The Region in Its Geographical Setting. 'Northern Artsakh' is a conventional name used with reference to the territory lying in the area between the watershed divisions of Sevan and Mrav and the river Kur. During the early medieval period, Northern Artsakh (it was more known under the name of Gardman in the Middle Ages) included some of the districts of Utik and Artsakh Provinces of Metz Hayk,_*1 such as Koght, Kust-i-Parnes, Gardman, Shakashen, etc. During the late medieval period, it formed part of Gandzak (Gyanja) Khanate, being later incorporated into the territory of Russia, after which it became known under the name of Yelizavetpol Province. After the Soviet takeover, the region was annexed to the Republic of Azerbaijan, being divided into the following administrative units: Getabek, Dashkesan, Touz, Khanlar, Kasum-Ismayilov (Gyoran), Ghazakh, Shamkhor and Shahumian. This last one, forming part of the present-day Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, is among the territories now occupied by Azerbaijan.
In Northern Artsakh are located the catchment basins of the rivers Asrik, Zakam, Shamkor, Artinajur (Koshkar), Gandzak, Kurak and Sevjur, which take their sources in the mountain chains of Sevan and Mrav, and merge into the Kur on the right. It also embraces the downstream reaches of the rivers Joghas, Aghstev and Tavush.