The prehistoric period in Azerbaijan is rich with archeological findings belonging to the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
The cave of Azykh is located in the territory of the Fizuli district. It is one of the most ancient proto-human habitations in Eurasia. Some predict that it is at least 700,000 years old. Azerbaijan is also home of Aveidag, Taglar, Damjily, Yatagery, Dash Salakhly and some other sites.
Gobustan Landscape is home of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. The site features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages.
Damjili Cave in Gazakh district was an ancient habitat for Stone Age people who made various kinds of stone tools which date from the Middle Paleolith - Mousterian period (70-35 thousand years ago), Upper Paleolith and Neolith. During this period, other human settlements such as Shomutepe in Aghstafa, Kuptepe in Nakhchivan, Toyretepe and other settlements were also established.
The Kura–Araxes culture or the Early Transcaucasian culture is one of the ancient civilizations that date back to 4000 BC until about 2000 BC. Its also known as Shengavitian, Karaz (Erzurum), Pulur, and Yanik Tepe (South Azerbaijan, near Lake Urmia) cultures. The Kura–Araxes culture influences and gave rise to the later Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.
Goytepe is located in Ganja-Gazakh region, 10 km east of Tovuz city. Goytepe approximately dates back to the 6th millennium cal. BC. is one of the largest settlement sites of the Shomutepe culture.
Baba-Dervish is an ancient settlement in the western part of Gazakh near the Khanlyglar village. Its lower cultural layer dates back to the V Millennium BC. It includes round semi-underground houses, grain-grinding stones, needle, awl, bones of various animals, etc.
Garakopaktapa is an ancient multilayer settlement that dates back to the Middle Bronze Age. It is located in a basin of the Guruchay and Kondalanchay Rivers, near Fizulli district. The Garabulag kurgan cemetery located on the right coast of the Kondalan River was also typical in this settlement.
Kuti, lullubi, su, turukki and others were one of the early ancient Turkic tribe-unions in Azerbaijan. They were able to create powerful states and established alliances with neighbourhood states.
In the III-II millenniums, the Kuti (quti) State was one of the most powerful union in the South and South-West of the Urmia Lake in Azerbaijan. They secured the alliance with Sumer and were against the politics of the Akkad officials.
Turukki or Turuk lived in XX – XIX BC. in Azerbaijan after the disintegration of the Quti State. In Assyrian texts, the name of turukku has been also spelled as türük//török//turuk//türki.
Lullubi tribes were one of the first ethno-political associations that existed in Azerbaijan in III-II millenniums BC. In 2300 B.C., the Akkad sources called them lulubum.
The historical materials by early Latin and Greek sources indicate that Alban/Albaniya/Aghvan/Aghvanq/Aran states established by Turkic speaking tribes such as Kimmers/Kamar, Sakhas/Iskits, Masagets/Maskat/Maskut, Kaspi, As/az, and non-Turkic tribes who were minority in South and North Azerbaijan. These names were interconnected and inseparable from each other.
Manna/mana/manqa is one of the Turkic states established in the territory of Azerbaijan. Manqas were also one of the ancient Turkic tribes in Altays. The Manna State existed around the 10th to 7th centuries BC. At that time they were neighbors of the empires of Assyria and Urartu, as well as other small buffer states between the two, such as Musasir and Zikirta. After Manna, Midia State was established in South Azerbaijan.
Caucasian Albania existed in in the North of Azerbai 2nd century BC – 8th century AD. The world “Alban" refers to the origin of the word which comes from the ancient Latin world “albus” meaning “whiteness” and “light”, and the second meaning refers to the ancient Turkic word “alb”,”alp” meaning “courage” and “heroism.” Ancient Greeks also used the word “Albion” that meant “courage” and “hero.” Uygur Turks still use this word to mean “height”.
Atropatena is one of the ancient states in South Azerbaijan in 321 B.C.– 224 A.D. The famous cities of Atropatena were Ordbil, Tavresh (Tubriz), Qazaka, Fraaspa, Aqnazana, Maragha. Qazaka in Atroparena was the important religious centre of Zoroastrians during the Sassanid empire.
In Middle Ages, there were various feudal states in Azerbaijan. Some of them covered the entire territory of Azerbaijan, the historical lands of Atropatena and Azerbaijani Albania, others operated in one or another part of the country.
In the 7th century, Azerbaijan was occupied by Arabs. The country was Islamized, however, some tribes including Qipchak Turks in Garabagh and Western Azerbaijan and Udins remained Christians. Later on, due to economic, political and cultural oppression, the movement led by Babek for more than 20 years (816-837) became one of the most famous people's liberation movement in history and had a major impact on the weakening of the Caliphate.
In the 9th-11th centuries, the most famous states in Azerbaijan were Shirvanshahs, Saji, Salari, Ravvadi, etc. During the Ravvadis, Tabriz became the first historical capital of Azerbaijan. The Khudaferin Bridge and the ancient gates of Ganja were a masterpiece of craftsmanship of the 10th to 11th centuries. In 1139, the Georgian Tsar Demetrius I (1125-54) took advantage of the big earthquake inthe gate to Georgia (Kelati Monastery).
The 12th century marked the emergence of the powerful state of Atabeys (Eldegizes) and the “age of the Muslim Renaissance’’ in Azerbaijan. This “renaissance” owed its glory, among others, to the literary genius of poets like Nizami Ganjavi, Mahsati Ganjavi, Abu-l Ula Ganjavi, Falaki Shirvani, Khaqani Shirvani, and the architect Ajami Nakhchivani. Azerbaijani literary and architectural masterpieces became an outstanding contribution to the world’s cultural heritage.
The Mongols first invaded Azerbaijan in 1220. The Mongol commanders plundered and destroyed Azerbaijani Cities. The Monghol Hulakis / Elkhanis ruled in Azerbaijan 101 years between (1256-1357). Later on, they converted to Islam. They built the first and most perfect observatory of the ancient East in the city of Maragha in southern Azerbaijan in 1259. In Garabagh, Hasan-Jalal built a famous Ganjasar Monastery.
After the Elkhanis, Amir Teymur and Altin Orda continued their attacks on Azerbaijan. However, later on, different states such as Garaqoyunlu, Aghqoyunlu, Shirvanshalar started to emerge in Azerbaijan. During this time, Azerbaijan continued to be a centre of the art, culture and trade in the Arab caliphate and the region. Uzun Hasan of Aghqoyunly expanded the territories of Azerbaijan. The famous Nasimi was born during this time.
The Safavid Empire stretched across modern-day Afghanistan, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Uzbekistan, and parts of Turkey and Russia.In 1501, Shah Ismail I established the great Safavid Empire. The Safavid shahs made the Turkish as the state language and the Twelver school of Shia of Islam as the official religion of the Empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history. They sponsored great architectural and art projects. The famous poet Fizuli was born during this time.
Nadir Shah was one of the most powerful Azerbaijani rulers in the history ruling after the Safavids from 1736 to 1747. If he was not assassinated, he aimed to unite the Shia and Sunni sects of Islam. Some historians have compared him to Napoleaon and Alexander. His state also encompassed Iran, the Western Azerbaijan (current Armenia), Georgia, the North Caucasus, Iraq, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman and the Persian Gulf.
After Nadir Shah, Azerbaijan was dividAzerbaijani khanates - the name given in historiography to the independent feudal states established in the 40s of the XVIII century in the territory of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and South Azerbaijan. With the exception of the Sheki and Guba khanates, other khanates emerged mainly after the assassination of Nadir Shah Afshar in 1747, and gradually came under the control of the Gajar state and the Russian Empire in the 1920s and 1930s.
The most devastating part of the Azerbaijan history is the Russian occupation in the 19th century and ended in 1828. The last year represents the fall of the last independent Azerbaijani khanates - Irevan and Nakhchevan and with the Turkmenchay Treaty which ended up in finalizing the expansion into the Caucasus. This is also the year of the massive settlements of Armenians from Iran and Ottoman Turkey. The first genocide of Azerbaijanis by Armenians also occurred with the support of Russia.
Despite the development of economy, urbanization, and industrialization during the Soviets, the republic was tightly controlled by Moscow. Those who promoted the national interests of Azerbaijan was subject to discrimination and imprisonment or even were murdred. During this time, in order to keep their power, Soviets did not take any measurements against the genocide of Azerbaijanis. The independence was not easy to achieve. The nation was subject to Red Army massacre on January 20, 1990.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was declared on May 28, 1918. Despite the fall of the state, the national idea that was fostered during the 23 month independence survived and helped revive an independent Azerbaijan towards the end of the 20th century. The ADR improved the rights of women, established Baku State University, etc. The ADR was the Muslim world’s first parliamentary republic.
Red Army invasion of Azerbaijan was the continuation of Russian occupation. This period is also known as the Sovietization or Soviet occupation, which was a military campaign carried out by the 11th Army of Soviet Russia in April 1920. The Soviets killed thousands of Azerbaijani intelligentsia in 1920-1930s. Despite that Azerbaijan helped Russia to win the World War II by manpower, oil, etc.
In 1991, Azerbaijan regained its independence. However, it has not been easy, but it was necessary as the Armenians started massive genocide of Azerbaijanis in Armenia and Garabagh and Soviets did not take any action. In 1992, Azerbaijan declared its independence. In May 1992, the Milli Majlis approved the National Anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan (music by U. Hajibeyov, lyrics by A. Javad), and shortly afterwards, a tricolor flag and an octagonal star with a flame.
24-25 January 2002. Baku. International Scientific Conference devoted 10th anniversary of the Independent Union of Azerbaijanis
MOTHERLAND BEGINS WITH HER MONUMENTS
by FATIMA QULIYEVA
Any historical monuments a big one or a small one is bright evidence of the history of people and its development. Every monument is a unique creation of the human mind and hands. It is impossible to imagine the science of history without brilliant evidence of the hoary time - tacit severe graceful and mysterious expecting its new revival. They say that participation in history makes a man a patriot especially it concerns the young ones.
But what does one's motherland begin with after all? Does it begin with a mothers lullaby of father injunctions advice of old sager a house doorstep a free planted in the garden or maybe a nightingales trilling? There are a lot of varied answers but of result is the same one motherland begins with a great and boundless love of her. nightingaleMotherland begins with memory and monuments at the feel of which everlasting fives burn with their clear flames. For more, please see the attached document for reference.
Kitabi- Dede Qorqud and Geographical Names in Nakhchivan
by Fatima Quliyeva
Nackhichivan is one of the ancient homes of Turkic tribes. For example, it was well known that Turkish tribes kangars were the aboriginal inhabitants in the territory of Nakhchivan since the middle of the III millennium B.C. In this article, Fatima Guliyeva explores the names of the geographical locations of Turkic origin by referring to Kitabi Dede-Qorqud. Please see the article below.
The history and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan: The Caucasian Albanian Churches in Karabakh
Speakers: Fatima Quliyeva, Robert Mobili and Dr. Bayram Quliyev
ОБ ИСТИННЫХ ВЛАДЕЛЬЦАХ КАВКАЗСКОЙ АЛБАНСКОЙ ЦЕРКВИ / The Churches of Caucasian Albania (in Russian)
The Churches of Caucasian Albania: The Heritage of Ancient Azerbaijan
By Nazila Isgandarova
Another effort to introduce Azerbaijani music to Canadians resulted with great success and Azerbaijani music was well presented at the 10th season of Niagara International Chamber Music Festival which features more than 40 concerts with over 90 musicians, singers, actors, and dancers in 7 venues. Azerbaijani mughams and classic music became one of the loved repertoires of the festival where performances of jazz, contemporary neo-romantic, symphonic and sacred music, choral works, pocket opera, and dance, along with the traditional Baroque, Classical and Romantic musical repertoire are a part.
Canadians who attend the festival not only enjoy Mozart , Shaw and music, jazz after play and masterpieces performed by renowned artists, including Christopher Newton and Anton Kuerti, they also enjoy listening the masterpieces by famous Azerbaijani composers Kara Karayev, Covdet Hajiyev, Ismail Hajiyev, etc. who are renown masters of arts awarded by Heydar Aliyev for their contribution to the development of musical art in Azerbaijan. In this festival Canadians also got acquainted with the mugham pieces performed by the winners of recent Azeri national mugham competition which was sponsored by the H. Aliyev Foundation of Azerbaijan.
After the concert, I had a chance to talk to people who listened mugham for the first time. They said that indeed these pieces are the sacred music which bestows peace and inner understanding to recognize the beauties of the Creator. One of them listened the sacred sounds of tar and kemancha standing outside due to the shortage of the seats in the concert hall. However, he did not mind and preferred to stay and listen the music. He said that he was lucky to listen to the mugham today.
I also met two brothers, Stan and Tom, who told me that they came to the concert to hear Azerbaijani music which their fathers had once praised a lot. Stan, who is a philosopher and Tom who teaches English as a second language told me that their father was born in Azerbaijan in 1909 when their grandfather worked as an oil engineer in oil fields of Baku. They keep their grandfather’s pictures with his Azeri friends who were great hunters. These photos had once been published in “Hunting” magazine of Poland. In the 1950's and 1960's when their Father visited the US the customs people would ask him where he was born. He would say in Azerbaijan and of course they did not where it was, except they figured that it was in the USSR which made their Father an immediate communist suspect, even though he was very anti-communist. Eventually he learned to simply say he was born in Toronto.The brothers promised to send me pictures. After the concert, Stan and Tom told that now they have an idea what kind of music their grandfather and father heard and why his grandfather never stopped talking about it. They wish one day to visit Azerbaijan where their father said hello to the world.
İyunun 14-de Hamilton şəhərində həyata keçirilən ənənəvi Türk festivalında Torontoda fəaliyyət göstərən Azərbaycan Rəqs Qrupunun tələbələri uğurlu çıxış ediblər.
Azərbaycan Rəqs Qrupu bir neçə il əvvəl Kanada Azerbaycan Dərnəkləri Federasiyasının təşəbbüsü ilə yaradılış və hər il müxtəlif beynəlxalq tədbirlərdə Azerbaycan rəqslərini təqdim edib.
Azərbaycan rəqslərinin Kanadada inkişafında və tanıdılmasında, onlarla tələbənin yetişdirilməsində müəllimlər Malik Ağayev və Alim Zeynalovun böyük zəhmətləri olub. E. Məcidov Rəqs Qrupunun qarşıdan gələn aylarda Montreal, Toronto və Ottawa şəhərlərində keçiriləcək bir neçə tədbirə dəvət aldıqlarını bildirib.
Federation of Canadian Azerbaijani Associations and Azerbaijani Women's Support Centre organized Azerbaijani concert in Toronto on December 4th, 2009. The president of the Federation Akbar Majidov said that the event was dedicated to the solidarity day of world Azerbaijanis and the muqeddes Qurban bayrami (Eid al-Adha). The well-known journalist Scot Taylor and the leader of the Iraqi Turkmen in Canada Asif Sertturkmen also welcomed the guests and shared their solidarity with Azerbaijanis.
The classic Azerbaijani, Sufi, traditional music of Iraq Turkmens, folk music of Azerbaijan and Turkish songs by well-known Turkish singer Murat Toy and dance group of Anadolu Folk Dance entertained the guests.
The Turkish Airlines supported the event by giving two free tickets to Azerbaijan. Those who won the tickets can use their tickets within one year. The realtor Erkan Sen also supported the event with many surprise gifts.