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Initial state formations in Azerbaijan

Aratta. Prominent Azerbaijani historian, professor Y.B.Yusifov on the ground of Shumerian-accadian and other sources proved that, first state formation in the territory of Azerbaijan was Aratta, which was shaped in South Azerbaijan in the first half of 3rd millennium BC. The territory of Aratta surrounded the territory from Urmia Lake to the river of Diala in the South, and the regions of Zanjan-Kazvin in the South-East. Aratta, which was ruled by the leaders that possessed the title of “ena” and the country, called “the state of pure traditions” had close relationship with city-states of Mesopotamia, especially with Uruk.

There was existed polytheism in Aratta. There was largely extended worship to the goddess of fertility-Inanna, the goddess of protector of individuality of human being-Lama, as well as protector of Aratta-God Dumuzi. Although the natural and climate conditions of Aratta inclined the states of Mesopotamia and they relatively attacked to this state, Aratta could preserve its independence.

The population of Aratta were engaged in acquiring of gold, silver and copper as well as trade, farming and cattle breeding.

Aratta, which is one of the ancient names of Azerbaijan means “mountain”, “mountaneous country”. This state formation and its capital played an important role in socio-economic, social-political and cultural life of not only Azerbaijan, but also Front Asia during the first half of 3rd millennium BC. This evidence was proved by plenty of facts, preserved in shumerian, accadian and assyrian sources.

State formation of Lulluby. At the result of difficult social- political and military processes in Mesopotamia, in the second half of 3rd millennium BC and the formation of the state of Accad here caused to the collapse of Aratta and shape of new unit of Lulluby at the western frontiers of former Aratta. It is obvious that, later, the tribes of su and turukky were also included to this unit. But in the 23rd century BC there was established the second state formation of our history-state of Lullubum (Lulluby) in the areas from the Urmia Lake in the South, especially, at the territory of former Aratta.

At the end of 23rd century BC, the governor of Lulluby-Sidurri was so sure in his military powers that, he joined to the military unit against the ruler of magnificent state of Accad-Naramsuena and participated in military campaigns. Ruler Immatun, who governed Lulluby during first period 33 years of 22nd century BC subordinated all small local governors and became “tsar of tsar”. The power of Lulluby much more strengthened during the reign of subsequent tsar-Annubanini (2170-2150 BC). This was proved again by “Stone obelisk”, made by famous Azerbaijani even since the period of existence of cuneiform in Aratta as well. This obelisk was made on mountain near the Zokhab city. There was mentioned on the obelisk that, territories, subordinating to Annunbanini surrounded from the Urmia Lake to the Persion Gulf. The population of Lulluby were engaged in cattle breeding, farming and trade as well as was in close ties with Mesopotamia. There is known from the “Stone obelisk” that, settlers of Lulluby worshiped to Anu (God of Sky), Ishtar (Goddess of love and fertility), Sinu (God of Moon), Shamashy (God of Sun).

Approximately in the 2nd millennium BC the state of Lulluby collapsed and there were shaped lots of “small lullubian governings” in its territory.

Lullu, which was the leading power in the state of Lulluby was prominent as courageous, military and brave ethnos of the whole Front Asia. Although neighbours called them “strangers”, “foreigners” and “enemies” they widely utilized the military skills of lullubians as well as used from the labour of lullubian slaves and women.

State formation of Kutium. Tribal unit of Kutium (gutium) that settled from the West to the South-West territories of the Urmia Lake in the 3rd millennium BC shaped its state formation in the same millennium as well. Kutiums had close relation with Mesopotamia: they were in close attitudes with shumerians, were subjected to the attacks of Accadian rulers. Accadian troops under the leadership of Naramsuena made campaign through the territories of kutiums and shumerians, but lost the battle and couldn’t attain to his aim. United military troops under the leadership of Kutium ruler Enridavazir (2225-2200 BC) protected holy city of Shumerians-Nishapur and the temple-Enlilya, which was situated in this city from accadian invasion. That’s why, there was constructed special monument where Enridavazir was called “magnificent ruler of Kutium and four sides of the world”.

Although Naramsuena made an alliance with Elam and other countries, he couldn’t stop the interference of Kutium to Mesopotamia at the end of 23rd- century and at the beginning of 22nd centuries BC. At the result of attempts of Kutium ruler Yarlaqash and his successor Elulumesh, Mesopotamia was subordinated to the Kutium dynasty in 2175 BC. In this period Kutium territories were extended from the Urmia Lake to the Persian Gulf. During 80-100 years of governing of the lands, of Mesopotamia Kutiums did not change the local governing system, but ruled this region by the vehicle of governors. The governors of Shumer that were subordinated to kutium used the title of “ensi” and possessed large independence in governing. The evidences, which were mentioned in the sources of Ur, Nishapur, Sippar and Umma confirm that, there were close ties between Kutium and Shumer states and sometimes they made military alliances too.

There was preserved the list of Kutium pantheon in cuneiform sources, which formed close economic, political and cultural relations with Mesopotamia. In this pantheon that was led by Goddess, Gods used only Accadian names and it was considered that, God Assar was one of the Kutium Gods.

Tirikan, who came into throne in Mesopotamia in 2104 BC, was the last Kutium ruler. The governance of Tirikan was too short, only 40 days. So, ensi of the city of Uruk, Utuhenqal made uprising against Kutiums. Kutiums were defeated by Utuhenqal in the area of Muru, not far from the city of Urmia. Tirikan was captivated and exiled to his motherland.

Therefore, the governance of Kutium in Mesopotamia was over in 2104 BC. During the reign of Kutium in this area, local fights were ended in Mesopotamia, there was set order in this land, secured the trade way from “Up Sea” (lake of Urmia) to “Down Sea” (Persian Gulf), as well as their shaped close relationship between kutiums and shumerians.

Soon after these events the state formation of Kutium relatively destroyed and was divided into small areas. Such destruction and chaos in the territory of Azerbaijan continued till the beginning of 1st millennium BC, that is till the establishment of slavery state of Manna.

Tribal units of turukky and su became the most powerful military- political formations of the basin of Urmia at the beginning of 2nd millennium BC. These tribes were under the subordination of three state formations that were existed in the territory of Azerbaijan in the 3rd millennium BC, and after their collapse turukky and su tribal units began to play an important role in military political processes of the region. Turrukky tribes often intervene the lands of Mesopotamia and disturbed such significant state as Assyria. In the first half of the 18th century BC turukky tribal units were strengthened in the region of Shumarra- Assyrian region and fought against Assyria and Kutium. There were preserved lots of and wide evidences about the fought of Assyrian tsar Ishmedagan I and the head of Turukky-Lideya for Shumarra. In 1762-1760 BC the prominent tsar of Babylan-Hammurapi made campaign to the territory of South Azerbaijan and defeated the troops of the states of Subartu and Kutium. Tribes of Turukky were also inclined to this conflict and in 1755 BC, there was shaped an alliance among the states of Subartu, Kutium and Turukkym. At the result of it, Hammurapi was obliged to turn into defence as well.

The interference of Assyrian rulers to the southern lands of Azerbaijan lasted even in the second half of 2nd millennium BC. Among them – Adadnirary I, Salmanasar I, Tukulti-Ninurta I, Tiglatpalasar I and others often made campaigns to the territories of above-mentioned tribes, plundered cities and villages, destroyed temples and killed the population.

Ethnos of ancient Azerbaijan – turukkiums, kutiums, lullubeums and their neighbours struggled against the expansive policy of Assyria and did their best to preserve their independence. At the result of such struggle, Assyrian invaders could not strengthen in these lands for a long time. .

One of the most difficult and interesting problems of the ancient history of Azerbaijan is the issue about the ethnolinquistic characters of ethnos and tribes that settled here. Specialists confirm that, the existed sources are not enough for acquiring complete result on this issue. Nevertheless, professor Y.B.Yusifov, who made information about the ethnolinquistic character of our ancestors, proved that “Aratta” meant “mountain”, “mountainous country” exactly on the base of toponymic materials, as well as the sources of neighbourhood tribes. According to his thoughts, ethnonym of “turukky” was an early form of the name of “Turk” tribes. Y.B.Yusifov considers that, “in 3rd and 2nd millenniums BC namely Turkish ethnos lived in the territory of Azerbaijan and one of the ancient settlers of Azerbaijan were protho turks”. Author, mentioning the tribes of turukky, su and others under the subordination of Lullubium tribal unit, tells that, “there is formed such impression that, Lulluby was the name of prothoturkish settlers of Azerbaijan”. Y.B.Yusifov preserved his idea about prothoturkish origin of utiums, su, kutiums and other ancient tribes of Azerbaijan and proved his thought with interesting facts.

Prominent scientist-historian of Azerbaijan, Associate Member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences – M.A.Ismailov and plenty of other historians, scientific researchers confirmed or inclined to the idea that, Prothoturkish ethnos played the leading role among the ethnos at the territory of Azerbaijan.

The thoughts of authors on the 1st volume of published VII volumed book of “History of Azerbaijan” and the idea of prominent historian, academician I.Q.Aliyev has exceptions on this issue. I.Q.Aliyev proclaims that, according to ethnopolitical image of South Azerbaijan during antique period “there settled the tribes of turukky, niqimkhy, uruatry and others along with above-mentioned tribes. There is not any information about their ethnolinquistic character”. I.Q.Aliyev referred to the language of tribes in the North of Azerbaijan to North- Eastern Caucasian linguistic family and confirmed that, kutiums also concerned to these tribes and according to his opinions, at the result of the settlements of Iranian linquistic elements “at the territories of North-Eastern Iran, there was shaped iranization in Western Iran, especially in the South of Azerbaijan at the end of 2nd millennium and at the beginning of 1st millenniums BC”.

Conception of ethnogenezis, planned by Soviet historians, anthropologists was politicized. This conception served to the seizure of Azerbaijanis from other Turkish nations, including to Oghuz group – turkmens and turks of Anatolia. Even there was shaped such conception that, Turks of Soviet and Iranian Azerbaijan were differed from each other. The “investigation” about the anthropology of Azerbaijanis confirmed that, “Southern Azerbaijanis were the successors of midians”, and Northern Azerbaijanis were the successors of “Caucasian tribes”… They were united only because of Turkish language”. In 20s of the 20th century German anthropologist Felix von Luschan separated “Eastern” or “Oriental” race from European race and included Azerbaijanis and turkmens to this race.

The term of “Caspian race” was shaped by the soviet scientist V.Bunak in 40s of last century. His term of “Caspian race” was in equal with Feliks fon Lushan’s “Oriental” or “Eastern race”.

Caspian anthropological type was characterized with dark hair and eyes, low head signs (dolikho kefal) and middle or high length of body. There is no disagreement about the including of “Caspian race” to European family, but the only disagreement is about, which group of this family Caspian race is included to. So, there were verifications on the classification of Caspian race. In 1947, V.Bunak referred Caspian type to the Mediterranian race. Q.F.Debets included Caspian type to Front Asian race, but A.I.Yarkho, M.Q.Levin, Y.Y.Roqinshy and M.Q.Abdulashvili argued that, Caspian type had approach and suit with the anthropological types of Middle Asia and Northern India, as well as with the anthropological types of Front Asia and Balcan peninsula. Let’s present short summary of anthropological findings about the ancestors of modern Azerbaijanis.

  • The period of Mesolithic (12th7th millenniums BC). The first discoveries of Homosapiens in Caucasus were found in the territory of Azerbaijan, not far from the city of Baku, in the area of Gobustan, foot of the mountain of Kichikdash. Remaining, revealed by Rustamov and F.Muradov were not kept well, but visual observations confirmed that, they were belonged to Caspian race that was southern group of European race. The founding that revealed in Southern Azerbaijan, in the area of Tepe-Sialk is also in convenience with the people of Gobustan.
  • The period of   Neolithic (7th-6th   millennium BC). The physiological type of the population of Neolithic period can be characterized by sculls. So, the women scull, found in Gobustan, the camp of Kynaz was concerned to the Caspian type of great European race.Sculls, found in Daghestan, at the area of Chimkend and which was belonged to the period of Neolit (in ancient times Azerbaijanis lived exactly, in Derbend region) were investigated by V.Bunak. According to his information, these sculls were also concerned to Caspian race.
  • The period of Eneolithic (5th millennium BC). Caspian (Oghuz) type was the most enlarged type of Caucasus in the period of Eneolithic. According to Bunak, Caspian type was related to the population of Eneolithic of Front Asia.
  • The periods of the early and middle Bronze Age (4th-2nd millenniums BC). There are enough founding for characterizing physical type of Caucasian population in the period of the early and middle Bronze Age. Morphological specialties of Berkaber, Lchashen (in modern Armenia), Samtavro, Cararat (in Georgia), Qinchin (Derbend region of Daghestan Republic of Russian Federation) founding gave us bases to consider that, the most enlarged type of above-mentioned phase was the Caspian race.
  • The periods of late-Bronze Age and early Iron Age (2nd-1st millenniums BC). All dolichocran series of South Caucasus (Artik, Samtavro, Mingechavir, Akunk, Basarkhecher (Vardenis)) in the periods of late Bronze Age and early Iron Age looked like to the ancient sculls of metallic phase of Front Asia very much. It is important to mention that, the excavated series, found from the territories of modern Armenia and Georgia were differed from the present scull signs of the population of these countries. That’s why, prominent Georgian historian I.A.Cavakhasvili wrote in his book of “The history of Georgian people”: “Anthropology, according to the sculls divides people into several branches: one of these branches is short sculled or brakhicran people, the others long sculled or dolikhocran people. All revealed sculls proved that there lived long sculled, that was dolikhokefal people in Caucasus. May be, that’s why, professor R.L.Vizkhov consider that, Armenians and Georgians did not have any suit with the population of Caucasus and they are not aboriginal people of these lands. When they came to this country, these lands had already been occupied by other people”.

V.V.Bunak also confirmed that, Armenians came here from other places and they were not native inhabitants of Caucasus. In his special work about the sculls of iron century (14th-13th centuries BC) from the basin of the Sevan lake (Goycha) V.V.Bunak wrote these words: “….they have not any suit with the further Armenian inhabitants of Caucasus Armenia”. It is also important to note that, all burial mounds, found in the territory of Eastern South Caucasus, that is in the contemporary Azerbaijan Republic at the period of late Bronze Age (2nd and 1st millenniums BC) were belonged to the dolikhocran (long sculled) people and they were branch of Caspian race. But the servants of these people were brakhicran (short sculled) ones as well. Scientist E.A.Resler also noted such order about the burial mounds that discovered in the territory of Karabakh.

There have characterized two dolikhocran variants of Caspian race, referring to the 1st millennium BC, which was found in Mingachevir graves. One of them has big face but the other one has small face.

At the beginning of last century, France anthropologist T.Ami who investigated stone statue of Kutium leader (leader of the ancient Azerbaijan tribe), found analogy to this anthropological type in Shusha, ancient city of Azerbaijan. Scientific researches proved that, Azerbaijanis looked like to another Turkish nation of Oghuz group-turkmens not only because of linguistic relationship, but also for their anthropological and genetic specialties.

Q.F.Debets wrote about anthropological proximity of Azerbaijanis and Turkmens: “In the ancient time there lived people in Eastern Caucasus and in Southern parts of Middle Asia, who were not differ from modern Azerbaijanis and turkmens. So, on the base of this thought we can make conclusion that, the ancestors of Azerbaijanis and turkmens are the tribes that lived in these territories”. Other Soviet anthropologist, L.V.Oshanin also considered that, Caspian type was the modification of Front Asian race, which was existed in the territory of Turkmenia for 4 millennium s. In the territory of Azerbaijan from the period of Mesolithic till the present day the priority was given to Caspian anthropological type.

To our mind, it is not right to give the final conclusions about this problem because of scarcity of sources. It is obvious that, population in this period for their ethnolinquistic character were multi-coloured. Without refusing other thoughts, we consider that, especially prothurkish population played an important role in ethnolinquistic character and also in positions of this region. Undoubtedly, Iranian languages could not remove the use of leading local languages from these territories.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"