Ashaghi Shorja

Ashaghi Shorja is a village in the Novo-Bayazid uezd of the former Iravan governorate, later in the former Basarkechar (Vardenis) district, and currently in the Gegharkunik province. The other names for the village were Yeni Keyti, Salman kend. The provincial centre of the village lies 83 km to the northwest of the town of “Qavar” (Kəvər), on the right bank of the Mazra River, at a height of 2260 m above sea level. The village was marked on the five-verst map of the Caucasus.

The village was inhabited by 164 Azerbaijanis in 1831, 411 in 1873, 524 in 1886, 584 in 1897, 721 in 1908, 910 in 1914 and 843 Azerbaijanis in 1916. In 1918 the Azerbaijanis were massacred or ousted by Armenians. The surviving Azerbaijanis managed to return following the establishment of Soviet power in the present- day Armenian territory. The village was inhabited by 394 Azerbaijanis in 1922, 494 in 1926, 617 in 1931, 764 in 1939, 634 in 1959, 932 in 1970, 1,045 in 1979 and 1,500 Azerbaijanis in 1987. In November-December 1988 the Azerbaijanis were driven out from their historical-ethnic land by the state of Armenia. At present, the Armenians live in the village.

The toponym was coined by adding the augmentative “-ca” to the word “shor” used in the meaning of “salty, saline”. The Armenian literature presents it as “Nerkin Shorja”. According to the law “On the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia” dated 7 November 1995, it was integrated into the administrative area of the Gegharkunik province.

Geographic coordinates: latitude: 40°40′ N., longitude: 45°45′ E.