Saatli is located at a distance of 180 km from Baku, 28 metres below the sea level and in the centre of Kura-Aras plain. The district has a moderate climate. Locals usually hunt at the Lake Sarisu in winter. The rivers Aras and Kura are flowing through the area. The Aras valley is home to 1,000-year-old necropolises and barrows and numerous archaeological monuments belonging to the antique period. The district is a cotton-growing region on the Mil and Mugan plains. Although they say that the banks of the Aras used to be covered by impassible forests, the forests were destroyed and sowing areas were expanded due to the development of cotton-growing, and the Tuqay forest is the only small stripe that has remained from the thick forest. The district, which was established in 1943, was part of the Cavad district of the Baku province until 1920. In 1920-1930, it was called the Petropavlovka county of the Mugan region. In 1963, it was abolished and incorporated into Sabirabad District. In 1965, Saatli became an independent district again.
The traces of the Huns, a Turkic tribe that migrated to Mugan in the 5th century, can still be seen in Saatli. During the Arab invasion, part of the local population was still pagan. In the Middle Ages, the territory was subordinate to various feudal states that ruled this land, while at the time of khanates, it was subordinate to the Karabakh Khanate. No traces of developed cities have been discovered in the Saatli region. Since Mugan was located on an important caravan route, trade developed extensively and agriculture was widespread historically here.
The place-name is associated with the name of Amir Saad, who ruled one of the Qaraqoyunlu provinces near Sharur. It is also believed that the place-name derives from the name of the Saadli tribe who migrated to Mugan from the Chukhur Saad province and settled here in the Middle Ages. Since the village populated by the Saadli tribe was larger than others, the administrative territory was later called Saadli. The name is also linked to the Sak-Sakat tribe. One of the regions of the Iravan khanate was called Saatli. At the end of the 14th century, Mount Ararat in western Azerbaijan was called Saatli. It is the name of a Turkic-speaking tribe named after the governor of the province, Amir Saad. The word Saad means happiness or a lucky star in Arabic.
Saatli is the name of a Turkic tribe that is part of the Azerbaijanis’ ethnogenesis. The modern ethnic composition of the population is homogeneous. Most of these tribes, engaged in agriculture and cattle-breeding, have maintained their names. Azerbaijani families ousted from Armenia as a result of ethnic cleansing have settled here. On a special instruction from the Central Committee of the Communist Party, residents of several villages in Jalilabad bordering on Iran were resettled to Saatli in 1953. In 1959, the Ahiska-Childir Turks were ousted from their historical homeland Georgia and settled here. The Turkic tribe Saatli who lived in the Chukhur Saad province was forced to migrate to neighbouring territories in the lower part of Arpachay River and along the left bank of the Aras River after 1387. This migration was due to the fact that the Qaraqoyunlu ruler Qara Isgandar put an end to the rule of the Saatli tribe in 1431. After this event, some of the Saatli people who dispersed to the Iravan province and Gazakh region mixed with Ayrims while others migrated from the Qazakh region after 1756 and settled in Shusha and other parts of Karabakh. The Saatli ethnic group, consisting of dozens of families, lived in Gancabasar in the 19th century.
The Abbasbayli necropolis and settlement (11th-13th centuries) and the Azadkand necropolis are ancient historical monuments in the district. The Aras camp located in Saatli belongs to the Stone Age. It is believed to belong to the Neolithic period. No archaeological research work has been carried out here. Most of them were discovered during land reclamation work. The Azadkand necropolis (2nd-1st centuries BC), the Cafarxan necropolis (2nd millennium BC), the first and second Mugan necropolises, the Abbasbayli and Mammadabad necropolises and the Telmankand barrow (13th-14th centuries), the first Aras camp, Qaraqasli, Qaralar (Bronze Age), the Sarisu, Alisoltanli and Baylar settlements belong to the Middle Ages.
Hun Baba shrine
Hun Baba is the most famous shrine in Saatli. It is located in a cemetery in the city centre. The shrine represents a small room built on a grave. Only one person can enter the shrine. The person buried here was a Hun chieftain. According to historical sources, the traces of the Hun tribes who headed for Azerbaijan from the north in the 5th century remain mainly in Mugan. When local residents were in trouble, they made a donation to the Hun Baba shrine and made another donation after their wishes came true. Therefore, this place can be regarded as holy.
It is known that the ditches were built in the antique period. There are still remains of several irrigation canals in Saatli: Govurarx, Haki, Mugan and so on. The 4-6 metre wide ditches, filled as a result of land reclamation work, were built with the aim of irrigating crops on the right and left banks of the Aras River. Govurarx is the most ancient and biggest irrigation canal. According to specialists, the construction of such an enormous canal required a lot of manpower, food and water reserves. The Govurarx ditches are believed to have been built before the Christian era. After Russian occupation, work to build water canals continued in order to develop agriculture and cotton-growing. In 1900-1917, four ditches with a length of 210 km were built in Upper and Lower Mugan. They were enough for irrigating 170,000 ha of land…
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