Научная статья на тему 'Monuments of material culture and conflicts in the Caucasus(a fortress of Irevan case-study)'

Monuments of material culture and conflicts in the Caucasus(a fortress of Irevan case-study) Текст научной статьи по специальности «История и археология»

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Аннотация научной статьи по истории и археологии, автор научной работы — Huseynov Rizvan

The author deals with the destruction and falsification of monuments of material culture, one of the most painful repercussions of the ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus. He uses the medieval Fortress of Irevan (Irevan Gala), the now destroyed historical and architectural center of Erevan, to illustrate the sad fate of the monuments of material culture that became victims of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Monuments of material culture and conflicts in the Caucasus(a fortress of Irevan case-study)»


Deputy Chairman, Center for the Protection of the Rights of Refugees

and Forced Migrants of Azerbaijan, Doctorate Candidate, Human Rights Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan).



The author deals with the destruction and falsification of monuments of material culture, one of the most painful repercussions of the ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus. He uses the medieval Fortress of

Irevan (Irevan Gala), the now destroyed historical and architectural center of Erevan, to illustrate the sad fate of the monuments of material culture that became victims of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


On 23 December, 2011, the Center for the History of the Caucasus at the Azer-Globe Institute of Social and Political Studies organized an event in Baku to mark the 500th anniversary of the Irevan (Erivan) fortress. Today, this is the site on which Erevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia, is situated. The Center presented a rich collection of documents, archival materials, pictures, and photographs of the medieval Irevan Fortress (Irevan Gala), now destroyed, that used to be the historical

center of Erevan. It was partially preserved until the 1920s, when the leaders of newly formed Soviet Armenia decided to liquidate this monument of medieval Azeri architecture.

Armenia picked up the gauntlet and responded to the issues raised in Azerbaijan with a decision to revive the abandoned Old Erevan project; this means that the semblance of a historical center will be knocked together out of several well-preserved buildings of the turn of the 20th century moved to the center from all corners of the republic's capital. In other words, what was once the medieval center of Erevan will be replaced with an imitation dated to the late 19th and early 20th century. We cannot help but wonder where the ancient architectural monuments are in a city that claims to be the oldest on Earth? The answer is obvious: Erevan has launched a wide-scale architectural-historical falsification of the old city.

Medieval Irevan as Seen by Painters and Presented in Archival Documents

Chukhursaad, one of the four beylerbeyliks of the Azeri Safavid dynasty, predated the Irevan (Erivan) khanate situated in the territory of present-day Armenia. In 1504, Shah Ismail of the Safavid dynasty instructed his military leader Revangula Khan to build a fortress in this territory.

Figure 1

1796: View of Irevan and Minarets

The fortress built in seven years occupied a favorable position on the high rocky southeastern banks of the River Zangi (several centuries later the Armenians who came to settle in these lands started calling it Razdan). The new fortress was called Revan in honor of its builder Revangula Khan; later, due to the phonetic specifics of the Turkic languages, it was called Irevan. It was a city of minarets; there were 8 mosques in the fortress and 800 houses; Azeris were the only residents.

In 1827, after twenty-three years of failed attempts to take the fortress, it was finally captured by Russian troops and survived intact until the mid-19th century only to be destroyed in 1864; its walls, which looked very much like the walls of the Icheri Sheher fortress in Baku, were pulled down, the cemeteries destroyed, and the names of the quarters changed, while all the people (Azeris) were driven out.

Figure 2

1927. Irevan.

These people call the still standing Palace of the Irevan Sardar the main attraction of the Caucasus

Some of the constructions inside the Irevan Fortress survived until the 1920s when the authorities of Soviet Armenia began complete demolition of the fortress, palace, mosques, bathhouses, and all other buildings that bore a trace of the city's Muslim and Azeri past. In 1936, when the process was complete, the Armenians started calling their capital, the ancient Azeri city of Irevan (Erivan), Erevan. They destroyed the memory of the person who built the city and of those who once lived in this pearl of Azeri and Muslim architecture. In 2011, the Irevan Fortress would have turned 500.

There is, however, material evidence of Erevan's Azeri past. I have in mind a picture by Franz Roubaud "Surrender of the Erivan Fortress on 1 October, 1827," which shows the fortress with its mosques, minarets, khan's palace, and people clad in Muslim clothes.

In Armenia, the events that marked the 500th anniversary of the destroyed Irevan Fortress in Baku and the coverage of the events in the Azeri and Russian media were interpreted as a challenge and a threat. The Armenian leaders hastened to instruct historians, architects, officials, public figures,

Figure 3

Franz Roubaud's Surrender of the Erivan Fortress on 1 October, 1827

and the media to refute the facts presented by the Azeris about the sad fate of the historical center of Erevan. The matter here concerns very same medieval Irevan that was destroyed to support the nationalist Armenian historical concept claiming that only Armenians comprised the indigenous population of the territory that is now Armenia, and that, therefore, there can be no other historical and architectural monuments apart from Armenian. The Armenian side, however, failed to make a more or less coherent contribution to the discussion raised by Azerbaijan about the destroyed historical center of Erevan.

The Myth of Erevan being Older than Rome

For several decades now, Armenian academics and the Armenian political establishment have been insisting that the Armenians built Erevan in hoary antiquity and that it was older than Rome. In the 1960s, with the Irevan fortress safely out of the way, historians of Soviet Armenia created a myth that Erebuni-Erevan had been founded in 782 B.C.; they relied on what remained of Teishebaini, an Urartian fortress discovered dozens of kilometers away from the historical center of Erevan. It was clear from the very beginning that the ancient ruins were unrelated either to Erevan or to the Armenians; however, Armenian scholars stood their ground.


Everything began in the 1950s when Soviet archeologists found, at some distance from Erevan, Urartian ruins and a cuneiform tablet, the letters on which were interpreted as RBN. The Armenians immediately offered their own interpretation: these letters stood for Erebuni (that is, Erevan). So the cuneiform tablet became part of the history of the Armenian capital, which invited harsh criticism from prominent Soviet and foreign scholars, including those who had participated in the digs at the fortress. Academician Isaak Mints, Soviet historian of world fame who visited the digs, and equally famous Academician Boris Piotrovsky, archeologist and historian of the Orient, who had participated in the digs, resolutely objected to the Armenian interpretation.

The Armenians did not despair: they continued looking for proof that the fortress was part of the history of the Armenians and Erevan. Geologist Suren Ayvazian was especially active; after meeting Academician Piotrovsky, he started arguing about the dates of ancient Armenia. Later, he quoted him as saying: "As a geologist you should know that no natural process passes without a trace. If, as you insist, there was an ancient Armenia of Moses of Chorene (Movses Khorenatsi), I would like to see archeological confirmation of this."1

Suren Ayvazian did not go far: he selected Metsamor, a Bronze Age settlement, to prove its connection with Armenia; he falsified2 drawings of coins bearing allegedly Hayassa (old Armenian) hieroglyphs, which he dated to the 19th century B.C. and supplied them with what he passed for translations.

In 1968, however, when checked at the department of numismatics of the History Museum of Armenia, the coins turned out to be issued in A.D. 1133-1225 by atabeks of Azerbaijan of the dynasty of Ildegizids.3

In the same article, Ayvazian published what he called "the Hayassa inscriptions" he had discovered on the rocks of Metsamor which, on closer inspection carried out in 1968 by Prof. V. Krach-kovskaya, turned out to be signs of the Cufic Arab script of the 19th century A.D.4

The recently discovered Teishebaini Fortress, the falsified coins of the Azeri atabeks, and the Arabic inscriptions did not prevent the leaders of the Armenian S.S.R. from insisting that the Hayas-sa-Armenian culture had existed in these lands; in 1968, Armenia celebrated the 2,750th anniversary of Erevan. Since that time, the republic has been officially celebrating the mythical age of its capital.

It should be said that many Armenian academics, including Suren Ayvazian, who try to prove that Armenia has existed in the Caucasus since hoary antiquity, rely on the work of "father of Armenian history" Moses of Chorene, who allegedly lived in the 5th century. Back in the early 19th century, in the second volume of his Mémoires sur l'Armènie (1819), French Orientalist Jean Antoine Saint-Martin (1791-1832) criticized and exposed a great number of forgeries, inconsistencies, and falsifications in "Ashkharatsuyts" (literally, Picture of the World) ascribed to Moses of Chorene. The French Orientalist published a French translation in the second volume of his Mémoires sur l'Armènie.5

Saint-Martin introduced his work with an article on the epoch when "Ashkharatsuyts" ascribed to Moses of Chorene was written and demonstrated that the work contained information, names, and word usages that could not have appeared earlier than the 10th century; this means that it could not have been written by Moses of Chorene, who lived in the 5th century. In his translation of "Ashkharatsuyts," Armenian academic K. Patkanov partially agreed with the French scholar.6 This means that the work ascribed to Moses of Chorene is not a reliable historical source.

1 S.M. Ayvazian, Istoria Rossii. Armiansky sled, Kron-Press, Moscow, 2000, p. 78.

2 See: S.M. Ayvazian, in: Izvestia Akademii nauk Armyanskoy SSR, Nauki o Zemle Series, XVII, 6, Erevan, 1964.

3 See: B.B. Piotrovsky, "Pismo v redaktsiiu," Istoriko-filologicheskiy zhurnal, AN Arm. SSR, Erevan, No. 3, 1971, pp. 302-303.

4 See: Ibid., p. 303.

5 See: J.-A. Saint-Martin, Mémoires historiques et géographiques sur l'Arménie, suivis du texte Armenien de l'histoire des princes Orphélians, Paris, 1819, pp. 301-394.

6 See: Armianskaia geografía VII veka po R.Kh (Pripisyvavshaiasia Moiseiu Khorenskomu), Transl. by K.P. Patkanov, Print shop of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, V.O., St. Petersburg, No. 12, 1877, 9 sheets.


The Fortress of Irevan as a Victim of Armenian Mythology

As soon as Baku published new facts related to the liquidation of the Fortress of Irevan, the medieval historical center of Erevan, the Armenian leaders decided to launch the long abandoned Old Erevan project. Under the project, the center of the Armenian capital will be filled with all sorts of buildings dated to the turn of the 20th century brought from all over the city. It is expected that the result will look like the capital's historical center.

This means that the medieval center of Erevan, which was gradually destroyed by the Armenian leaders in Soviet time and during independence, will be replaced with a semblance of the architecture of the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Erevan, meanwhile, claims to be the world's most ancient city, but where are its ancient architectural monuments and why do the Armenians need to restore 20 buildings of the turn of the 20th century?

Erevan is clearly launching a huge project of architectural and historical falsification of the old city because the true (medieval) makeup of Irevan (Erivan, today Erevan) is strikingly Muslim, Azeri, to be exact. It cannot be restored without upturning Armenian ideology, which insists that the Armenians have been the only ethnicity living in the region for almost 8,000 years. If Erevan wants to regain its old makeup, it can rely on a vast number of drafts and plans of the old city; there are pictures by prominent European artists Jules Tavernier and Jean-Baptist Chardin and their Russian colleagues Franz Roubaud and Grigory Gagarin, the latter painting the Fortress of Irevan in the minutest detail in the 19th century.

The Armenian leaders declined an offer of help from Azerbaijan made by Deputy Head of Political Studies Sector at the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan Fuad Akhundov: "Even if buildings 100 to 150 years old are disassembled somewhere brick by brick and reassembled in the center of Erevan they will not have any architectural or historical value... We can offer the Armenian side these pictures and drawings. I should say that Erevan with the status of the world's only ancient city without a historical center will become the world's only city with a newly built historical center."7

The fact that Armenia declined the offer added an edge to the problem of liquidation of the Azeri architectural monuments and deportation of the Azeris from the Republic of Armenia.

By their mere presence, the monuments of Azeri architecture bitterly reproached those who had gradually and consistently been driving the Azeri population out of Armenia and were visible confirmation of the fact that the Azeris had been living in these lands since time immemorial.

For 300 years, the Fortress of Irevan was an administrative and political center of the Irevan Khanate and the source of its power, until czarist Russia moved into Transcaucasia in the 19th century. This started a series of bloody wars between the Russian, Ottoman, and Persian empires for regional domination. For twenty-three years, the Russia Empire tried to capture the strategically important Fortress of Irevan at the junction of the two other empires. In 1804, ruler of the Irevan Khanate Muhammed Khan, supported by Khan Kelbali of Nakhchivan, managed to defend the fortress against General Tsitsianov's troops that besieged the fortress. Several years later, on 25 September, 1808, an eight thousand-strong czarist army under General Field Marshal Gudovich besieged the fortress once more; Huseyngulu Khan and his brother Hasan Khan demonstrated no mean military talent in organizing defenses. Gudovich retreated empty-handed.

Nicholas I, who ascended the throne in 1825, sent a large army of 12 thousand under General Paskevich armed with powerful long-range guns to take the fortress in October 1827. The guns partly ruined the walls; after bloody fighting the fortress was finally captured. Franz Roubaud's Surrender

7 Fuad Akhundov: "My mozhem predostavit Armenii starye chertezhi dlia vosstanovleniia tsentra Erevana" IA REGNUM, 7 February, 2012, available at [http://www.regnum.ru/news/polit/1496663.html].


of the Erivan Fortress on 1 October, 1827 shows the moment when the Russian troops entered the fortress.

After taking the fortress, the Russian army did not destroy it. Even when the khanate had been abolished and an Armenian region and then the Irevan Gubernia established, the fortress remained the heart of the city and its main attraction. The fortress was destroyed in 1864; the walls, which looked very much like the walls of the Fortress of Baku, were ruined, the cemeteries destroyed, and the names of the quarters changed, while the Muslims (Azeris, Kurds, and Persians) were driven out. Total destruction of the fortress and monuments of medieval Azeri architecture started when the Armenian S.S.R. was established on the former Azeri lands.

In the 1920s, what still remained of the Fortress of Irevan was destroyed by the Armenian authorities together with the Sardar Palace, mosques, bathhouses, and other buildings that retained memories of the city's Muslim past. In 1936, after completing their self-imposed task, the Armenians started calling the city Erevan: they finally wiped out the memory of the city's founder and of those who lived in this pearl of Azeri and Muslim architecture.

Erevan, the World's Only "Ancient" City without a Historical Center

The Irevan Fortress and its buildings looked very much like Icheri Sheher in Baku, the khan's palace in Sheki, and the khan's palace in Shusha that has now essentially been destroyed by the Armenians on the Azerbaijani territory they occupy. These and many other architectural monuments (including the Fortress of Irevan) clearly outline the area of the Azeri medieval culture, which still irritates the Armenians who have found no better remedy than to destroy the historical center of their capital. Many ancient cities (Moscow, Tbilisi, and Baku among them) have historical centers protected by the state and loved by the people.

If the Fortress of Irevan, the historical center of the Armenian capital, had any, even the slightest, connection with the Armenians, it would have survived. The center was ruined because it looked like, and was, a monument of Azeri medieval architecture which could not be passed for Armenian. The fact that in 1827 exiled participants in the uprising of December 1825 put on a performance of Griboyedov's Woe from Wit in the Sardar Palace, which the author, a prominent diplomat of his time, was involved in, did not save the fortress. In his notes, Griboyedov wrote in enthusiastic terms about the sumptuous palace and its hall of mirrors where he stayed in his diplomatic capacity.

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsian had to admit that the fortress did exist. In October 2008, when opening the Rossia Square in Erevan with President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, he said that it had been built on the site of the Fortress of Irevan, a monument (surprise, surprise!) of Armenian-Russian friendship.

The attempts of certain Armenian authors to shift the blame for the destruction of the historical center of Erevan to the period of "fighting the remnants of the past" under Soviet power do not hold water. Many other Soviet cities—Moscow, Vilnius, Tbilisi, and Baku—suffered but managed to preserve their historical cores, conceptual forms, and medieval architecture. It is common knowledge that at first Soviet power demonstrated no mean zeal when removing the memory of the past—all sorts of religious buildings and old churches—but stopped short of razing the entire medieval heritage to the ground. In Erevan, however, in the 1930s and, later, in the 1960s, the republican (not federal) authorities destroyed the historical center with its medieval structures, mosques, bathhouses, the Sardar Palace, and even the walls. This is nothing more than an act of unrivalled vandalism.

In the history of Russia and other countries, the Mongolian onslaught is depicted as the most destructive: much was burned down and ruined, but the architectural treasures of Central Russia (Yaroslavl, Suzdal, Vladimir, etc. that form part of the Golden Ring tourist route) survived 300 years of the so-called Tatar-Mongol yoke. The Armenian authorities have obviously outdone the Mongol invaders in terms of their treatment of Erevan's historical monuments and others throughout Armenia.

The Fortress of Irevan in Russian,

Armenian and Other Sources, on Maps, Drawings, and Pictures

It is extremely important to study in further detail the destroyed historical center of Erevan, which means that despite the Armenians' refusal to accept Azerbaijan's assistance, it would be expedient, in terms of shedding light on the matter and restoring memory, to show old photos, maps, and drawings of the Irevan Fortress, as well as its buildings and environs.

Here is how the Irevan Fortress8 and the Sardar Palace, the place where Griboyedov's Woe from Wit was first performed, looked in the early 20th century.

Figure 4

The Fortress of Irevan. View from the River Zanga

8 See: "The Fortress of Erivan. View from the River Zanga," in: Utverzhdenie russkogo vladychestva na Kavkaze, Ya.I. Liberman Print Shop, Tiflis, Vol. IV, 1901, p. 164.

Figure 5

The Palace of the Khan (Sardar) of Irevan where in 1827 exiled Decembrists performed Woe from Wit in the presence of its author

The "Plan of the Fortress of Erivan" drawn on 25 September-1 October, 1827 during the siege of the city by Russian troops led by General Paskevich9 offers a more detailed picture of how the Irevan Fortress and its buildings looked at that time.

The plan shows the buildings inside the fortress situated on the high rocky banks of the River Zanga; it should be said that the Azeri khans, who allowed an Armenian church to be built next to the mosques and their palace, demonstrated a lot of tolerance. The fact that Persian and Armenian inns were situated outside the fortress meant that they were guests in Irevan; they came to sell their merchandise and had to remain outside the fortress.

Those Armenian academics who insist that Irevan was a Persian khanate and that, therefore, the fortress was a monument ofPersian culture are wrong. Indeed, in one of his messages to the rulers of Shamshadil, the Khan of Irevan said that the lands of Irevan, Baku, Sheki, Nakhchivan, and other northern khanates gathered force to fight the "infidels" and that the Persian Shah marched on Azerbaijan together with his army to support Azerbaijan: "Until the infidels are all destroyed the Shah's army will remain in Azerbaijan."10

9 See: "Plan of the Fortress of Erivan with Indication of What Should Be Done and Where from 25 September to 1 October, 1827," in: Utverzhdenie russkogo vladychestva na Kavkaze, Vol. IV, p. 306.

10 "An address of Husein Khan of Erivan to the Shamshadil elders Nasib bek, Ali bek, Emir Kuli bek, Mamed Hasan bek, and Ali Kuli bek," in: Akty, sobrannye Kavkazskoy arkheograficheskoy komissiey, Vol. II, Print shop at the Administration of the Caucasian Viceroy, Tiflis, 1868, Document 1204, pp. 603-604.

Figure 6

"Plan of the Fortress of Erivan" with indication of what should be done and where between 25 September and 1 October, 1827

A report by two Persian Armenian turncoats to Russian General Tsitsianov speaks about the Azeri (Adderbeyjan Tatars or simply Tatars) population of Irevan. The report pointed out the best method for capturing the fortress and said that Tatars lived in the fortress, while Armenians lived outside it and could be moved back to Persia, their homeland, which they left in 1804-1805 to move to the Caucasus to become Russian subjects. "Even if the new Khan of Erivan intended to move the Armenians to inland Persia where they once lived, according to the old historical books . we inform you that today there are few soldiers in Erivan, no more than 3,000 infantry; the Erivan people are the

Tatars, who live in the fortress and outside it... Today, all Tatars of Erivan have risen up against the mentioned khan (Mekhti Kuli Khan of Erivan.—R.H.)."11 The letters are dated to the fall of 1805 when General Tsitsianov tried, with little success, to take the Irevan Fortress.

Under Soviet power, the Church of the Intercession, the first Russian Orthodox Church built in

the newly acquired lands inside the fortress, was destroyed.

The Russian troops took Irevan on 1 October, 1827, the holyday of the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God; one of the local mosques was transformed into an Orthodox church and dedicated to the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God to commemorate the victory. It was reconstructed in 1839; according to information dated to 1913, the church had not been used for some time, but remained standing. It was later destroyed.

The Armenians were doing their best to steer the discussion in a different direction and refute the fact that the Irevan Fortress and other monuments of medieval architecture in Armenian territory belonged to the culture and history of Azerbaijan. Today, Erevan insists that all the Muslim monuments in Armenia were built either by Persians or even Turks, and not by Azeri khans and rulers. However, the Armenians have so far failed to explain why they destroyed these "Persian" and other Muslim monuments, mosques, and other buildings.

By Way of a Conclusion

I believe that the best way to conclude this article is to quote from archival documents that disprove everything what the Armenian side is trying to prove. It insists that until the early 20th century no Azerbaijan existed as a geographic and administrative entity and, therefore, there were no Azeris; this means that there are no medieval Azeri monuments either in Armenia or in the Caucasus.

Let me refer to the book Opisanie pereseleniia Armian adderbijanskikh v predely Rossii (Description of How the Armenians of Adderbijan were Moved within the Borders of Russia) by Sergey Glinka. The author was personally involved in moving Armenians to the Azeri khanates that Russia acquired in its wars with Persia. The title suggests that there were Azeri lands; Armenians were described as Adderbijans, in accordance with the place where they lived.12

In Azerbaijan, however, no one tries to exploit the book to insist that all Armenians were ethnic Azeris and that everything they had done so far was also Azeri. In this context, the statements by the

11 "Letter of melik Abram and yuzbashi Gavrila to Prince Tsitsianov," in: Akty, sobrannye Kavkazskoy arkhe-ograficheskoy komissiey, Vol. II, Document 1205, p. 604.

12 See: S.N. Glinka, Opisanie pereseleniia Armian adderbijanskikh v predely Rossii: s kratkim predvaritelnym izlozheniem istoricheskikh vremen Armenii, Print shop of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages, Moscow, 1831.

Figure 7

The Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God


Armenians that everything was Persian, including Nizami, a medieval Azeri poet who wrote in Farsi, and the architecture of the Irevan Fortress built by Azeri khans, look extremely flimsy. If we extend this logic, all Armenian scientists, poets, and people of art who lived and worked in the Soviet Union were Soviet and, therefore, unrelated to the Armenians.

It should be said in all justice that the Armenians found an elegant way out of the situation caused by the name of the country Azerbaijan. They argue that before 1918 it referred to Persian Azerbaijan and that there was no Azerbaijan in the Caucasus. Numerous historical sources, however, show that the name of the place and administrative term "Azerbaijan" were related to the lands stretching from Iranian Khamadan to Derbent, Karabakh, Ganja, Irevan, Nakhchivan, and other territories within the Caucasus.

Stepan Burnashev (1743-1824), a Russian diplomat who represented Russia at the court of Georgian King Heraclius II, travelled far and wide across the region; he left a complete description of the Azeri lands, as well as a detailed account of the region's geography, administration, and ethnic composition in the latter half of the 18th century. Here is what he had to say about Azerbaijan: "On division of the Adrebijan possessions. Today, Georgia in the north, that is, the Kingdom of Kakhetia and Kartli (which in the past were also part of the lands of Adrebijan), the Caspian Sea and the province of Gilan in the east, the Arak area in the south, and Turkey in the west belong to the lands which are called Adrebijan."13

This means that, according to the Russian diplomat, Azerbaijan, as an administrative, geographic, and historical region, occupied part of the Northern Caucasus, practically the entire Central Caucasus, up to and including some of the Georgian territories, the entire territory of the present-day Republic of Armenia as far as Turkey, the north of Iran (known today as Southern Azerbaijan), and almost the entire eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. He also described the khanates of Azerbaijan, each in a special section: "There are the Derbent, Nukhis-Shaki, Shirvan, city and port of Baku, Shaisevan (Shakhsevany of Ardebil), Shusha, Genja (Ganja), Erivan, Nakhchivan, Karadag (in Iran), Talish (Talysh), Myshkin, Maraga, Urumiya (Urmiya), Khoy" and other khanates. He also wrote that most of the Azeri khans were independent and did not depend on Persia since they had their own armies and entered into political unions with other khanates and states.14

Similar information can be found in European sources. In 1864, British Consul in Tabriz Keith Abbott wrote in his memorandum for the Royal Geographical Society: "The country known to the Persians as Azerbaijan is divided between them and Russia, the latter Power possessing about five-eighth of the whole, which may be roughly stated to cover an area of about 80,000 square miles, or about the size of Great Britain; 50,000 square miles are therefore about the extent of the division belonging to Russia, and 30,000 of that which remains to Persia. The Russian division is bounded on the north and north-east by the mountains of Caucasus, extending to the vicinity of Bakou on the Caspian. On the west it has the provinces of Imeretia, Mingrelia, Gooriel, and Ahkhiska (now belonging to Russia); on the east it has the Caspian Sea, and on the south the boundary is marked by the course of the River Arrass (Araxes) to near the 46th parallel of longitude, thence by a conventional line across the plains of Moghan to the district of Talish, and by the small stream of Astura which flows to the Caspian through the latter country. In this area are contained the following territorial divisions: Georgia or Gooijistan, comprising Kakhetty, Kartaliny, Somekhetty, Kasakh; the Mohammedan countries of Eriwan, Nakhshewan, Karabagh, Ghenja, Shirwan, Shekky, Shamachy, Bakou, Koobeh, Salian and a portion of Talish."15

13 Opisanie oblastey Adrebijanskikh v Persii i ikh politicheskogo sostoianiia, sdelannoe prebyvaiushchem pri E.V. tsare Kartamenskom i Kakhetinskom Iraklii Temuradoviche polkovnikom i kavalerom Burnashevym v Tiflise v 1786 g., Burnashev Stepan Danilovich, Kursk, 1793.

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14 See: Kh. Agaeva, R. Huseynov, The Toponym of Azerbaijan in Medieval and Later Sources, Collection of articles, Elm ve Tekhsil, Baku, 2011, pp. 229-246 (in Azeri).

15 K.E. Abbott, "Extracts from a Memorandum on the Country of Azerbaijan," Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 8, No. 6, 1863-1864, pp. 275-279.

There is an even earlier source—the diary of an Armenian merchant Zakaria of Akuliss written in 1647-1677—which suggests that at that time the territory known as Azerbaijan covered more or less the same territories: "The year 1677, 18 December. I, Zakaria, son of Mgdisi of Akuliss Agamir, started from Tabriz to Maraga. The Khan of Maraga was son of Aga Khan Huseyn guli khan married to the daughter of Mirza Ibrahim, the vizier of Adilbeyjan. This country has been always densely populated and very fruitful. Here they grow excellent rice which is better than Indian and is taken as far as Spain as a present. This country grows good cotton, a lot of tobacco; there are raisins and doshab."16

I have presented here archival documents, photos, and drawings from different sources to clarify the question of who built the numerous Muslim monuments in Armenia and help to restore the old initial image of Erevan-Irevan.

There are over a hundred drawings, maps, and photographs that can be used for the purpose; Azerbaijan is ready to help Armenia because old Erevan is a cultural and historical treasure that belongs to the Azeri, Russian, and other peoples.

16 Dnevnik, Publishing House of the Armenian SSR, Erevan, 1939, pp. 90, 94, 111, 119.

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