The Tat people (also: Tati, Parsi, Daghli, Lohijon, Caucasian Persians, Transcaucasian Persians) are an Iranian people, presently living within Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia (mainly Southern Dagestan). Tats use the Tat language, a southwestern Iranian language. Azerbaijani and Russian are also spoken. Tats are mainly Shia Muslims, with a sizeable number of Sunni Muslims. The earliest mention of Persians in the Caucasus is found in the Greek historian Herodotus' account of the Achaemenid expansion of 558-330 BC, during which they annexed Transcaucasia(South Caucasus) as the X, XI, XVIII and XIX satrapies of their empire. Archaeological material uncovered in present-day Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia include Achaemenid architecture, jewelry and ceramics. There is little information about permanent Persian population in South Caucasus since the Achaemenid period. Likely the ancestors of modern Tats settled in South Caucasus when the Sassanid Empire from the 3rd to 7th c.
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