Argun gorge

Argun Gorge is one of the largest and longest gorges of the Caucasus territory. It stretches almost one hundred and twenty kilometers away from Khevsureti to the Black Mountains and overlooks the plains of Chechnya. Argun Gorge is located in the heart of Chechnya, to the left – the gorge Nashkh, Kay and Akka-Mokhk right – Sharoi canyons, gorges and mountain valleys Cheberloya Ichkeria. That Argun gorge, along with Daryalom, passed the way from Europe to Asia, from Russia to the Caucasus and the Near East. Russian embassy and trade mission took place in Georgia on this way until the end of the 18th century. Horde of nomads from the north have repeatedly tried to break through this gorge in the Caucasus, but never they did not succeed. In the Middle Ages, there was enough to secure the road, which leads to order residents of nearby villages. Argun gorge in ancient times was the most important road artery of Chechnya. Through it passed the most important way to Georgia, Dagestan, Ossetia. At intersections of these roads, as well as in the most strategic locations built tower strengthen, which controlled them. The right and left along the course of the Argun gorge located side through which it flows into many smaller rivers. In these gorges hundred years ago there were a lot of villages are located. Many of them consisted of some towers, residential and fighting, many were within the villages or on the outskirts, usually on a hill fortified castles. As the AP wrote Berger, back in the mid-19th century, called the Argun Gorge, “the gorge towers.” Towers stood, starting at the entrance to the gorge, at Chishki village and up to the border with Georgia. The ruins of the watchtower Jar village, the most southern village of Chechnya, on the border with Khevsureti is still visible from the road, which at this point runs along the left bank of the Argun. The question of whether in the Argun Gorge, and in general in Chechnya, obscheselskie guard tower, is still a matter of debate. While the national traditions and the very location of the towers of the gorge is quite sufficient answer to this question. According to popular legend, all the towers and tower complexes, stood at the roads, entrances and exits of the holes were guard. Watchtowers were, according to historical sources and folklore, almost before each village Argun gorge. In these towers guard duty a few people from the village. They watched the approaches to the village in time to inform residents about the approach of the enemy, as well as collected from passing people shopping duties in the form of powder, bullets, wool, sheep. In addition, carrying guard duty had to inform of the dangers and the neighboring villages, sparking fires in the towers. Thus, an alarm signal is transmitted from the tower at the Khankala Gorge to Melhisty villages near the border with Georgia in a very short time. And it was very important in those days, when the agricultural peoples of the Caucasus were subjected to constant attacks of nomads,

who disappeared as suddenly as appeared. In this respect, absolutely no doubt about the purpose of fighting towers standing along the course of Argun: Ushkaloyskoy, Guchankalinskoy, Shatoi and others. As he wrote about VI Markovin many years studied Vainakh tower, “in Argun gorge gorges can be seen a large number of towers and vaults facilities. Undoubtedly, these monuments are only pitiful remnants of the majestic buildings of the past “.1 Tower Argun gorge destroyed since ancient times. At least it has the chroniclers of Genghis Khan wrote that “his men fought with the people living in the stone towers”, referring to the unsuccessful attempt of the Mongolian troops to pass through the Argun Gorge in Georgia. Especially intense destruction of Chechen towers were exposed during the Caucasian War. Many towers were destroyed and dismantled during the construction of military fortifications of the Russian army: Evdokimovsky, Shatoysky, Vozdvizhenskoe. Stone from the towers was used for the construction of the fortress walls, and in order to build a fortress, negotiated dozens of towers in the area. Thus, according to historical sources, the two towers at the entrance to the Argun gorge were destroyed during the construction of Vozdvizhenskoe strengthening (at the site of the village Chahkeri), in the construction of military fortifications in the Zones and combat tower on the outskirts of the village was destroyed. Many towers and ancient cemeteries were destroyed during the expansion of the road along the shore of Argun. Most found while various items from cemeteries (figurines, jewelery, religious items, weapons) of different epochs were simply taken out and lost forever in the history of the Chechen people. Also, according to Said-Magomed Khasiyev, a lot of towers in the mountains of Chechnya has suffered, according to the folklore and historical sources, during a severe earthquake in the early 17th century. Despite this, in the Argun Gorge and preserved many monuments of architecture and in terms of archaeological research it can be called “incognita terra”. In this sense, the history of the Chechens and Ingush can be considered adulterated because the main findings of the socio-economic and political processes on the territory of Nakh tribes, the level of development of the material culture of the ancient Nakh, many scientists are not made on the basis of a thorough archaeological study of the area and folklore materials, place names and linguistic correspondences, and, most often, for reasons of ethnic and political nature. And you have more than one decade of excavations in the basins of the Terek River, Assa, Fortanga, Argun, rethinking the chronicles and historical materials, etymological study of toponymy of the Caucasus and Ciscaucasia primarily ancient, in order to create at least a relatively objective picture of the past Nakh tribes. The ancient population of the Argun Gorge was part of a huge Nakh ethnic array, whose boundaries stretched from the banks of the Don and the Northern Black Sea and the northern coast of the Caspian Sea in the north, and the northern and central regions of the Near East in the south. Furthermore, according to recent historical and linguistic studies, Nakh substrate was in the Crimea and the Mediterranean, which is confirmed by the data and place names. The current population of the Argun gorge formed by two massive relocation of residents of the Chechen plains to the mountains: during the invasion of the Tatars, and during the attack on the Caucasus Timur. In this second resettlement was very widespread. Timur exerting fierce resistance forces, the survivors nahi-Plains residents were forced to retreat into the mountains, where they closely hill tribes lived. Unification teip communities inhabiting and Argun gorge adjacent to it in the 17-19 centuries, which are mentioned in Russian sources of that time, it had already been the result of the mixing of the population of the mountains (Laman tries or lamanhoy) and residents of the foothills and plains (orsthoy / arsthoy Alans and historical sources ). This is confirmed by archaeological excavations. In general, as evidenced by the historical and folk sources ethnonym “orsthoy / arsthoy” originally refers to all residents nahoyazychnye foothills. And that part of the Nakh, which since the 18th century was called “orsthoy” in earlier times had a tribal name “Baloyi.” The etymology of the ethnonym “arsthoy” rather transparent: chech. ARC low ridge arsthoy – residents or foothills of the Black Mountains. But it is possible that the Chechen ARC in more ancient times had to “fortress ramparts” that it is possible., Wed. Latin arx, arcis “Fortress”, dating back to the Etruscan. And in this case, the old signal of danger “ortsah Dowle” acquires a specific meaning: “Take cover in the fortress (or rampart).” It is also possible explanation of the Nakh language and ethnonym Alans, on the basis of reports by various authors at the time that one of the main economic activities in Alan is ryolovstvo: chech. al – river, Alan – the inhabitants of the river valleys, in chech typology. gu – slope, guna – living on the slopes. In addition, many clans living in the Argun Gorge, preserved traditions of the resettlement of their ancestors from the western regions of the Caucasus, as well as the more southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. Incidentally, the “Armenian geography of VII century” part of the Nakh tribes designated ethnonym “nahchemateany”, the author has at the mouth of the Don. Information about the fact that in ancient times the Nakh tribes occupied the foothills and plains of the North-West Caucasus, confirmed and folk material. In spite of the barbaric destruction of architectural monuments, especially the last two hundred years, in the Argun Gorge preserved many architectural monuments: towers, crypts, temples, stone steles, and sacred springs, protected groves of ancient legends and traditions. So, on the western slope of the ridge B1en-duk, which stretches along the right bank of the Argun, parallel to the river, near the village of Zone is open Kho yo ECHA bora “Precipice, where three maidens live.” According to legend, on the tops of the cliffs inhabited by three divine virgins: Malh-Azni Darius den Dijk and Quoc-Cause-Yo. Leader Narts Soska-Solsa every day in the morning and in the evening there appeared on his fabulous horse, which jumps from the ridge B1en-Duc Mount Erdi’s Court and a Court Erdi jumped to the top of Nohchiyn-Barz. Sisters tired courtship Soska-EDL and they, along with his mother moved to the top of Satoy Dakoh Court, which is in Meiste, on the border with Khevsuretia. Residents Maiste was a belief according to which on top of the mountain Dakoh Court Dijk lives – the goddess of good and justice, to teach people how to distinguish between good and evil.
In Argun gorge and a lot of tower buildings. For the first time in the ethnographic sketch A. Ippolitova mentioned two battle towers at the entrance to the village of Chatou from the north, on the left bank of the Argun. According to the legend, which is cited by many authors, these towers were built by two brothers. According to legend, one of the brothers killed the other in a quarrel that has arisen because of the prisoner, and he himself had left their homes forever. Towers eventually razrushilis.3 In fact, most likely, these towers were guard and controlled passing beside the road. Proof of this is the fact that combat towers (towers and Shatoysky are fighting) almost never used as a dwelling, and, in general, were not suited for that. Martial tower performs the following functions:

a) strategic – as a link in a chain of alarm systems, monitoring the surrounding roads,

b) tactical – a fortification in the attack of an external enemy, a refuge in case of internal danger. To the south-west of the Chateau, on the right bank of the Argun, on a high rocky cliff stands the tower Guchang feces. Tower rectangular, almost square at the base, tapering upwards significantly. The total height of the tower – about 17 meters. The tower has a foundation composed of lime mortar. Within the walls of the tower – a lot of loopholes, on the top floor – machicolations. On the rocks a lot of petroglyphs. According to folklore sources, this tower was called G1onat Gala “winged Tower”, named commander of Tamerlane, who was unable to storm the tower and the village. Two towers stood on the right bank of the Argun, near the village of Ushkaloi, at the base of the Rocky Mountains Celine Lamas. Before our time from one of the towers only the foundation remained. It was destroyed during the eviction of the Chechens in 1944. The second tower is preserved almost completely. It is composed of well-processed stones and mortar. It preserved the tradition according to which “in these towers met Council of Wise Men, which turned mountaineers seeking truth and justice, from all ethnic communities – from Pheyn-Mohk (Khevsureti), located at the source of the Argun River and up to the piedmont plain.” But, in all likelihood, it’s just a legend. In general, almost all the legends associated with certain historical sites and the construction of individual towers and complexes in the mountains of Chechnya have very little to do with real events, however, as the genealogical legends of individual clans. In the genealogical legends of Chechen clans, especially when it comes to distant historical events, very often the history of the individual is transferred to all patronymy teip. However, they most often have nothing to do with reality. In fact, ushkaloevskie towers were guard. In earlier times, the road to this point took place on the right bank of the Argun, near the towers was a wooden, hinged bridge, which can be lifted and removed if necessary. Next to it was a stone, arched bridge, built by the arch, without the use of other materials, in addition to stone. Sentinel, which was in the tower, controlled the road and the bridge and took a toll from passing people shopping in the form of powder, lead, wool, cloth, sheep. IN AND. Markovin calls ushkaloevskuyu tower refuge. But it may at the location, either in form and function, respectively, is not a safe haven. In this respect, the classic tower of refuge towers are built, built in rock fractures at the northern edge of the village of Nehalem River. In our time it is no longer possible to get. The building had three floors, ceiling and floor tower served as a rock. Such a tower of refuge continued in Nashkh, near the village of Motsarh. Towers shelters used by people who had taken refuge from the blood feud, and the shepherds in the case of a sudden attack of the enemy. Lots of towers and tower complexes in the lateral gorges: Tazbichi, Terloi and others. On them, we’ll separate.

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