Gardman (Armenian: Գարդման) was one of the eight cantons of the ancient province of Utik in the Kingdom of Armenia and simultaneously, together with the canton of Tuchkatak, an Armenian principality.[1] In the Early Middle Ages a feudal state of Gardman emerged on the area of Caucasian Albania.[citation needed] It roughly corresponded within the modern Qazakh, Shamkir, Agstafa, Dashkasan, Goygol, Tovuz, Gadabay rayons of Azerbaijan and Tavush Region of Armenia.

The Kingdom of Gardman-Parisos (yellow) in 1017 when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Lori (red).


In prehistoric times Gardman was homeland of the proto-Armenian tribe Gardman, with a doubtful Georgian connection.[2] Contemporary Armenian authors referred to the historical area of Gardman as Northern Artsakh.[3] During the reign of the Arshakuni kings of Armenia (66-428 A.D.), Gardman was the seat of the nakharars of Utik' (and for this, it was sometimes called "Gardmantsvots ishkhanutyun", or the principality of Gardman).[4] After the collapse of the Armenian royal dynasty Gardman was acquired by Caucasian Albania in 387.[2] In the seventh century the local house of Gardman was replaced by the Mihranid family (of Persian or Parthian origin),[5] which later became the ruling dynasty in the region of Arran.

The region was conquered by the Arabs in 855. Contemporary Armenian historians repeatedly noted the presence of two well known venues in Gardman: a fortress called Getabakk' (in the current-day Azerbaijani region of Gadabay) and a copper mine.[3]

In 982, Gardman and Parisos, the northern district of Artsakh, became a small Armenian kingdom of Parisos, which lasted until 1017 and thereafter it became part of the Kingdom of Lori.[2] In 1601, the princely family of Melik-Shahnazaryan established the melikdom of Gardman. The ruling family belonged to a branch of the House of Khachen, and their residence was in the village of Voskanapat (and for this reason, the statelet was sometimes referred to as the Voskanapat melikdom).[2] The territorial rights of the meliks were confirmed after the Russian Empire took control of the region in the early nineteenth century.[6]


  1. ^ Hewsen, Robert H (2001). Armenia: A Historical Atlas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 100–103, 118–121. ISBN 0-226-33228-4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Hewsen. Armenia, pp. 119, 163
  3. ^ a b Hakobyan, Tadevos Kh. (2007). Հայաստանի Պատմական Աշխարհագրություն (Historical Geography of Armenia) (in Armenian). Yerevan: Yerevan State University Press. pp. 243–244.
  4. ^ (in Armenian) Ulubabyan, Bagrat. «Գարդման» (Gardman). Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. vol. ii. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, p. 700.
  5. ^ Bosworth, C.E. "Arran Archived September 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Encyclopedia Iranica.
  6. ^ Hakobyan. Historical Geography, p. 378.