The district of Zangelan covering the area of 707 sq. km was established in 1930. Geographically it corresponds to Kovsakan-one of the twelve districts of the historical Syunik province. Although the boundaries of Kovsakan were not delineated with any accuracy, it is obvious that the present day district of Zangelan occupies the central parts of the former.
During the early Middle Ages one of the outskirts of Kovsakan (eastern) reached "the town of Nakorzian." It seems the latter was situated not far of the confluence of the Hakari and Araxes rivers (probably in the place of the present-day Minjevan). There are indications that Nakorzan was located near the place of the twists of the Aghavnaget (i.e. in its lower course).
In the Middle Ages the district of Kovsakan was better known under the name of the fortress Grham, situated here: "the 8th - the Kovsakan district, which is presently called Grham." There were 53 taxpayer villages in the district. Grham, after which the whole area was later named, was one of the main strongholds of the area and played an important role over the whole period of existence of the Syunik principality (821-987 AD) and later - Syunik kingdom (987-1170 AD).
The entire district in general and specifically the areas adjoining the Araxes riverside, had always distinguished by their warm climate. Describing the 10 years that Vasak the Hermit passed in this province, St. Orbelian noted that he had been living on fruits and other produce of earth, as soon as "summers and winters in this land resembled those of Egypt."
During the XVII-XVIII centuries Kovsakan or Grham divided to minor administrative entities: Chavndur, Gilaberd or Kulaberd Gurham, and Ajanan), partially - Bargushat. Some of them in their turn were composed of even smaller units: for instance, the district of Kopara, occupying the western part of Bargushat consisted of Sevakar, Chapni, Yerkenants, Artzvanik, Zeyva, Khdrants and Agarak villages.
While determining the border delineation between the Soviet Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan only Ajanan was joined to the Kapan district of Ann. SSR totally, besides Armenia received the western parts of the above-mentioned districts, while the eastern parts, especially those adjoining the Araxes riverside were annexed to Azerbaijan. The administrative district of Zangelan was established here in 1930. During the following decades the local Armenian population was totally expelled from these areas (e.g. the last village to be emptied of Armenians in 1967 was Tandzatap). In its stead the number of the Turkish and Kurdish population was steadily rising, as a result, by 1978 the district with its 81 Turkish villages, one town-type settlement - Minjevan, and one town - Zangelan became monoethnic. Zangelan was an insignificant village till 1957, when it was turned to a town type settlement and later - in 1967 to a town of the republican significance. In conformity with the census of Jan. 1, 1979 the district had a population of 28.400 people.
The district of Zangelan covers mainly the area between the lower courses of the Voghji, Tzav (or Basur) and Hakari Rivers.
Most of the historical monuments are situated closer to the borderline of the Republic of Armenia, in the western - mainly mountainous parts of the region, frequently covered with forests. The villages and the general relief of these areas, are most reliable in terms of defence, and have always been considered reliable and easy to defend. That's why it was not by accident that the Armenians survived in these areas much longer, than in the plain by the Araxes riverside, which was emptied much earlier. Correspondingly, the poor preservation of the historical monuments in the latter areas was conditioned by the said fact.
The old settlements and historical monuments of the Zangelan district shall be presented in the same sequence, as those of Karvajar, Kashatagh and Kashunik, i. e. by river valleys. In this case we shall begin with the lower course of the Hakari, and Torosadzor, situated in the basin of the same river, then pass to the lower course of the Voghji river, therefrom to the lower course and the basin of the Basutajur and end with the plain adjoining the Araxes.