Azerbaijan is one of the oldest spots of civilization, a country with a rich and ancient history. A rich cultural heritage has been created on its territory over the span of many millenniums, contributing to the treasure-house of World culture. The discovery of Azykh cave, the earliest habitation of man to be found in the world, and a number of habitations of the ancient Stone Age prove that Azerbaijan enters the zone of anthropoids to reveal the birthplace of mankind. The main traces of civilization are viewed in Azerbaijan. In the 3rd millennium B.C. the process of tribe formation was going on here and by the 1st millennium B.C. the first political formations had emerged. Azerbaijan State system was being formed in the 9th century B.C.: Manna state with high economic and cultural level had emerged.The pantheons of divinities were created. Manna believed in natural phenomena; the Sun, the Moon. The first part of the 6th century B.C. Manna was conquered by Media. The official religion was Zoroastrism, the spread of which was connected with self-kindled resources of oil and gas. A great part was played by the Atropatena and Caucasian Albania in the process of the formation of separate state structure on the territory of Azerbaijan in antiquity. The name of the country is connected with the name of the Atropatena ruler - Atropat which was later transformed into Azerbaijan. It is in Atropatena that the process of formation of Azerbaijan nationality began. In the 3rd -5th centuries the Azerbaijan state system was strengthening. Christianity was petrating into Azerbaijan. In Transcaucasus one of the first apostolic Christian churches appeared spiritual and secular life was progressing. At the beginning of the 5th century the Albanic alphabet was introduced and promoted the development of education. The unique monuments of culture and literature, architectural traditions of that period have been preserved to the present. Azerbaijan was conquered by Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century and made part of the Arab Khalifat as the vilayetArran.
Islam became the leading religion in Azerbaijan, creating mew traditions and culture. Azerbaijanis, like all other nations that accepted Islam, were called «Moslems» and participated in the development of Moslem culture, gave the world a brilliant gallery of scientists, poets and architects. In the medieval centuries there was a succession of states: Garagoyunly, Ag-gounly, Sefevids states were in power in a successive way. Azerbaijani people distinguish among other peoples with its specific image in the world culture. Cultural and literary specimen of this people created for centuries are tanned with love of life, feelings of freedom and independence. Grand works of art of our people such as «Kitabi Dada-Gorgud», «Koroghly», coryphaeus who have left indelible traces in the history of world civilization such as NizamyGanjavy, AfsalladdinKhagany, KhatibTabrizy, ImadaddinNasimy, GatranTabrizy, MouhammadFouzuly whose creative activities were devoted to praising world ideas of truth and justice, served to establish human ideals. Art lovers are still admired by the works of SafiyaddinOurmavy, AjamyNakhchivaany, SultanMouhammadTabrizy who gave pearls to the treasure of world culture. Our people have full right to be proud of the contribution given to world science. The name of our thinkers NasraddinTuisy, AboulhassanBahmanyar, MirzaFatalyAkhundov, Abashouly Aga Bakikhanov and others are well-known to world science. Heroism of such popular leaders as Javanshir and Babach has been turned into a school of patriotism, embodiment of courage and unification of people. Life and activity of MouhammadJahanPahlavan, GyzilArslan, Ouzun Hassan, Shah Ismail Khatai and other statesmen developed love of Motherland and statehood in people, and have been turned to one of the major goals of our life. A rivalry between states to involve Azerbaijan into the sphere of their interests resulted in striking inner destabilization in 18th century. A number of independent state formations - Khanates appeared. The contradictions between Russia, Turkey and Iran deepened in the 18th-19th century. Wars were waged over Azerbaijan. The Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828 between Russia and Iran separated Azerbaijan and its people: the northern part of Azerbaijan was conquered by Russia, its southern part became a part of the Iranian state.
The 20th century entered the history of the Azerbaijan people as the period of radical changes in socio-economic, political and cultural life. A range of upstream and downstream industrial branches were intensively developing in Azerbaijan. Baku turned into the world centre of oil extraction and refinery yielding more than half of the worlds and 95 % of Russia’s oil extraction totals. The cultural life enlivened.