1820 RUSSIAN SURVEY OF THE KHANATE OF SHIRVAN
By George A. Bournoutian
Shirvan, today mainly part of Azerbaijan, existed as an autonomous khanate, under Iranian influence, until 1820, when under pressure from Russia, the khan fled to Iran, and Shirvan was immediately annexed along with two neighboring khanates. Thus the last independent region in the South Caucasus was now incorporated in Russian territory. In order to enumerate the population and especially to ascertain revenues, a survey was ordered to be conducted.
The survey, titled The Description of the Shirvan Province, compiled in 1820, was eventually published in 1867. The number of copies printed was very few, and only a handful of copies now exist. The present work is a translation of the original survey. It details the Christian and Muslim population and the revenues collected from each district and village. Bournoutian’s extensive annotations and explanatory notes provide an accurate picture of the demography and economic conditions of a former Iranian province prior to its incorporation into the Russian Empire.
The E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Trust (2016)