This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals
Immediately after annexing the khanates of Sheki (1819), Shirvan (1820) and Nakhichevan (1828), the Russian administrators of the Caucasus ordered detailed surveys of the number and ethnic composition of the inhabitants of these former Iranian khanates or governorships. The officials in charge of these surveys were also instructed to prepare comprehensive registers of all the revenues collected by each khan's divan (chancery); revenues which would now belong to Russia.
The said "opisanie" or descriptive surveys were later printed and only a handful of these survive--none in the United States or Europe. No such surveys were ordered by the various Iranian governors or rulers; hence, we have no detailed information of how many men and women lived in the various mahals (districts); their professions; how many paid taxes and who was tax-exempt. The various taxes paid by settled and nomadic peoples; the price of commodities, the number and names of the landowners (mukdars), the name of the tuyuldars (landholding in lieu of service) and the divani, or property belonging to the khanate (the khan).
Having published the 1823 Russian survey of Karabagh and the 1828-1832 survey of Yerevan. I am now in the process of completing the three remaining such surveys, which will enable scholars to have a better understanding of the region in the final years of Iranian and the early years of Russian rule.
My paper will discuss some of the major data gleaned from these rare documents.