Tone legends of the Mountain Ingushetia

Picnic at family tower

Military towers is preserved in many Caucasian republics. They are in remote areas of Dagestan, they are collected almost again in Chechnya, they are proud of in North Ossetia and Georgian Svaneti. But only in Jeirakh district of Ingushetia have Targonsky the basin in which all sides are piled real tower of the city, and some “skyscrapers” reach the height of a modern ten-storied house. And these stone villages still continue to live. On the weekends here come the lowland Ingush — to have a picnic near the family tower of his family and to tidy up the ancient stones. Summer wrestlers from around the world gather in the valley for the tournament “Battle in the mountains”. Shepherds lead the flock trails blazed by their ancestors. Almost every mountaineer invites travellers to visit for tea. But don’t believe them. Actually, instead of tea waiting for you a complete meal with a whole mountain of local dishes and a long leisurely conversations about life. A pair of these “cups of tea” — and a full belly is already thoroughly prevents mountain climbing. But to retreat when in front of towering proud ledged roof, impossible.

Finally, all the obstacles behind. Before us is a tower complex, a real medieval castle, with all the usual attributes: high stone walls, narrow staircases and even an analogue aerial lift bridge.

On the ground floor a wide residential tower (gala) kept cattle. On the second — staged home. The pagans believed that the fire is inhabited by the souls of the dead, and often treated invisible ancestors by throwing them food. This place was considered sacred. When a girl got married, she picked up the chain first fire place of his home, as if saying goodbye to him, and then chain to the groom’s house, the mistress whom she now was. The third floor was residential. Sometimes there are four-storey tower, on the top floor was inhabited by either a second family or living room was located.

In case of danger, and in Medieval times was enough, all had taken refuge in the tower of combat (“wow”). Sometimes it was subtle enough to pass under the footbridge between the buildings, thrown at high altitude. The only entrance to the battle tower did in the second or even the third floor. When approaching the enemy, replacing the ladder a log with deep notches have been drawn up. On the first floor were stored the supplies of provisions and water, where they also held prisoners. On the floor above, as in the residential tower, was the hearth — the defenders need to refresh before battle. Above the territory of men shooting at the enemy under cover like balconies suspended loopholes-machicolations. Now on these stone shields easy to determine which towers have been renovated, and what not. On the old tower machicolations chipped, dilapidated. If the enemy managed to break in, the defensive line was moved higher, and for each floor on which we had to climb through a narrow opening, the attackers were paid with many lives.

The narrow ladder carefully, I climb in the battle tower. Now it is remodeled, and therefore in once you can easily get to the top. But to make it easy. Ancient floors rotted away and new ones not built yet. Clamber over dangerous failure. With each step becoming worse. Above it was already light, but the last steps, the narrow and precarious. In addition, she is on the only thoroughly caved the plank between two of the stone ledge. But here is the coveted “balcony”. Catching hold of the stone window, with mixed feelings of fear and excitement right outside. Builders bottom waving her hand to me. The ascent — usual case, and they can’t imagine are shaking in their shoes at the casual visitor.

Sacred craft

When in the late XVIII century in the Mountain Ingushetia there arrived the first European explorers seen so struck them that they were ready to ascribe the tower to the greatest civilizations — the Greeks or the Persians, but not to Ingush: so poor highlanders in those days. However this nation for hundreds of years supplied the neighbors best tower builders. This is stated in the legend, Georgians, Chechens and Ossetians, and some legends have preserved even the names of the builders. The work took from 50 to 80 cows. But greed certainly was in this case not the main factor. Masters admired, their creations have composed epic songs. Along with folk healers, these people were considered sacred. They are not even distributed the blood feud, and every attempt on the life and health of the Builder of the towers was punishable by death.

The construction of the tower began with gathering materials. No wonder, coming to visit, the Ingush were given each other rocks. In the recess in place of the alleged construction was pouring the milk. If night it seeped into the soil, the base was considered reliable. The tower was erected without foundations, directly on the rock. Although now there are stories about a special cement, mix the eggs, in fact, fastened the stones with a simple composition of clay, lime and sand. To carry out grandiose construction the master was no more than a year. The end was marked by the installation on the top of the tower conical capstones. For one the stone the Builder has traditionally been a good horse or a bull.

Reliable Dating of Ingush towers still exist. For some variation in assumptions about construction time up to 400 years. One of the most faithful evidence of “youth” tower — narrow openings for guns, which could hardly appear before the XV — XVI centuries. In the work scientists have to rely even on the stories of elders: people still remember that the family tower was erected by their distinguished ancestor 10 generations ago. So, since then, it took about three hundred years.

So in every sense of antiquated methods have been clarified a little. Residential towers, most likely, arose in the late tenth and early eleventh century. Gradually they evolved in probevue, and then in combat. Those, in turn, we were flat-topping and already then, to the sixteenth century, turned into a “postcard” tower with a stepped pyramidal roofs. Has ceased to build them in the second half of the eighteenth century, with the advent of artillery. But even such estimates remain only approximate. Only recently, finally, in Ingushetia started radiocarbon and dendrochronological analysis. The results are expected in spring 2016. All in all a joint research project of the Institute of geography and Ingush Archaeological center named after E. I. Krupnova will last until 2018. It needs to shed light on the Dating of all the towers, temples and tombs of Mountain Ingushetia.

Maybe someday the hands of researchers will come to a much more ancient structures on the territory of Ingushetia, and we find out when and who created the so-called cyclopean buildings. In the seventies of the last century the ruins of these structures, built without any mortar from huge stone blocks, reached a five-meter height. Most likely, they originated in the bronze age. Now the remains of the once mighty defensive walls can be found near major ancient settlements Targonski depression.

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