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     Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic being a constituent part of the Azerbaijan Republic, lately develops so rapidly; social-economically, political and culturally. The held world scale constructions, construction and restoration works directly connect with the names of Heydar Aliyev, national leader of the Azerbaijan people, Ilham Aliyev, President of the Azerbaijan Republic who follows his political course successfully, Vasif Talibov,Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan AR. The existing all-round development of Nakhchivan, the ancient land of Azerbaijan, on this level was not come across in any period of history. This ongoing development covers all disciplines of our life.

     For its territory Nakhchivan is one of the first civilization centers. Starting from the ancient Stone Age people lived in this temitory and established a rich culb ture. The rich historical. scientific and cultural hertag of the Azerbaijan people was formed in this land. The land of Nakhchivan being one of the cradles of human civilization for centuries long preserved the status of rading, craftsmanship. science and cultural centre of the East. Also, Nakhchivan occupied a significant place in the stateship history of Azerbaijan.

     The state system existed in this land also gave a lot of contributions to the development t of the region, strengthening its defence opportunity, administrative ruling, side by side with forming national stateship traditions. What proves the antiquity of any nation is its culture, historical monuments. From n this standpoint Nakhchivan calls attention specially. The land of Nakhchivan is rich for its ancient, Middle Ages, new and modern period material-cultural samples and historical monuments. One can meet with the caves belonging to the primitive people, the ancient dwellings, remnants of the early city culture, grandious fortress walls, petrogriphs, stone ram monuments, tombs – in general, rare material-cultural samples at every step in this ancient land. The remnants of the Stone Age today are reflected in the caves of Gazma, Ashabi-kahf and Kilit in Nakhchivan At the end of the III millennium B.C. and beginning of the I millennium B.C. there were established  fortress city stations as Oghlangala, Chalkhangala, Govurgala… in the territory of Nakhchivan. The Gamigaya petrogriphs are the valuable descriptive gallery reflecting the artistic thinking, customs and traditions, aesthetic-philosophic views and religion-ideological notions of our nation in the 4-1 millennium B.C.

     The activity of the architect Ajami Nakhchivani trated the inexhaustible opportunities of Nakhchivan science about the XII century by leaving the pre-eminent art of works samples to our people as the tombs-Usif Kuseyr oglu and Momuna Khatun. Hundreds of monuments of this kind were erected in the Middle Ages and later on in the land of Nakhchivan. Grounded on this Heydar Aliyev, our national leader stated: “Nakhchivan is a land which concentrates the monuments reflecting the history of Azerbaijan in itself.”

     Lately to study Nakhchivan all-round, construction and restoration of the historical-architectural monuments are in the concern of the state.

     The international symposium “Nakhchivan in the intercountries sources” (1996) held under the leadership an of the Chairman of the  Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan
 AR played a great role in investigating the history of Nakhchivan land objectively, pursuant to the national interest of the Azerbaijan people. Within 1996- 2007
years around 40 conferences and symposiums about the history, culture, toponymics, biogeneous, studying natureserves of Nakhchivan, genocide against Azerbaijanis and the history of deportation, promotion of the enlightment movement etc. questions were held. Around 350 books and monographs about Nakhchivan topic, its history, culture, monuments, natural resources and economic development were published.

     The books of “The encyclopaedia of Nakhchivan” (two volumed) and “Nakhchivan: history and monuments” specially call attention for their importance.

     The Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic issued 12 decrees and decisions about learning the history and archaeology of Nakhchivan, protecting and passport registry of the historical and cultural monuments in the territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, establishment of “Dade-Gorgud” square in Nakhchivan, restortion of propher Noahs gravetomb and other important issues connecting with this. All historical monuments existing in the territory of
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are defended and preserved.  Momuna Khatun and Garabaghlar architectural complexes were conserved, Ashabi-kahf, Imam-
zadeh, Ice-house monuments, the underground monument around the Bazarchay, Jame mosque, Zaviya madrasa, Ismayilkhan bath-house, the tomb of Usif Kuseyr. Khan Palace, Aza bridge in Ordubad, the ancient Zorkhana monument, the Khanagah complex in Julfa were capitally restored. For the purpose to defend the ancient ram monuments, to investigate and propaganda of these rare specimen, there was established Under Open Air Museum. Scientific expedition were organized for to investigate the petrogriphs of Gamigaya, started to learn the monuments of Nakhchivan systematically.

     Thereafter the decision issued on 6 December 2005 by the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic “About organizing the protection and passport registration of the historical and cultural monuments in the territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic” a working group was established in the Nakhchivan Branch of the Azerbaijan NAS and the historical and cultural monuments in the territory were investigated and a passport was issued for each monument. As a result of 2006-2007 investigations 1162 monuments belonging to the territory of Nakhchivan AR were registered and of which 788 were discovered for
the first time. Around 600 monuments discovered are the historical and cultural monuments having the world and a country importance.

      Armenians demonstrating hostility against us not only have an injustice land claim from Nakhchivan, but also our historical monuments by giving biassed infor-
mation to the international community. The held investigations once again prove that the land of Nakhchivan belonged to the Azerbaijan turks and their forefathers over the period of history. The historical and cultural monuments left from our forefathers for us are the Azerbaijanship seal of this ancient land.

     According to decision of the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic about “The Measures Plan of celebrating 85th jubilee of Heydar Aliyev, national leader: in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic” the encyclopaedia of “Nakhchivan monuments” was prepared for to publish. This
publication was prepared by the working group organized in Nakhchivan Branch of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.

     About the historical, archaeological, cultural, architectural, natural monuments, bridges, fortresses, sanctuaries and dwellings etc. situating in the territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are dealt with in the encyclopaedia of Nakhchivan monuments. About 600 articles were published in the encyclopaedia, 806 pictures, 21 schemes, 5 maps, pictures of the material-cultural samples, conventional signs and abbreviations were given.

     The articles included to the encyclopaedia were ordered alphabetically and printed bold.

     If the name of the bold printed article is followed by another word written in a thin form, then that word is the synonym of the article name. A word given by italics in the text or “see” written before it, is given as a separate article. Abbreviations are
used for the purpose of economy.

     The encyclopaedia of “Nakhchivan monuments” is a new sample in learning scientifically and carrying a propaganda of our monuments daring independent periods. This publication puts a task ahead to deliver the reality about the monuments of Nakhchivan to the world community. 

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