The word zozan means today in kurdish the summer pastures. The word is also known in eastern armenian dialects (Bayazit, Mûsh, Van, Maratchkert, Tchatakh) and means as well, a pasture in the mountain.
For the medieval arab authors it is a specific geographical complex inhabited by
Armenians and Kurds. According to Ibn Hawqal (10th century), the master (Sâhib)
of Zûzân was al-Dayrânî, probably Deranik, the armenian king of Vaspurakan
between the lake of Van and Mount Ararat (Ibn Hawqal, vol. 2/348).
The authordoesn’t mention any trace of kurdish presence in that region where christians make
up a great part of the local population. Three hundred years later Yâqût in the Mu’jam
al-Buldân writes about Zûzân : « This is a region located in the center of the
armenian mountains between Akhlât, Azerbaydjan, Diyâr Bakr and Mosul. Its inhabitants are Armenians (ahluhâ arman ) ; there are also some groups of Kurds (wa fîhâ tawâ’if min al-akrâd ). Ibn al-Athîr (d. 1233) (Yâqût al-Hamawî, « zûzân ») at the same period writes : Zûzân is a vast region located on the eastern border of the Tigris river in the region of Jazîrat Ibn ‘Umar. It starts at a distance covered in two halshs-00350118, version 1 - 5 Jan 2009 days from Mosul, extend to the boundaries of Khilât and ends in Azerbaydjan until the district of Salmâs.
Source: Tribal territory of the Kurds