Artsakh (also-Ardzakh, Artsakhamayr) is the state of Western Armenia (the tenth province of historical Greater Armenia) was distributed in the northeastern part of the eastern and Armenian highlands of the Lesser Caucasus. The capital was the prince Sodk or Tsavdek, and during the reign of the Aranshahiks, the settlement of Dutykan. The state had 12 provinces. The Armenian population of Artsakh was formed as a result of the merging of the native indigenous tribes, the Proto-Armenians. 

The latter settled here already in the 7th century. According to historical sources, Artsakh entered in 189BC, proclaimed as part of the Armenian kingdom as one of the 15 provinces of the latter. In 1387 the province of Artsakh was subjected to destructive invasions by Lenk-Temur. At the end of the 15th century, it fell under the rule of the Turkmens, and from 1555 – in Safavid Persia. 

Nevertheless, until modern times, Artsakh retained a homogeneous Armenian population, and it continued to be ruled by the princes of the house of Khachen, who from the 15th century bore the title “Melik”. During this historical period, Artsakh was divided into five provinces: Gulistan, Jraberd, Khachen, Varanda and Dizak. Artsakh was the only Armenian region that, after centuries of Turkish-Persian rule, retained its Armenian sovereignty and had an internationally recognized sovereign status.