Gasimushaghi carpets are Azerbaijani pile carpets of the Karabakh school of the Jabrayil group. The name of this carpet is related to the Şamkənd, Ərikli, Kürdhacı, Chorman and Shalva villages of the Lachin Rayon of Azerbaijan. Gasimushaghi carpets are broadly spread in carpet weaving points of the “Carpet weaving schools of Karabakh”. Earlier it was woven in a village called Gasimushaghi obasi and its production developed in this village and in Şamkənd, Ərikli, Kürdhacı, Chorman and Shalva villages. Development in production of these carpets in these villages based on rich raw materials and ancient history of handicraft traditions. Gasimushaghi obasi village provided its residents with special raw materials such as wool and natural colors made of plants; these carpets are unique and are still saved in several museums of the world. The medallion-carpets of Karabakh such as “Darya-nur”, “Khanlig”, “Karabakh”, “Chelebi”, “Malibeyli” and “Gasimushaghi” make up a peculiar group of Karabakh carpets.
Some centuries ago, ornaments of the “Gasimushaghi carpets” were used in embroidery and called “Gasimushaghi embroideries”. These embroidery ornaments were used in Gasimushaghi carpets and, why these carpets are called “Embroidery carpets”. Masterly made arrangement of ornamentations of the whole composition of the central part of Gasimushaghi carpets arouse interest. No part of the background of the middle and external area of the carpet stayed unused. Traditionally, long-staple wool, called “yapaghi” was used in weaving of Gasimushaghi carpets. Seven natural colors such as white, deep red, deep blue, green and brown are used in the weaving of these carpets. Gasimushaghi carpets have deep red background with deep blue middle area. There is a large medallion consisted of various figures and elements in the center of the carpet. Upper and lower corners of Gasimushaghi carpets are S-shaped. S-shaped corners are peculiar for Gasimushaghi carpets and there is an appearance of a dragon in these S-shaped corners.
Sometimes these carpets are called “Aggol khalcha” by local population. All other ornaments are woven with a hook and it is believed that these ornaments defend people from evil spirits. Like other carpets of Karabakh’s carpet weaving school such as “Khanlig”, “Bahmanli”, “Garagoyunlu” and “Talish”, Gasimushaghi carpets are dense, with high level of knots and light. Turkbaf knot is considered the basis of Gasimushaghi carpets. Dimensions of Gasimushagi carpets are from 200x120 to 230x160, but sometimes they can be larger. Density of knots varies from 30x30 to 40x40. Height of the wool is 7–10 mm. In 2007, an exhibition of Caucasian carpets was held in Prague; some Czech representatives became familiar with some Azerbaijani carpets of Karabakh School and after a while the Czech Republic released postal stamps with the picture of Gasimushaghi carpets with an inscription saying “Karabakh carpets in the 19th century”
Ganja is Azerbaijan's second largest city, with a population of around 332,600. It was named Elisabethpol in the Russian Empire period; the city regained its original name, Ganja, in 1920 during the first part of its incorporation into the Soviet Union. However, its name was changed again in 1935 to Kirovabad and retained that name through most of the rest of the Soviet period. In 1989, during Perestroika, the city regained its original name. Though some sources from medieval Islamic time attribute the building of the town to a Muslim Arab ruler, modern historians believe that the fact that the name Ganja derives from the New Persian ganj and in Arabic source the name is recorded as Janza suggests that the city existed in pre-Islamic times and was founded in the 5th century; the area in which Ganja is located was known as Arran from the 9th to 12th century. According to medieval Arabic sources, the city of Ganja was founded in 859-60 by Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn Yazid ibn Mazyad, the Arab governor of the region in the reign of the caliph al-Mutawakkil, so-called because of a treasure unearthed there.
According to the legend, the Arab governor had a dream where a voice told him that there was a treasure hidden under one of the three hills around the area where he camped. The voice told him to use the money to found a city, he informed the caliph about the money and the city. Caliph made Muhammad the hereditary governor of the city on a condition that he would give the money he found to the caliph. Foundation of the city by Arabs is confirmed by the medieval Armenian historian Movses Kagankatvatsi, who mentions that the city of Ganja was founded in 846-47 in the canton of Arshakashen by the son of Khazr Patgos, "a furious and merciless man". An important city of the South Caucasus, Ganja has been part of the Sassanid empire, Great Seljuk Empire, Kingdom of Georgia, Atabegs of Azerbaijan, Khwarezmid Empire, Il-Khans, Qara Qoyunlu, Ak Koyunlu, the Safavid, the Afsharid, the Zand and the Qajar empires of Persia/Iran. Prior to the Iranian Zand and Qajar rule, following Nader Shah's death, it was ruled locally for a few decades by the khans/dukes of the Ganja Khanate, who themselves were subordinate to the central rule in mainland Iran and were a branch of the Iranian Qajar family.
Ganja is the birthplace of the famous poet Nizami Ganjavi. The people of Ganja experienced a temporary cultural decline after an earthquake in 1139, when the city was taken by king Demetrius I of Georgia and its gates taken as trophies, still kept in Georgia, again after the Mongol invasion in 1231; the city was revived after the Safavids came to power in 1501, incorporated all of Azerbaijan and beyond into their territories. The city came under brief occupation by the Ottomans between 1578–1606 and 1723-1735 during the prolonged Ottoman-Persian Wars, but stayed under intermittent Iranian suzerainty from the earliest 16th century up to the course of the 19th century, when it was forcefully ceded to neighbouring Imperial Russia. For a short period, Ganja was renamed Abbasabad by Shah Abbas after war against the Ottomans, he built a new city 8 kilometres to the southwest of the old one, but the name changed back to Ganja during the time. During the Safavid rule, it was the capital of the Karabakh province.
In 1747, Ganja became the center of the Ganja Khanate for a few decades following the death of Nader Shah, until the advent of the Iranian Zand and Qajar dynasties. The khans/dukes who de facto self-ruled the khanate, were subordinate to the central rule in mainland Iran and were from a branch of the Iranian Qajar family. From the late 18th century, Russia started to increase its enroachments into Iranian and Turkish territory to the south. Following the annexation of eastern Georgia in 1801, Russia was now keen to conquer the rest of the Iranian possessions in the Caucasus. Russian expansion into the South Caucasus met strong opposition in Ganja. In 1804, the Russians, led by General Pavel Tsitsianov and sacked Ganja, sparking the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813; some western sources assert that "the capture of the city was followed by a massacre of up to 3,000 inhabitants of Ganja by the Russians". They claim that "500 of them were slaughtered in a mosque where they had taken refuge, after an Armenian told the Russian soldiers that there might have been "Daghestani robbers" among them".
Militarily superior, the Russians ended the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813 with a victory. By the Treaty of Gulistan that followed, Iran was forced to cede the Ganja Khanate to Russia; the Iranians managed to oust the Russians from Ganja during the 1826 offensive during the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828, but the resulting Treaty of Turkmenchay made its inclusion into the Russian Empire definite. It was renamed Elisabethpol after the wife of Alexander I of Russia, in 1868 became the capital of Elisabethpol Governorate. Elizavetpol was an uyezd of Tiflis Governorate before 1868; the Russian name was not accepted by Azerbaijanis. In 1918, Ganja became the temporary capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, at which point it was renamed Ganja again, until Baku was recaptured from the British backed Centrocaspian Dictatorship. In April 1920, the Red Army occupied Azerbaijan. In May 1920, Ganja was the scene of an abortive anti-Soviet rebellion, during which the city was damaged by fighting between the insurgents and the Red Army.
In 1935, Joseph Stalin renamed t
National Scout Movement of Armenia
The National Scout Movement of Armenia. The coeducational Hayastani Azgayin Scautakan Sharjum Kazmakerputiun has 2,303 members as of 2011. Scouting in Armenia was founded in 1912 later developed abroad among the refugees who had survived the genocide of 1915-1916 and among those that had fled the new communist occupation of their lands, at which point Scouting ceased to exist in Armenia. Haï Ari was a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1928 to 1997; the organization was recognized in exile, with headquarters and 1,100 members in France. In 1978, Dr. Kourkène Medzadourian was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting. 1994 saw the formation of the Armenian National Scout Movement Hayastani Azgayin Scautakan Sharjum Kazmakerputiun. As of 2004, HASK had over 2,368 members, both female. In order to permit entry into the World Organization for Scouting in Armenia, the French-based Armenian Scouts withdrew membership in the World Organization, which passed to HASK on April 18, 1997.
On that date, the number of national member organizations of the World Organization rose to 144. The new Armenian National Scout Movement was represented at the 18th World Scout Jamboree in the Netherlands; the Scout Motto is Always Ready in Armenian. The Armenian noun for a single Scout is Սկաուտ, transliterated Scaut; the Scout emblem incorporates the national colors as well as Mount Ararat an element of the coat of arms of Armenia. National Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts of Armenia Albert A. Boyajian official website of HASK
World Scout Jamboree
The World Scout Jamboree is a Scouting jamboree of the World Organization of the Scout Movement attended by several tens of thousands of Scouts from around the world, aged 14 to 17. The first World Scout Jamboree was organized by The Boy Scout Association in London. With exceptions for the war years, it has been organized every four years, in the more recent years by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, in different locations over the world; the 21st World Scout Jamboree in 2007 was held in Hylands Park, United Kingdom, celebrated the Centenary of Scouting. The 22nd World Scout Jamboree was at Rinkaby, Sweden from 27 July to 8 August 2011; the next World Scout Jamboree will be held in the United States at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia, from 22 July to 2 August 2019. In lexicography, "Jamboree" is considered an Americanism that traces back to 1860–65 and refers to a joyful, noisy gathering; the term is believed to shivaree, with "m" from jam. While World Scout Jamboree is the expression used by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, other organizations held events called "jamborees" for their members.
The Scouting program became an international success following its founding by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. With its continuing growth, the founder of the movement saw a need for a gathering of representatives of Scouting from all around the world; the general aim was to foster a worldwide brotherhood, to help the young Scouts in the movement learn about other peoples and nations by direct interaction with them. The idea of organizing such periodical international gatherings was conveyed to Baden-Powell by the General Chief of the Scouts of Greece, Konstantinos Melas, during the 1918 international Scout meeting, in England. Captain Melas proposed the gatherings should repeat every four years, in the same way Olympic Games were held in Ancient Greece; the suggestion was accepted with enthusiasm by Baden-Powell, who named the gatherings "Jamborees". It was in 1920 that the first World Scout Jamboree was realized, held in the Olympia halls in Kensington, London. Symbolically, the Jamboree site bore the name of the birthplace of Olympia.
8,000 Scouts from 34 countries attended the event. Thereafter, a Jamboree has been held every four years. There are two exceptions to this: no Jamboree was held between 1937 and 1947 because of the Second World War, the 1979 Jamboree, to be held in Iran, was cancelled due to the political upheaval in the region at that time; the Jamboree has been held in different countries around the world. The first seven Jamborees were held in Europe; the eighth World Jamboree was held in North America where the tradition of moving the Jamboree among the continents began. As yet, Africa has not hosted a jamboree. To replace the cancelled event of 1979, the World Scout Committee determined that an alternative celebration, the World Jamboree Year should take place. Several regional camps took place, such as the 12th Australian/4th Asia-Pacific Jamboree, held in Perth, Western Australia, along with countless Join-in-Jamboree activities — designed to allow Scouts from around the world to participate in an activity that thousands of other Scouts around the world were participating in at the same time.
This Join-in programme was reproduced again as part of the Scouting 2007 Centenary celebrations. So far, the greatest attendance of all Jamborees was in 2011, where over 40,000 members from around the world descended upon Rinkaby in Sweden; this number represented the permanent contingent. They were joined by hundreds of thousands of visiting Scouts; the first Jamboree was more akin to an exhibition of Scouting, allowing visitors to see how things were done in other parts of the world. The Second Jamboree was conducted on a camp basis and each successive Jamboree has developed on this format where the programme is more activity oriented, with plenty of time for Scouts from different nations to interact and learn about each other in less formal ways than an exhibition would allow; the 2007 Jamboree coincided with the Scouting Centenary celebrations. Because of this, the honour of hosting the event was again bestowed upon the United Kingdom, as the birthplace of Scouting. Over 40,000 young people camped in August at Hylands Park in Essex.
Hundreds of thousands of day visitors attended events in the south-east of England as part of the Jamboree. The following Jamboree was held at Rinkaby in Sweden, opening on 27 July 2011, followed in 2015 by Japan, the Jamboree in 2019 will be at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. Jamboree on the Air referred to as JOTA, is an international Scouting and Guiding activity held annually on the third full weekend in October; the event was first held in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of Scouting in 1957, was devised by radio amateur operator Leslie R. Mitchell who used the callsign G3BHK, it is now considered the largest event organized by the WOSM annually. Amateur radio operators from all over the world participate with over 500,000 Scouts and Guides to teach them about radio and to assist them to contact their fellow Scouts and Guides by means of amateur radio and since 2004, by the VOIP-based Echolink. Scouts and Guides are encouraged to send paper or electronic confirmations known as "QSL cards", or "eQSLs" when they are sent electronically.
This provides the Scouts and Guides with a means of learning about fellow Scouts and Guides from around the world. It is
Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs
Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs is the largest Scouting and Guiding organization in Austria and the only one approved by World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The association claims more than 300 troops with more than 85,000 Scouts nationwide. WOSM and WAGGGS give quite smaller membership values for the PPÖ: 10,508 Guides; the badge of the PPÖ is dark red with a white combination of a fleur-de-lis and a trefoil, the symbols of WOSM and WAGGGS, respectively. In the center of the crest is a lighter red-and-white shield bearing the heraldic colors of Austria; the badges of both supranational organizations are used. Male Scouts wear a blue WOSM logo on their uniforms, females wear a WAGGGS logo in the same position; the association is member of the Austrian National Youth Council. The first Austrian Scouting was founded in 1909 under Austria-Hungary. In 1910, the first Scout group - still in existence today - was founded in Wiener Neustadt.
In 1912, Emmerich Teuber began the first Scout group in Vienna. The Catholic Church founded the Pfadfinderkorps Sankt Georg; the first camps were held in 1913. As the movement spread, Girl Guides joined in 1913 and troops were founded all over the country; the national organization, the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund, was founded in April 1914. Including the Girl Guide movement; this organization had strong ties to Magyar Cserkészszövetség and Junák, an independent Scout association in Bohemia. After World War I, Scouting developed separate organizations in Slovenia and in other areas of the fractured Habsburg Empire; the ÖPB's programs expanded, including Cub Scouts in 1920 and Rovers in 1921. Austria's movement gained international recognition as a founder member of WOSM during an international conference in 1922; the Girl Guides association grew more prominent with the foundation of the Österreichischer Pfadfinderinnenbund, part of the national organization and was led by Marie Antoinette Hofmann.
Austrian Scouts introduced the Mother's Day in Austria, first to honour the mother of the Bundespräsident. In 1922 Catholic groups within the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund united in the "Ring der St. Georgspfadfinder". In 1926 they left the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund and founded the Österreichisches Pfadfinderkorps St. Georg, which gained international recognition. In 1937 9,410 Scouts were registered in 1,025 troops. Beginning in 1934, there was a non-Scouting youth organization run by the state, which provided competition for Austrian Scouts. With the arrival of the Nazis and World War II, Scouting in Austria was banned. In 1938, a number of Scout leaders were arrested and Scouting went underground, becoming associated with the Red Cross for example. At the first celebration of the end of World War II, there were Scouts in uniform on the streets. More than 800 Scouts and Scoutleaders left Austria in 1938. "Austrian Scouts in Great Britain" was the Austrian Scouts-in-Exile organisation. Between 1939 and 1945 "Der neue Weg" was published as Austrian Scout magazine in Exile.
The Boy Scouts were readmitted to WOSM in 1946. Following the way, the national organizations combined to form the Pfadfinder Österreichs, which hosted the 7th World Scout Jamboree in Bad Ischl in 1951 with 12,884 participants from 61 countries. In 1949 several Scoutleaders left the Pfadfinder Österreichs and founded the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund again. In 1956 Austrian Scouts helped refugees after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Austrian Scouts celebrated 26 October as "Day of the Austrian Flag" for long years; the first national Austrian jamboree occurred in 1961, continued every ten years. In October 1946 the Bund Österreichischer Pfadfinderinnen was founded in Vienna. Among the founder members was Charlotte Teuber-Weckersdorf. In 1948 the Catholic groups united in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft katholischer Gruppen im Bund Österreichischer Pfadfinderinnen. 1950 the Catholic groups left the "Bund Österreichischer Pfadfinderinnen" and founded the Östereichischer Pfadfinderinnenverband Sankt Georg.
The Bund Österreichischer Pfadfinderinnen declined. In 1957, the ÖPVSG became an associate member of WAGGGS, receiving full member status in 1969; the boys and girls associations were merged again in 1976, forming the modern Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs. In 1995 the Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs and the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund signed a cooperative agreement. Celebrating the 100th birthday of the Scout Movement in Austria, a jubilee jamboree, named "urSPRUNG 2010 - Austrian Jubilee Jamboree", took place on the palace grounds of Laxenburg Castle in August 2010; the Austrian National Jamborees of 1936 and 1961 took place on the same grounds. There are nine geographical divisions of one for each State of Austria; every Scout wears the badge of his state on his uniform. Vorarlberg - cloth banner on a white field Tyrol - red eagle on a white field Salzburg - red yellow lion on white Upper Austria - red and white stripes with a yellow eagle on a black field Lower Austria - blue field with five yellow eagles Styria - green field with a white panther Carinthia - white field with three red yellow lions on the left side Burgenland - yellow field with a red eagle on a stone Vienna - red with a white cross There are four age divisions of the PPÖ.
Age 7 - 10 - Wichtel (girls.
Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan
The coeducational Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan was founded in 1992, received World Organization of the Scout Movement recognition on January 16, 2008. In 2011, it had 1,223 members; as far as is known, Scouting was not introduced to the region during the khanate period of the pre-Soviet era. In 1990 a conference of people interested in Scouting was held in Moscow. Viktor Deimund represented Kazakhstan at the Congress; the Congress established the Association of Russian Scouting Renaissance. The homegrown Scout troops within Kazakhstan joined the membership of the Ural Scout Region. Viktor Deimund and Oleg Mozheyko organized the first Scout Troops in Kazakhstan in 1991. Republic-wide newspapers published the first articles on the work of Pavlodar Scout troops. Shortly thereafter, hundreds of letters came to Pavlodar from people asking for help to create Scout units. Pavlodar Scout leaders published and sent out Scouting literature, Scout troops were created in different cities and parts of Kazakhstan.
On December 28, 1992, the Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan was registered in the Ministry of Justice, in 1993 Scout leader training courses were made available. An All-Republic Camp "Jasybay's Arrow" was held in the summer at Jasybay, a national camp near Bayanaul National Park, Pavlodar Province, named for a Kazakh mythic hero. 1994 saw both the publication of handbook "Scouting for Everybody" and the participation of Kazakhstan Scouts in a World Scout Committee Informative Council on Scouting in Crimea. During the Council, President Deimund discussed the development of Scouting in Kazakhstan with Doctor Jacques Moreillon, the Secretary General of WOSM. Leaders of Kazakh Scouts took part in the international seminar "Scouting: Youth without Borders" in Morocco. In 1995, Kazakhstan's Scouts were represented at the 18th World Scout Jamboree in the Netherlands by a small group. Since 1994 the Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan has received financial and organizational support from the German Scout Association Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder, with which they share an exchange program.
20 Guides and Scouts from the BdP travelled to Kazakhstan for the National Camp in 2002. Every year Guides and Scouts from the OSMK and BdP meet each other in camps or training courses either in Germany or Kazakhstan and learning from each other. In 2006 8 Guides and Scouts from the BdP travelled to Kazakhstan for the National Camp. In 1999, Kazakhstan held the First International Scout Camp "Kakharman-99", in 2003 held WINGS2003, a subcamp for 10 to 14-year-olds. On October 5, 2004, the Internet Access and Training Program brought together 20 Scouts from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for a two-hour online discussion of their activities from the IATP access sites in five cities in Kazakhstan and three in Uzbekistan, aimed to bring together representatives of the Scouting movements from these countries to promote friendship and cooperation. Scouts from Kazakhstan named as their main challenge a lack of funds, the difficulty of building a successful fundraising operation. With the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, it was suggested that the Türkiye İzcilik Federasyonu assist in the creation of Scouting movements in the Turkic Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, but it is uncertain if this plan materialized.
In October 2007, the World Scout Bureau received an application for membership in WOSM from the OSMK. In accordance with the requirements of the WOSM Constitution, the World Scout Committee considered this application at its meeting from September 28 to 30, 2007, recommended that it be accepted; the OSMK was declared a WOSM member on January 16, 2008. In becoming a member of WOSM, OSMK will become a member of the Eurasia Scout Region, if it so desires. If Kazakhstan had chosen not to become a member of the Eurasia Region, they would have been eligible to join the European Region, as Germany was responsible for the support of OSMK; the WOSM constitution contains no obligation for National Scout Organizations to join the regions, but it is expected. Kazakhstan Scouts are expected to hold spiritual values and national loyalty, but the organization does not discriminate by faith or ethnic origin. Scouts are expected to live up to the Scout Oath and Law and to serve their communities, which they accomplish through such activities as working with handicapped children and cleaning natural areas.
The program's goal is to strengthen character and promote healthy minds and spirits in participants. The OSMK presently has no property except a headquarters. OSMK favors youth membership and youth involvement through an active strategy to recruit youth members; the adult policy aims at supporting recruitment of volunteers. OSMK is open to girls and boys and men, in four age sections: Junior Scouts-ages 7 to 10 Scouts-ages 11 to 14 Senior Scouts-ages 15 to 17 Scout leaders are over 18The Scout Motto is Dayyin Bol, translating as Be Prepared in Kazakh, Bud' Gotov, translating in Russian; the noun for a single Scout is Скаут in both languages. Kazakh Scouts wear a dark green uniform; the membership badge of the Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan incorporates elements of the flag of Kazakhstan set inside the Rub El Hizb. The National Council, composed of eleven members, includes four men. OSMK has three employed professional staff; the Council Chairman is Victor Georgievich Deimund, the International
Republic of Artsakh
The Republic of Artsakh, or Artsakh known by its second official name, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, is a de facto independent country in the South Caucasus, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The region is populated by Armenians and the primary spoken language is Armenian. Artsakh controls most of the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and some of the surrounding area, giving it a border with Armenia to the west and Iran to the south, its capital is Stepanakert. The predominantly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh was claimed by both the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the First Republic of Armenia when both countries became independent in 1918 after the fall of the Russian Empire, a brief war over Nagorno-Karabakh broke out in 1920; the dispute was shelved after the Soviet Union established control over the area and created the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within the Azerbaijan SSR in 1923. During the fall of the Soviet Union, the region re-emerged as a source of dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In 1991, a referendum held in the NKAO and the neighbouring Shahumian region resulted in a declaration of independence based on its right of self-determination. Large-scale ethnic conflict led to the 1991 -- 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War. Artsakh is a presidential democracy with a unicameral legislature; some have said that its reliance on Armenia means that, in many ways, it functions de facto as part of Armenia. The country is mountainous, averaging 1,097 metres above sea level; the population is predominantly Christian, most being affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church. Several historical monasteries are popular with tourists from the Armenian diaspora, as most travel can take place only between Armenia and Artsakh. According to Armenian and Western specialists, inscriptions dating to the Urartian period mention the region under a variety of names: "Ardakh", "Urdekhe", "Atakhuni". In speaking about Armenia in his Geography, the classical historian Strabo refers to an Armenian region which he calls "Orchistene", which again is believed to be a Greek version of the old name of Artsakh.
According to another hypothesis put forth by David M. Lang, the ancient name of Artsakh derives from the name of King Artaxias I of Armenia, founder of the Artaxiad Dynasty and the kingdom of Greater Armenia. Folk etymology holds that the name is derived from "Ar" and "tsakh"; the earliest record of the region covered by modern-day Artsakh is from Urartian inscriptions referring to the region as Urtekhini. It is unclear if the region was ruled by Urartu, but it was in close proximity to other Urartian domains, it may have been inhabited by Caspian tribes and/or by Scythians. After decades of raids by the Cimmerians and the Medes, Urartu collapsed with the rise of the Median Empire, shortly after, the geopolitical region ruled as Urartu re-emerged as Armenia. By the 5th century BC, Artsakh was part of Armenia under the Orontid Dynasty, it would continue to be part of the Kingdom of Armenia under the Artaxiad Dynasty, under which Armenia became one of the largest realms in Western Asia. At its greatest extent, the Great King of Armenia, Tigranes II, built several cities named after himself in regions he considered important, one of, the city he built in Artsakh.
Following wars with the Romans and Persians, Armenia was partitioned between the two empires. Artsakh was included into the neighbouring satrapy of Arran. At this time, the population of Artsakh consisted of Armenians and Armenicized aborigines, though many of the latter were still cited as distinct ethnic entities; the dialect of Armenian spoken in Artsakh was among the earliest recorded dialects of Armenian, described around this time in the 7th century AD by a contemporary named Stephanos Siunetzi. Artsakh would remain part of Arran throughout Persian rule, during the fall of Iran to the Muslims, following the Muslim conquest of Armenia. Under the Arabs, most of the South Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands, including Iberia and Arran, would be unified into an emirate called Arminiya, under which Artsakh would continue to remain as part of Arran. Despite being under Persian and Arab rule, many of the Armenian territories, including Artsakh, were governed by Armenian nobility. Arran would disappear as a geopolitical entity, its population would be assimilated by neighbouring ethnic groups with whom they shared a common culture and religion.
Many Christians from Arran would form part of the ethnic composition of the Armenians living in modern-day Artsakh. Fragmentation of Arab authority provided the opportunity for the resurgence of an Armenian state in the Armenian Highlands. One particular noble dynasty, the Bagratids, began annexing territories from other Armenian nobles, which, in the half of the 9th century gave rise to a new Armenian kingdom which included Artsakh; the new Kingdom wouldn't stay united for long, due to internal conflicts, civil wars, external pressures, Armenia would find itself fragmented between other noble Armenian houses, most notably the Mamikonian and Siunia families, the latter of which would produce a cadet branch known as the House of Khachen, named after their stronghold in Artsakh. The House of Khachen ruled the Kingdom of Artsakh in