The Armenians who have turned Karabakh into a land of tragedies for 200 years often falsify our history and oust Azerbaijanis from their native land. Armenian “historians”, who have become a tool in the hands of so-called politicians, collect “facts which prove” that Karabakh belongs to Armenians, prepare “legal documents” and try to put a legitimate gloss on the seizure of territories by Armenians. Armenian ideologues and “archaeologists” are trying to present Karabakh’s Albanian Christian monuments as “Armenian monuments” and to prove, using some ancient sources, that the area between the Kura and Araz rivers is totally an “ancient Armenian land”, whereas until the 19th century, the Armenians had never lived not only in Karabakh, but even in the Caucasus, which is why this material culture cannot belong to them.
Samples of material culture and numismatic evidence discovered during archaeological research in Khankandi, Agdara, Khojavand and Shusha in Upper Karabakh, Barda, Tartar, Agdam, Agjabadi, Fizuli and Beylaqan in Lower Karabakh, as well as in Lachin and Kalbajar comprehensively reflect the ancient material culture of Karabakh, its ethnic-cultural situation, the socioeconomic condition of the population, its lifestyle and in general, the economic, public and cultural history of this part of Azerbaijan.
It is believed that a new alphabet was invented in Albania in the early 5th century and was used in official reports. In this regard, educational institutions were set up, and their main centre was the ancient Karabakh city of Barda. After the adoption of Christianity in Albania in the early Middle Ages (4th century), Albanian Christian religious monuments, which characterized the building culture of Karabakh in the 4th-7th centuries and represented an architectural style typical of Christian architecture, were created in the ancient Azerbaijani land of Karabakh. Amaras in Agdhara (this word means “White Hun” in the ancient Turkic language), Qovurqala in Agdam (a castle belonging to Albanian Christians), Albanian Christian temples in Qabala (Boyuk Amirli village), Lachin (Agoglan), Kalbajar (Hashavang (Khotavang), Chahartag), Zaqatala (Kilsadag, Mamrukh) and Qakh (Lakit), as well as the Khojavand Albanian church (Sos village), a basilica in the village of Tazakand in Agjabadi and an apsidal temple with three semicircles discovered in Barda characterize the architecture of the Karabakh region and its history and culture.
Unlike many regions not only in Azerbaijan, but also in many other countries, the Karabakh region has more ancient history. The Karabakh region is rich in historical material-cultural monuments, literature, arts and music.
Karabakh’s artistic thought and creativity has been greatly influenced by the region’s beautiful scenery and rich natural resources. Craftsmanship, which is related to the lifestyle and everyday life of the Karabakh people, plays an important role in their rich culture. Naturally, the particularities of the Karabakh people’s lifestyle and aesthetic taste, in a word, their national vision and identity, manifest themselves especially graphically in this type of art. It is not in vain that we can find many wonderful pieces of Azerbaijani craftsmanship represented by Karabakh handicrafts in many museums around the world. When we look at the rich collections of London’s Victoria and Albert, Paris’ Louvre, Washington’s Metropolitan museums and museums of Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Istanbul, Tehran and Cairo, we can see pieces of arts created by skillful craftsmen of Karabakh, as well as Tabriz, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Qazakh, Quba, Baku, Shaki and Shamakhi.
Karabakh handicrafts, which were created through the hard work of the Karabakh people and were widely used in the region, have a great and rich history. Dishes, weapons and jewels found in Karabakh represent not just a historical fact, but also a valuable source that testifies to the mastery of the craftsmen who created them. The historical, ethnographic and artistic particularities of the Karabakh craftsmanship are reflected in cloths. This particularity manifests itself in cloths and decorations of certain forms and in artistic embroidery and weaving. The discovery of a large number of pieces of material culture during archaeological excavations has made it possible to study the history of the material and spiritual culture of Karabakh. Every archaeological artifact discovered in Karabakh, in other words, every peace of material culture – construction materials, household items, dishes and jewels – is a reflection of the characteristic features, level and development of ancient culture, which played a role in the life of the Karabakh people, both in terms of production techniques and various glyptic pictures and patterns engraved on them.
Various pictures engraved on household items and jewels made from copper, bronze and gold prove that visual arts existed in Karabakh in ancient times. Carpets woven by Azerbaijan’s Karabakh carpet-weaving school at different times still astonish people with their beauty. Many of them are kept at famous museums of the world.
This heritage was enriched with new trends from the middle of the 19th century. In this period, under the influence of growing Russian-Azerbaijani arts and cultural relations, Karabakh arts gradually underwent qualitative changes, resulting in new realist features appearing in national arts. For its richness and uniqueness, Karabakh culture has been, and will be, a leading and integral part of Azerbaijani culture. All this goes to show that Karabakh culture is the mirror of Azerbaijani culture.