavery, and the city was destroyed over ninety days.
The present city of Kerman was rebuilt in the nineteenth century to the northwest of the old city, but it did not recover until the twentieth century.
Kerman city has a moderate and the average annual rainfall is 135 mm. Because it is located close to the Kavir-e lut, Kerman has hot summers and in the spring it often has violent sand storms. Otherwise, its climate is relatively cool.
For the Iranian Paleontologists, Kerman has always been considered a fossil paradise. Finding new dinosaur footprints in 2005 has now revealed new hopes for Paleontologists to better understand the history of this area.
Carpet weaving is one of the main industries of the city, and the carpets produced there are renowned internationally. Carpet weaving is a very old tradition in Kerman. The oldest carpet discovered in Kerman, belongs to about 500 years ago, which proves the precedence of weaving in this city. Cotton textiles and goats-wool shawls are also manufactured.
A number of modern establishments such as textile mills and brickworks also have been constructed. The province's mineral wealth includes copper and coal.
The population of the city in 1996 was 385,000 and the current population is 533,799.
Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman is one of Iran's leading technological institutions. Other universities are: