Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
Historical Monuments of Nakhichevan
Wayne State University Press

Historical Monuments of Nakhichevan

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By Argam Ayvazian, Translated by Krikor H. Maksoudian

The region of Nakhichevan, located in what is now the Socialist Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, is of great historic importance, both in its own right and as a crossroads of ancient commercial trade routes.

Stone Age tools found in the area reveal that Nakhichevan was a renowned agricultural and cultural center even in prehistoric times. Among the architectural monuments of the area are primitive dwelling sites, Bronze Age strongholds, ancient fortified towns, fortresses, medieval monasteries, churches and graves that have either fallen into disrepair or been destroyed by frequent foreign attacks. Of these monuments, over forty-five hundred are of Armenian origin. Because of their remote locations and the lack of cooperation by local authorities, however, they are rarely studied or even surveyed. As a consequence, these important architectural structures are generally unknown to Western scholars.

In The Historical Monuments of Nakhichevan, Argam Ayvazian examines the fortresses, monasteries, and churches that are found in the territory of Nakhichevan and underscores the architectural and historical significance of the towns and villages that played a major role in the political and cultural life of medieval Armenia. Based on firsthand observation and accompanied with photographs, plans, and descriptions, Ayvazian provides a richly illustrated survey designed for popular appeal and for medieval historians, particularly art historians.

The Historical Monuments of Nakhichevan will undoubtedly become a permanent record of these monuments, many of which are disappearing because of physical deterioration, earthquake, and willful destruction.

Wayne State University Press (1990)