Ashaghi Akhtala

Ashaghi Akhtala is a village in the Borchali uezd of the former Tiflis governorate, later in the former Allahverdi (Tumanyan) district, and currently in the Lori province. It lies on the left bank of the Borchali (Debet) River, at the foot of Lalvar Mountain, the provincial centre is at a distance of 62 km from the town of Boyuk Garakilsa (Vanadzor), at a height of 740 m above sea level.

It was historically the Azerbaijani settlement. In 1770 Greeks were expatriated there to exploit the copper mines. Along with the Azerbaijanis, Armenians and Greeks also lived in the village. In 1897 the village was inhabited by 69 Azerbaijanis. In 1918 the Azerbaijanis were expelled from the village, Greeks were settled there along with the Armenians. Following the establishment of Soviet power in the present-day Armenian territory, a part of Azerbaijanis managed to return to their native village. The village was inhabited by 12 Azerbaijanis, 51 Armenians, 71 Greeks in 1926, 10 Azerbaijanis, 114 Armenians, 124  Greeks  in  1931,  398 Azerbaijanis, Armenians and Greeks in 1939. To abolish the settlement, it was merged with Akhtala, an urban-type settlement and the Azerbaijanis were removed to Azerbaijan in 1948 according to the decision of the USSR Council of Ministers “On the resettlement of collective farmers and other Azerbaijani population from the Armenian SSR in the Kur-Araz lowland of the Azerbaijan SSR” dated 23 December 1947. Currently, the village is solely inhabited by Armenians.

The toponym was coined on the basis of the combination of the word “ashaghi” used in the sense of direction, distinction and the ethnonym “akhta” of the Turkic Padar tribe.

According to the law “On the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia” dated 7 November 1995, it was integrated into the administrative territory of the Lori province. Geographic coordinates: latitude: 41°09’ N., longitude: 44°45’ E.