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Because of its geographic position, it frequently suffered during the wars between the Safavids and the Ottoman Empire, from the 16th to 18th centuries.Turkish historian İbrahim Peçevi described the passing of the Ottoman army from the Ararat plain to Nakhchivan: On the twenty-seventh day they reached the plain of Nakhichevan.
First century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus also wrote about Nakhichevan, saying that its original name "Αποβατηριον, or Place of Descent, is the proper rendering of the Armenian name of this very city".
The oldest material culture artifacts found in the region date back to the Neolithic Age.
On the other hand, Azerbaijani archaeologists have found that the history of Nakhchivan dates back to the Stone Age (Palaeolithic Age).
In January 1990 Nakhchivan declared independence from the USSR to protest against the suppression of the national movement in Azerbaijan, and became the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan a year later.
The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is an autonomous area of Azerbaijan, governed by its own elected legislature. The 19th-century language scholar Johann Heinrich Hübschmann wrote that the name "Nakhichavan" in Armenian literally means "the place of descent", a Biblical reference to the descent of Noah's Ark on the adjacent Mount Ararat.