Material and Moral Resources of Azerbaijan as Part of the World Cultural heritage

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By: Fuad Huseynzade

  Azerbaijan is an old nation with rich national and cultural values. Monuments of history and culture, and mosques on the territories of Azerbaijan are the material wealth of our people. The cultural examples of these territories, including unique monuments of special importance, are part of the world’s cultural heritage. Rector of the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction, Professor Gulchohra Mammadova said at the meeting with President Ilham Aliyev that Western Azerbaijan is the historical region of Azerbaijan with rich history, culture, and traditions: “Architecture, folk art, and musical traditions this region has deep roots and a unique face. The harsh climatic conditions of the mountainous regions and hard-working farming life also affected the character of the people living on these lands. Hard work, tolerance, patriotism, loyalty to language, religion, national-spiritual values, and traditions are the characteristics of the Western Azerbaijanis.

Nature itself created the image of these places, absorbed in our memory, stretching from the banks of Goychi to Alagoz, from the Bozabdal mountains to Zangezur. This land keeps traces of our rich history, our numerous tales, legends, and songs, which are the bearers of our national and spiritual existence. Petroglyphs of Deveboinu and Alageller, prove that these places were one of the first human settlements, Albanian-Christian temples, which are examples of pre-Islamic culture, historical and cultural monuments of the Islamic era, a rich cultural heritage created here over thousands of years. and included in the world’s cultural treasures, inseparable from the history and culture of Azerbaijan, show that it is part of this world.

One of the monuments of the ancient history of Zangezur is the Goshundash monument dating back to the 4th and 2nd millennia BC. At the end of the 19th century, Russian archaeologist and anthropologist Alexei Ivanovsky emphasized the presence of 8 such mounds on the western shore of Lake Goycha, between the villages of Kavar and Adiyaman, especially in the area called “Dry ruins”, and they were located in the Minusinsk region, in the valley of the «Gok-su» in Altai, in the Orkhon steppes, on the Tarbagatai heights, notes a striking resemblance to the mounds. During his excavations in the mounds in the Lake Goycha basin, the skulls and various household and military equipment found in the stone chests are identical to the skulls found in the Altai mounds and the Khojaly-Gedabey mounds, which proves that this area was one of the original settlements of the ancient Turks.

As in the entire geography of Turan, the ancient temples on the territory of Western Azerbaijan – our pre-Islamic places of worship – preserve traces of the Kipchak-Christian culture – the pre-Islamic Turkic culture. These monuments became a barrier to many fictitious possibilities associated with the period of our history of Caucasian Albania. Their stone memory, stone inscriptions that have come down to us after the trials of history, did not allow us to hide the truth.

By the way, the Center for Social Research presented to the Azerbaijani public at an event held on 4th of  July  in 2022. Continuing its activities in this direction, the Center for Social Research created a work entitled “Return to Western Azerbaijan: Our Material and Cultural Heritage in the Historical Lands,” which is a continuation of the research work “Our Material and Cultural Heritage in the Historical Lands of Azerbaijan,” vol. II, consisting of 144 material and cultural artifacts, was published on 6th of November, the author of the book is Afgan Valiyev, sector manager of the Social Research Center, member of the Council of Intellectuals of West Azerbaijan, researcher, scientist.

He presented it to the public at an event held in 2023. Thus, in volumes I and II, 388 monuments of Western Azerbaijan, about which there is little information and have not been studied at all, were studied and took their place in our historiography.

Western Azerbaijan is a region rich in its own cuisine. In this regard, the book “Iravan Regional Cuisine of Azerbaijan”, which is the product of many years of research, focuses on a topic that today is considered very relevant and important, both from a historical-ethnographic and from a national-spiritual point of view. Iravan Azerbaijanis as a whole were once local residents of the territory of the state now called “Armenia”, engaged in the study of the ancient culinary culture of our compatriots. The book, prepared by the Azerbaijan National Culinary Center, contains numerous historical and ethnographic facts related to the cuisine of Iravan and the cuisine of Western Azerbaijan in general, which show the antiquity and richness of the material culture created by the peoples of this region.

Based on historical sources and ethnographic research, this monograph, which demonstrates the unfoundedness of Armenian claims, represents a valuable encyclopedic source on the material and moral culture of the ancient region of Azerbaijan. The authors of the book are Doctor of Philosophy in History, Professor, Honored Cultural Worker Tahir Amiraslanov, Honored Cultural Worker Oruj Aliyev, and Republican Youth Award laureate Aygul Asgarova.

The head of the book project, Associate Professor at Baku State University, Doctor of Philosophy Givami Rahimli noted:  “One of the values of the book “Regional Cuisine of the Iravan Khanate” is historical paintings reflecting the cultural heritage of the Iravan Khanate, the religious culture of Azerbaijan and Islam – Sardar Palace, Iravan mosques, the publication includes photo documents detailing the process of destruction of the caravanserai and other medieval architectural monuments, which formed the historical center of the Iravan…

The book contains the names of numerous food products, a wide variety of kitchen utensils, 413 types of dishes and drinks, and the rules for their preparation. The book transports every Azerbaijani to their native land, once again reminding them of the beauty of these lands, the aroma of tandoori, and the taste of their food.” The Azerbaijani people value their national, moral, and material wealth. Because all this is connected with the name of our people and this is our cultural heritage, which has reached our days through the storms of history.

Writer is The Chairman of the Support of Journalists to Diaspora Activity Public Union

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