The cemetery outside the walls; the monastery with the remains of the walls and the entrance
The 5th century Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi says that the mythical descendents of Наук, the founding father of the Armenians, established the principalities of Gardman, Travdiats and Gugark' there. Historically, these regions were known as possessions of the "lord of Aran", after a certain Aran. Originally Artsakh was part of the kingdom of Urartu before its incorporation into Armenia. According to Strabo, the region belonged to Greater Armenia politically, culturally and linguistically. These princely houses later merged to form the kingdom of Aranshahik ("the shahs of Aran"), vassal of the future state Armenia. In the course of centuries, Artsakh witnessed periods of independence alternating with periods of semi-independence, but individuality, always retained its own political, religious and cultural individuality, even though it was in an ethnically varied area.