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State Natural Reserves
Name: Basut-Chay State Reserve
Year of foundation: 1974
Area (hectare): 107
Location: Within the territory of Zangilan administrative district, Basut-Chay valley.
Description: The Basut-Chay State Reserve was established for the protection of a unique plan-tree grove. In October 1980, the area of the reserve was reduced by 10 hectares. It is consisting of Quercus iberica and Caucasian hornbeam, while on the hilly plateau of the left bank, forest of Celtic caucasica and Indian Juniper (Juniperus polycarpos), Pistacia and others are developed. Platan trees have an average age of 170 years; however, there are some real giant trees, which are up to 1,200-1,500 years old. The height of these trees is 50 m with diameter of up to 4 m. The main protected object is the unique plane-tree grove, which is the biggest in the world. Five settlements were located around the reserve, inhabitants of which traditionally considered this plane-tree grove as their private plots.
Name: Gara-Yaz State Reserve
Year of foundation: 1978
Area (hectare): 9,658
Location: Within the territory of Gazakh administrative district, on the bank of the River Kura in the Agstafa forestry.
Description: The Gara-Yaz State Reserve for the protection and restoration of the Kura tugay forests. The Gara-Yaz reserve is in the western part of Azerbaijan. Its territory covers the flood lands of the River Kura and the Gara-Yaz Lowland on the left bank of the River Kura. In the region where the reserve is situated, the tugay forest and steppe lowland landscapes are typical. In the past, a continuous line of tugay forest extended along the middle and lower reaches of the River Kura, which was surrounded by forest to an extent of 600 km. The territory of the reserve is part of the quaternary accumulative lowland, sloping slightly to the River Kura. Here the climate is that of moderate warm semi-desert and arid steppe, for which a warm and dry summer and moderate winter are typical. The main protected objects are the biggest tract of tugay forests of the middle reaches of the River Kura and the rare and endangered ecosystems of tugay. Along the river, shrubbery of willow, hawthorn, barberry, elaeagnus and others grow.
Name: Gara-Gel State Reserve
Year of foundation: 1987
Area (hectare): 240
Location: Within the territory of Lachin administrative district, on the border with Goruss district of Armenian Republic.
Azerbaijan covers an area of 86.6 million hectares, of which 1213.7 thousand hectares are forests. Forestlands of 989.5 thousand hectares form 1.4% of the total land area of Azerbaijan. There is approximately 0.12 hectares of forestland per capita, which is four times (0.48 hectares) lower than the average figures worldwide.
Forests in Azerbaijan belong to group I for their important degree and are spread differently throughout the regions of the country. One of the specific features of these regions is the availability of various natural resources, such as mineral water, energy and fertile soil. The forests serve a function that no other natural components can. Forests are the natural matters that promote the stabilization of such important biosphere components as water, air and soil.
The forests of Azerbaijan (85%) mainly cover the slopes of the Major Caucasus, Minor Caucasus and Talysh Mountains.
Most of the forests have rather valuable tree types (iron tree, beech tree, hornbeam, lime, maple, etc). The characteristic trees of the forests and their diversity are determined by the climate, soil and topography of the region.
The forest policy of the country is managed by the Department for Forests Development under the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.
The department takes care of the protection and preservation of forests, restoration and planting of forests, preparation of planting stocks, storage of forest trees and bushes, preservation of forests and other forestry actions, which includes the efficient and purposeful utilization of forest reserves and related spheres of agriculture. It also works on the improvement of the protection of forest soil, water preservation, a clean environment, sanitarian and hygienic actions, preservation of species of animals in the forests, ensuring biodiversity, the establishment of cultural, scientific and recreational complexes throughout nature, as well as the protection and expansion of the gene pool in the growth of forest seed.
The Department for the development of forestry controls 34 establishments for regional forest protection and restoration, 3 institutions of forestation and 3 establishments for forest seeding (The scientific research of forestry institute and the center of struggle against pests and diseases.).
Since the establishment of the Ministry March 2001, the number of measures conducted for restoration of forests, forestation, cultivation of planting stock, seed storage and others have increased.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is typified by relief of different kinds and complexity. Over half of the country's area consists of the mountain ridges, crests, yailas and plateaus rises up to hypsometric levels of 400-500m, (or up to 800-1000m within the Middle and Lower Araz lowlands), in some places (Talis, Jeyranchol-Ajinohur and Langabiz-Alat foreranges) up to 100-120m, as well as 0-50m up (Gobustan, Absheron) the rest part of which are plains and lowlands. Hypsometric marks within the Great Caucasus region vary in the range from about -28m at the Caspian Sea shoreline up to 4466m, (Bazardyuzi peak).
Quantitative area distribution according to their hypsometric levels is as follows: 18% of the area are located below the Ocean level, 24%-has hypsometric marks ranging from 0 to 200m, 15.5% is covered by areas which elevation ranges from 200 to 500m, another 15.5% are covered by areas which elevation marks ranges from 500 to 1000m, 19.5% are covered by areas which elevation ranges from 1000 to 2000m high, 6.5% are covered by areas which elevation ranges from2000 to 3000m, and only 1% is the areas which elevation marks are over 3000m high. Average elevation is 384m high. Principle orographic units of Azerbaijan Republic consists of the Great Caucasus mountain system, Samur-Davachi lowland (in conjunction with Gusar inclined plain), Kur River lowland, Minor Caucasus and Talish mountain systems.
Only southeast part of the Great Caucasus mountain region is located within Azerbaijan Republic. The basic orographic elements of this part of Great Caucasus system are Major Caucasus system (or watershed ridge) and the Lateral ridge. Major Caucasus ridge constitutes large portion of the Great Caucasus system and extends southeast off Tinov-Rosso elevation (3385m) is located at Azerbaijan State border with Georgia and Daghistan AR. Only southern flank of the ridge between Tinov-Rosso and Bazar-Dyuzu (the northern flank of the ridge belongs to Daghistan AR), where both flanks of that part belong to Azerbaijan. The Major Caucasus watershed ridge is not crossed with any river valleys (and therefore it is also called Watershed ridge). Most part of the ridge elevation is over 3000m high, and only in its central part it exceeds 4000m height (Bazar-Dyuzu - 4466m, Tufandagh-4191m, Bazaryurd- 4126m). Beginning from Babadagh peak (3629m) the same ridge elevation gradually goes down and becomes wider. Starting from Dubrar elevation (2205m) Major Caucasus ridge plunges northeastward towards Caspian Sea like expanded fan having been cut by river valleys into separate ridges like Gadi-Kurkachidagh, Aladagh, Kemchi and others.
The same ridges are further divided into smaller and lower ridges to pass into low elevation mountain region named Gobustan, and further on into Absheron Peninsula. North off and parallel to the Great Caucasus ridge there is a southeast trending ridge called Lateral, of which Azerbaijan section starts from the Shahdagh (4243) extending and getting lower southeastward and terminates at Beshbarmag (546m) pinnacle. Lateral ridge is divided into stand alone blocks-Plateaus (Shahdagh, Gizilgaya, Budugh etc) by river valleys that begin from Great Caucasus ridge.
Northeast off and parallel to the Lateral ridge there is Talabi-Gaynarja elevation (which elevation ranges from 1000-1100m in the west down to 150-200m in the east). Ridges and elevations are divided fron each other by valleys and intermontane troughs (Shahnabad, Khinalig, Erphee, Gonagcand, Kaltan, Gilgilchay,Tigchay, Rustov, Perebedil etc).Southern flank of the Great Caucasus ridge descended down to Alazan-Ayrichay valley(in some sources Alazan-Haftaran valley, whereas in others it is considered as one of the Kur River valley parts) that in some places is parallel to the mentioned ridge. Said above valley begins from Georgia Republic and is 210km long and 30km wide in Azerbaijan. Nialdagh ridge which elevation reaches up to 2100m high is extended parallel to the Great Caucasus one apart through Lahidge valley
Dedicated to culture.
The banknote has been printed on special paper with the size of 120 x 70mm. The front side features graphic reflections of Azerbaijan national musical instruments â€“ Tar, Kamancha, and Daf. The background is enhanced with ancient carpet patterns of Azerbaijan. The back side of the banknote features maps, representing Azerbaijanâ€™s integration into Europe, as well as Azerbaijan national ornaments.
THE FIRST INHABITANTS OF AZERBAIJAN
The objective of archeology is to study ancient peoples' appearance, their development and formation. Archeology attempts to familiarize modern humans with the ancient past of humankind through the material finds of culture remnants.
Comprehensive evidence of material culture that is related to the time of the first inhabitants was found during archeological excavations in the territory of Azerbaijan. As a result, Azerbaijan was included in the list of countries which hosted the first sites of ancient people. The most ancient artifacts related to the appearance of the first primitive people in Azerbaijan from 1.7-1,8 million years ago have recently been found in the country.
Within the last fifty years the complex research, conducted in Azerbaijan, discovered the patterns of material culture and comprehensive scientific materials for the exploration of the history of the appearance, formation and evolution of ancient people. On the basis of discovered scientific materials the distant past, the initial stages of evolution of the first people and the characteristic features of the patterns of the material culture of our ancestors are being studied and explored.
Scientific research conducted by Azerbaijani and German scientists proved that primitive people appeared on the territory of Azerbaijan 2 million years ago. Yet in the period before 1950 the notion of the settlement of ancient people in Azerbaijan had been rejected. Yet in recent years the archeological research conducted by Azeri archeologists proved the groundlessness of such statements and the existence and formation of ancient people on the territory of the country by means of scientific materials. At the same time the civilization was of a specific kind on the territory of Azerbaijan.
SPORT HISTORY IN AZERBAIJAN
"In terms of genetic features our nation is a nation comprised
Ancient man developed through the process of natural evolution. Doubtless, in this process an individual's physical strength, speed, reaction and health were always of great importance. Only the individuals with these merits could pass the natural selection process. For a living a man had to fight wild beasts and only his running speed and physical strength could save him from the danger. The situation forced a man to devote special attention to his physical shape. Eventually, people faced a need to test their physical and intellectual abilities. Only the individuals who passed physical trials could be elected to be the leaders of their tribes and kin. Thus, the need for trials of physical abilities was evident. With the development of society, forms and styles of these trials and contests underwent changes. The forms of these contests laid the foundation for one of the greatest achievements of the human culture - the development of sports. As a system of various complex movement contests and training sport underwent the long process of evolution. Trials of people's physical abilities and working skills, various styles of fight and struggle, e.g. wrestling, race, jump, weightlifting, swimming, rowing, archery, sword fencing, javelin throw etc. could be regarded as the first sports. Undoubtedly, these sports were known to every nation. It was impossible to tell where and when the first competitions in a given sport had taken place. On the basis of archeological findings it is possible to assume that the first type of athletic contests was wrestling. The most ancient knowledge of wrestling dates back to the XXVII-XXVI centuries B.C. epics. On the basis of 3rd millennium B.C. Schumer monuments the VIII century B.C. "Gilgamesh" epic provides information about wrestling contests. Wrestling, preserved since ancient times, have been one of traditional sports in Azerbaijan as well. In one of Azerbaijan written monuments, "Kitabi-Dede Qorqud", wrestling was often told of along with other sports. The frequent competitive nature of fights was clearly expressed. In epics and tales heroes would test their strength against lions, bulls, camels and compete against each other in face-to-face contests. Eventually, wrestling underwent development and the attitudes towards it as well as its rules were subject to change with these contests starting to take place in special facilities. In Azerbaijan, an ancient type of sport - wrestling was also held in specialized facilities - arenas.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON AZERI CULTURE
One of the world's most ancient nations - the nation of Azerbaijan - has the right to feel proud for its history, material and cultural monuments, literature, arts and music heritage.
Wonderful nature, climate, natural resources of the country produced a significant impact on artistic thinking and creation skills of Azerbaijani people as well. In spite of a long and difficult way undergone by different types of arts in Azerbaijan, they still represent a unity and provide outstanding opportunities for the creation of a full idea of fine arts of Azerbaijan. The folk arts of Azerbaijan are multi-colored, complete and rich, as its natural resources. The folk art is connected with daily life of people and daily life occupies a very special life in the fine arts as well. Folk arks cover a long period from ancient times to nowadays and including a variety of products from garments to housing goods and decoration.
Quite obviously, the style of life, aesthetic tastes, the national image and qualities, are strongly reflected in folk arts. One can easily come across numerous wonderful models of Azerbaijani folk arts in the world's largest museums. The pieces of arts created by the skillful hands of Tabriz, Nakhichevan, Gandja, Gazakh, Guba, Naku, Shaki, Shamakhi and Nagorny Kharabakh can be found in large museum collections of Victoria and Albert of London, Louvers of Paris, Metropoliten of Vashington and Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Istanbul, Tehran, Cairo museums.
The history of folk arts in Azerbaijan has a long and interesting history. Works of art made from metal extracted from Nakhichevan, Migachevir, Gadanay, Gandja and other places are approximately 5000 years old. Crockery, weapons and adornments found here are not historical facts alone, but valuable sources which testify the skills of the master.
Material and cultural models, found during archeological excavations in the territory of Azerbaijan, testify that our ancestors made crockery, daggers, axes, belts and adornments of bronze and used them in daily life. This proves the ancient age of such types of activity as copper-smithy and gold smithy.
There are those with portrayals, showing traditions, religious ideas and even garments of people of that epoch among art patterns made from metal. History, of ethnographical and artistic features of folk art are reflected on the garments. These features are reflected both on garments of certain form and its adornments and fine needle-work, knitting.
Bronze needles and awls from the beginning of the bronze epoch (III millennium B.C ) were found during archeological excavations in Azerbaijan as well. These findings prove that the ancient population of Azerbaijan could sue clothes for themselves. Little clay statues founded from Kultapa and Mingachevir (III millennium B.C) and seals of the V century B.C found in Mingachevir provided opportunities to have a certain idea of garments of that time. Clothing remnants sued from different silk materials are found in Mingachevir catacombs of V-VI centuries B.C. Number of adornments ( III-IV century B.C), made of gold, and clay crock of foot-gear form are well-grounded evidences, proving old high material culture of Azerbaijanis.
Different pictures, scraped on housing implements made from copper, bronze, gold and adornments, prove existence of fine art in Azerbaijan since ancient times.
The history of folklore, as oral poetic creativity of Azeri people, dates back to the time of first people settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has got one of the richest folklore wealth in the world.
One can still find out rich and deeply meaningful folklore samples in Azerbaijan literature. The signs of mythological and belles-lettres experience are remained both in folklore and classical literature up to day. The mythology of Azerbaijan is not of systematic and full character in comparison with that of the ancient India and the ancient Greek. But it is possible to find out the traces of Azerbaijan mythology in Azerbaijan folklore. They are generally the elements of cosmogonic, seasonal and ethnogonic myths. Those mythic elements, being the result of artistic thinking of primary formation of human society, reflect cosmos and chaos, i.e. mixture in world life, disorder, the creation of world life(order) off this irregularity and the reflection of all this in human society. Cosmos in mythic world-outlook, i.e. rules accepted by most of the people, reflects the process of mutual understanding between the major rule of the society- family, life, man and the nature. Separate details of mythological world-outlook are still remained in the texts concerning sorcery, cheers, curses, tales, godu and the ceremony of counting(sayachy) of the folklore. The old Turkish mythological thinking is the leading motive In the majority of mythological texts. This could be seen cosmogonic myths concerning the creation of the world, as well as in ethnogonic myths concerning the origin of the ethnos and calendar myths concerning season processes. The creation of the mythological texts and their preservation in the form of the elements in folklore texts is closely related with human attitude towards the nature and natural forces. Human desire to effect natural forces by word, movement and dance the provoked necessity to create mythological texts and perform them. For instance, ceremonial songs and dances such as "Kosa-Kosa", "Godu-Godu", "Novruz", "xidir Nabi" are of that kind.