How about Dampur?

How about Dampur?

Postby princemishkin » 13 Nov 2008, 20:29

Hagop, this question is for all friends but especially you, since you seem to be better than all of us when it comes to the history of Hemshin. So, who were living in Dampur when it was destroyed and what happened to those people? Were they massacred, or have they fled, or have we mixed with them?
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby hagop » 16 Nov 2008, 09:59

Hello Princemishkin,

It is well known that the origins of Hamshen isn't well documented at all. That reality has opened the way to many unanswered questions. Dampur being a central element of the genesis of Hamshen, it naturally had its share of such questions.

Except from its name and the claim of its destruction, hardly anything else is known about it, including its location. As the story goes, it is supposed to be a city. Those who are familiar with Hemshin know well how difficult it is to build a village, let alone a city in the Kachkar mountains. And almost all the villages even in the lower areas are all made up of several separate quarters (mahalles) because of that difficulty. Of course, building a city is more difficult in the highlands of Hamshen where Dampur was probably established. Nobody has found any large scale ruins or any other evidence of a city. So, historians are naturally skeptical about the existence of a large settlement and think that there is at least some exaggeration involved here.

Since we know almost nothing about that settlement, we don't know who lived there and what happened to them. The historical source doesn't give us a lot of information and later sources don't have any information about that place or its people. There is indirect evidence that the highest parts of Hamshen were a hiding place of the Mamikonian princes who were opposed to the Arab invaders of the 8th century AD, before the arrival of Hamam Amatuni and his people. Ispir which is immediately south of Hamshen was a Mamikonian ruled area and when the Mamikonian struggles against the Arabs didn't succeed, they would escape to Hamshen. Mamikonians were also opposed to the Persians and during the Byzantine and Persian wars of the 7th century they might have again used the area. We also know that the Hamshen dialect is the closest dialect to the dialects spoken in Ispir area. I have little doubt that the populations of these two areas would not be genetically closely related. Thus, I believe that Hamam Amatuni and his Armenians represents only one part of the origins of inhabitants of Hamshen. There is other circumstantial evidence of Armenians from other places arriving at Hamshen. So, looking at the Amatuni episode as the sole determining factor either in the genesis of Hamshen or on the rest of the Hamshen history after that doesn't make sense to me.

As far as I know, there is no record of or even indirect evidence of any other ethnic group besides Armenians living in the area at that stage. This of course doesn't conclusively prove that but it there is no proof to the contrary. The non-Armenian place names are almost inexistent in the highland areas of Hamshen. They start from the middle altitude areas of Hamshen and continue on to the lower areas. That's just about all I can say about the early history of Hamshen.
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby avetik » 17 Nov 2008, 06:03

Hagop jan, so is it correct to say that Armenians are indigenous, autochthonous people in the historic Hamshen?..

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby Hayrik » 17 Nov 2008, 17:38

I know the word "tambur" as a musical instrument too.
http://dpir.mskh.am/arxiv/dpir1-2.html
When we read the word in classic Armenian pronunciation, it sounds like tambur.

Not only Hamshen people, but also in other nations, especially at that era (may be still now), didn't like marry people from other ethnicities.
And about the thing indigenous,
I think, as a general truth, there is no "pure" peoples, sometime and somewhere, may be two or more tribes mixed. We don't know.
We know, the Armenian language belongs to the "Indo-European" language family, for whom May others use the term "Arian".
Armenian linguists say that many "pure" Armenian words (Indo-European) are lost. We see in other Indo-European languages (dead and alive), color names, [like red, rod, rose (?), rouge] have the same origin.
Ajarian says that we lost the original Armenian word for red color and we replaced it with the Iranian "karmir".
If we didn't lose the word, we must have now a word like "urd" for "red". I write all this based on my memory.
Armenian and other linguists detected many pure ancient Armenian (Grabar) words in Hamshen dialect, which we lost in other dialects. I can say that we can see also many pure Indo-European words in Hamshen dialect, which we lost in Armenian language generally.
For example, the name of red color, which is lost (the linguists thinks), we see it in Hamshen dialect, on the form "doru", which means "the red color of horse".

http://www.hopaninsesi.com/forum/showth ... light=Doru

abim atlardan bahsedince bende at renk çeşitlerini yazayım ama
hemşincemi bilmiyorum..
doru=kırmızı


If the word "doru" has nothing related to turkish or caucasian languages, then we can say the we found the word, which Ajarian was looking for.
We see the word "red" (röd in ancient German) careened in hamshen dialect of Armenian to dor(u).
exhibited to discuss :)
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby hagop » 17 Nov 2008, 19:12

Avetik jan,

Just as there is no pure people and no pure language, there is no indigenous people. Every group of people has moved considerably in history. And we know very little about pre-history and genetic science shows that they moved as much if not more. What I am saying is that The Greek and Laz speaking peoples of the coast (who were living in the Black sea area much longer than the Armenians) apparently haven't had a strong presence in the very high high areas of Hamshen whereas Armenians were more used to the higher elevations and lived under those conditions for generations. But as you go down to mid altitude areas of Hamshen, you start seeing a lot of non-Armenian place names.
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby princemishkin » 19 Nov 2008, 17:07

Thank you Hagop,
that was what I was afraid of: Nobody knows much about Dampur.
Once, some Laz nationalist I had met said the language of the market in Hemshin was Lazish till the 15. century. You happen to know anything about it?
Do I ask too much? :)
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby hagop » 19 Nov 2008, 18:27

You are welcome, Princemishkin, unfortunately I couldn't say more about Dampur.

I am curious why the Laz nationalist thought the market language in Hamshen was the Laz language 5 centuries ago. Is there a written reference to it? Where was that market? Today's "towns" of Hemsin and Camlihemsin did not exist a century ago and I am not aware of a marketplace anywhere in Hamshen. Maybe there was one in the past but I haven't heard of it. From all indications, the market places have always been on the coast. It could be that Armenians living near the Laz villages would know some Laz and use it during a trade with them but why would the highland Armenians know that language? Plus I am not sure if one needs to know much of a language in order to do a basic trade. There is more reason to think that Armenians knew some Greek, then the dominant language of the coast (and the language of administration) and the Laz on the coast at least up to Ardeshen understood some Greek.
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby princemishkin » 20 Nov 2008, 16:46

Thank you Hagop,
That "market" was not a particular place ofcourse, it is "the market" wherever it was. He had meant that Lazish was the common language in the region then. But I don't know how he knew it. Perhaps Lazish nationalist historians have told him so... :)
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby hagop » 21 Nov 2008, 07:15

One minor addition to what I said above...something that I just remembered reading a while ago. Linguists say that the Laz dialect spoken in Pazar is heavily influenced by the Greek language.
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby princemishkin » 24 Nov 2008, 13:34

And I was told by elders that there used to be a greek minority in Hemshin.
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Re: How about Dampur?

Postby hagop » 25 Nov 2008, 08:05

Princemishkin, thanks again. The Hemshinli from Cayeli also say that there is small minority of Greeks living with them. The opposite is also true. A Hemshinli minority lives with the former Greek-speeking people in the city of Rize, in regions of Iyidere, Ikizdere, coastal Cayeli, and the mountain villages of Rize itself.
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