In the 1960s American archeologists working in the Shushdagh mountains near the ancient city of Jygamysh in southern Azerbaijan , uncovered a number of rare clay plates which dated back to around 6000 B.C. which depicted musicians at a majlis, pressing a gopuz to their chests. The instrument was widely used throughout the areas inhabited by the Turkic peoples thousands of years ago.
The ancient gopuz used by the Turkic peoples generally had two or three strings, and it was the three-stringed gopuz known as the golcha gopuz which was more popular in ancient Azerbaijan and Anatolia . The two-stringed variation known as the "gil gopuz" or "iklygwas" was used on the Altai plains and in parts of Turkmenistan, and in Chinese territory that was inhabited by the Uyghur people. The golcha gopuz was also mentioned in the ancient epic "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" presented in The Book of Dada Gorgud .
The golcha gopuz is made from a leather covering which covered around two-thirds of the surface, and the other third is covered with a thin wood along with the sound board. The total length of the instrument is 810 mm, with the body 410 mm, the width 240 mm and the height or breadth at only 20 mm. There are no frets on a gopuz .
Different variations of the gopuz spread to several eastern European countries such as the Ukraine, Poland and Hungary during the 4th-5th century A.D, during the mass migration of the Huns into the region. There they became known with similar variations of the name including "kobuz", "kobza","komza" and "komuz". In the twenthieth century the late Iranian dutar player Haj Ghorban Soleimani invented a new form of the gopuz which has received some popularity. .