From the Bronze Ages to nowadays

From the Bronze Ages to nowadays

2nd century B.C. – 4th century A.D. Since the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. the region was part of Greater Armenia and was known as the Province of Artsakh (according to Greco-Roman sources, it was called Orkhistena). Since that time, started the formation and penetration of the Armenian culture in the territory of Artsakh. In the 1st century B.C., Armenian King Tigran II the Great founded the city of Tigranakert – one of the four cities named after him at that time. After the partition of Armenia in the 4th century A.D., Artsakh became part of the Caucasian Albania (vassal of Persia) which, in its turn, ceased to exist at the beginning of the 8th century after the Arab invasion.

9th – 11th centuries. The territory of Artsakh formed part of Bagratid Armenia.

Early 9th century. Under the leadership of Sakhl Smbatyan, in the territory of Artsakh formed was the Armenian feudal princedom of Khachen.

Late 16th – early 17th century. After the Khachen Princedom broke up, it was replaced by five Armenian principalities (Khachen, Dizak, Varanda, Jraberd and Gyulistan) known as Khamsa Melikdom (after Arabic “khamsa” meaning “five”). Under subordination of Karabakh beglerbek residing in Ganja, those princedoms (melikdoms) existed till the end of the 18th century.

1720s. Artsakh became part of the centers of the national liberation struggle of Armenians against the Shah of Iran and the Ottoman Empire.

1747. In Lowland Artsakh formed was Artsakh Khanate, which soon took power over the predominantly Armenian-populated Artsakh: the first two Artsakh khans – Panah-Ali Khan and Ibrahim Khalil Khan – subdued the Armenian meliks and settled in the center of the Armenian Varand melikdom,in the fortress city of Shoushi built by Panah. As a result of feuds among Armenian meliks, for the first time in its history, Artsakh fell under the Tirkic rule.


18th century. Starting from mid-18th century, Artsakh saw the outflow of the Armenian population and mass migration of Turks to the region.

1805. During the Russian-Persian war the Khanate was occupied by the Russian forces.

1813. Upon the Treaty of Gyulistan, Ganja and Artsakh khanate, along with other north-eastern provinces of Eastern Armenia, became part of Russia.

1822. Liquidation of the Khanate. Artsakh first became part of Artsakh province and then – part of Elisabethpol Governorate of the Russian Empire.

1917. After the fall of the Russian Empire, Artsakh practically became a state – governed by the Assembly of the Artsakh Armenians.


Sep 2, 1991. At the joint session of the local legislative councils of Artsakh and the Shahumian district, the Declaration of Proclaiming Artsakh Republic within the boundaries of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and neighboring Shahumyan district of Azerbaijan SSR was signed.

1992-1994. Azerbaijan failed in its attempt to destroy AR via mass military entrance and bombing the civilian population. Despite large numerical superiority of the Azerbaijan army, Karabakh Armenian armed forces not only repelled the invasion, but also succeeded in expanding the territory of Artsakh, forming “security zone” in the surrounding regions of the Lower Karabakh

May 1994. A Ceasefire Agreement between the AR and Azerbaijan was signed, which actually fixed the existing borders of the Artsakh Republic. This status-quo is preserved to this day.