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This new province was created as a result of the division of Mazandaran province into two smaller administrative units. It borders on Tukmanistan Republic to the north, Khorasan province to the east, Semnan province to the south, the Caspian Sea and the Guilan province to the west. Its climate varies greatly under the influence of a number of geographical factors such as the altitude, latitude, trend of Alborz mountains, distance from the sea, Turkman Sabra (Turkman Desert), Siberian plain to the north of Russia, local and regional winds, displacement of northern and western air masses, as well as the dense forests. It receives maximum amount of precipitation during autumn and the least in summer months. Part of the province is occupied by inhospitable steppe and marshland. The Turkman Desert occupies the strip south of the Atrak River, which forms ~a part of the border with Turkmanistan Republic. In the northeast. the forest is less dense and the peaks are lower than further west. The more fertile Dasht-e Gorgan (Gorgan plain), between the Desert and the mountains, formed, until recently, the boundary between the settled and nomadic populations. The population is largely Turkman, and the threat posed to the settled communities by this previously wild and nomadic tribe only receded at the end of the last century. Like Mazandaran, Golestan province and its surrounding areas were settled much earlier than Guilan, and the Gorgan plain in particular is believed to contain some of the most important archeological sites (older than 6000 years) in west Asia.

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