Derbent is marking its 2000th anniversary

 Derbent is marking its 2000th anniversary

This year the Dagestani city of Derbent is marking its 2000th anniversary. Derbent is thought to be the most ancient residential area on the territory of the Russian Federation. Disputes about a true date of its founding haven’t ceased even to this day. Some scientists believe that the first settlers stayed on the territory of contemporary Derbent about 5 thousand years ago. Key arrangements on celebrating the anniversary will be held in September. Professor Murtazali Gadzhiyev, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Head of the Department of Archaeology, Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of Dagestan Scientific Center, RAS, spoke about the historic achievements of the city.

He reminded that in 2012 the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, signed a decree on celebrating the 2000th anniversary of Derbent. This was preceded by a lot of work, great attention of the country's leadership to this ancient town, which was preceded by a visit to the citadel of Derbent by the President of the country in 2005, which was preceded by a direct teleconference with the President of Russia and the excavation of the citadel of Naryn-Kala. Over the years, huge significant discoveries were made that go far beyond Derbent, Dagestan and the Caucasus.

Murtazali Gadzhiyev pointed out that 2014 was marked by an unprecedented large-scale study into different objects in Derbent: “These are the identification and study of ancient settlements in Derbent, the discovery of the Muslim cult complex on Mamedbekov Street, where studies were made into the request of the President of the country to study the outer part of the city, where the remnants of a mosque of the XI-XII centuries and a mass of other objects were found. This is also, of course, a study of the Derbent garrison of the beginning of the XVIII century, and a remnant of the dugout of Peter I.”

According to Gadzhiyev, recently the VII International Peter's Congress was held in St. Petersburg, where Derbent was accepted into the Assembly of Peter's cities, as last year it was one of the centers of attraction. At each Congress one of the cities where there are significant researches in this area is awarded with the flag of Peter the Great in two categories. And in the category "Russian City" Derbent received such a flag. 

The vice-president of the Russian Council on International Affairs, former president of the North Ossetia, diplomat  Alexander Dzasokhov said that in 2003 the citadel of Derbent, the city walls and old town were included on the main list of protected monuments of UNESCO. “This indicates that Derbent, the historic city, belongs to Dagestan, to our great multinational country, but also it is important for the whole world. And that is why in late December at the UNESCO building in Paris the Days of Culture of Dagestan will be widely celebrated, and a conference will be held in the city of Derbent. We hope that as a result of these well-trained and informative events in France, knowledge of Derbent will be expanded,” Alexander Dzasokhov stated.

Seyed Hossein Tabatabai, the Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, gave a very high evaluation to the initiative by Vladimir Putin on holding such large-scale events in the city of Derbent. He reminded that the city of Derbent was founded by a Shah of Iran. According to Tabatabai, he is proud that the city is the center of attention not only of Russia, but also in the spotlight all over the world. The Iranian Cultural Attaché said that in Derbent different faiths have coexisted for a long time, and different nations; that is why the city is a symbol of tolerance.