AHWAZ, a town in Persia, on the left bank of the river Karoon, about 100 miles N.E. of -Bassorah. Though now an insignificant place, it occupies the site of what was once an extensive and important city. Of this ancient city vast remains are left, extending 12 miles along the bank of the river. Among the most remarkable are the ruins of a bridge and a palace, besides vestiges of canals and water-mills, which tell of former commercial activity. There is also, in a ruined state, a bund or stone dyke of great strength thrown across the river for purposes of irrigation. It extends 100 feet in length, and many single blocks in it measure from 8 to 10 feet in thickness. Ahwaz reached the height of its prosperity in the time of the earliest Mahometan caliphs.
AI (Sept. 'Ayyai, 'A yyat, and Pat; Vulg. Hai), a royal city of the Canaanites, east of Bethel. It existed in the time of Abraham, who pitched his tent between the two cities (Gen. xii. 8; xiii. 3); but it is chiefly noted for its capture and destruction by Joshua (vii. 2-5; viii. 1-29), who made it " a heap for ever, even a desolation." At a later period Ai was, however, rebuilt, and is mentioned by Isaiah (x. 28), and also after the captivity. The site was known, and some scanty ruins still existed, in the time of Eusebius and Jerome (Ononiast., s.v. 'Ayyai). Dr Robinson was unable to discover any certain traces of either. He remarks (Bib. Researches, ii. 313), however, that its situation with regard to Bethel may be well determined by the facts recorded in Scripture. That Ai lay to the east of Bethel is distinctly stated; and the two cities were not so far distant from each other but that the men of Bethel mingled in the pursuit of the Israelites as they feigned to flee before the king of Ai, and thus both cities were left defenceless (Josh. viii. 17). A little to the south of a village called Deir Diwan, and one hour's journey from Bethel, the site of an ancient place is indicated by reservoirs hewn in the rock, excavated tombs, and foundations of hewn stone. This, Dr Robinson thinks, may mark the site of Ai, as it agrees with all the intimations as to its position. In this view more recent authorities generally coincide. Kiepert's map gives it a place near these ancient ruins. Stanley places it at the head of the Wady Harith.