Archaeological Monuments Of The Galanchozh District (On The History Of The Study)


This article is dedicated to the beginning of the history of archaeological research (the second half of the XIX – the beginning of the XX century). The territory of the Galanchog district of Mountain Chechnya whose monuments have always been of great interest to researchers due to the variety of objects of the medieval era, the remoteness and inaccessibility of this territory. An important feature of this part of the mountainous Chechnya is the presence of a large number of cave structures, both residential and funerary, against the background of other types of archaeological monuments of the late Middle Ages recorded here – towers, crypts, as well as a complete lack of information about objects of earlier eras. Among the names, researchers mentioned in our work, there are well-known personalities among Caucasian archaeologists and lovers of antiquities – such as V.I. Dolbev, A.P. Ippolitov, A.A. Miller, P.I. Golovinsky and experts whose main occupations were not directly related to archeology – F.S. Bayern, N.K. Seidlitz, M.A. Ivanov. They have documented and examined numerous archaeological sites of the societies Nashkh, Galanzhozh, Yalhara, Meredzha, Akka, at the villages of Khaibakh, Akki, Merzhoy, Itir-Kale, Mozaroy, Tsecha-Akhk, Kai-Gala, Turkali, Tishli, Zingala, Bitsikhoy, Talli and etc.

Keywords: Galanchozharcheologyhistory of studytowerscryptscave burials


The article is devoted to the initial stage of the history of the study of antiquities of the Galanchoz region, the Chechen Republic – from the appearance of the first information about archaeological sites and finds discovered on this territory until the beginning of the 20th century.

The choice of topic is motivated both by the need to continue the process of preparing the archaeological map of Chechnya, and by the recent activation of "amateur" researchers, who often "discover" long-known monuments here.

Due to the fact that the boundaries of the region have not yet been delineated, we consider the monuments located in the territories of the traditional historical societies Tsechoy, Merzhoy, Akka, Galay, Nashkha, Yalkhara, Peshkhoy and others located in this part of the mountainous Chechnya (Akhmadov, 2009), with the exception of the societies Varanda, Nihaloy, Shatoy, Sana'a, Sarbala and Nizhalaya, whose monuments are examined within the boundaries of other modern administrative entities of the Chechen Republic – Shatoysky, Itum-Kalinsky districts.

Problem Statement

The history of archaeological exploration of the Galanchozh region has not yet been described. The work is relevant due to the increased interest in this territory, its monuments and history. Nominally restored, while the district does not have a permanent population, due to the lack of roads. Due to the fact that in recent years active work has been carried out to solve this problem, the territory of the district has become available for visiting, which has entailed the actualization of the conservation of archaeological sites of the region.

Research Questions

The history of archaeological study of this territory is interesting both in terms of obtaining information about the monuments and finds themselves, and in view of the information about when they were discovered and studied, by whom they were found and published, and under what conditions. This article contains archaeological information, the history of discoveries and the historiography of publications. And also, there are bibliographic references allowing the reader to find sources on this issue.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work is to collect information and bibliographic materials related to the discovery of archaeological sites and the discovery of artifacts in the considered territory of the region. This work contains information that will be further used in the preparation of a map of archaeological sites of the Galanchozh district.

Research Methods

In preparing the work, methods of archaeographic and bibliographic collection of materials, as well as historiographic analysis, were used.


The first information about archaeological sites on this territory appeared back in 1856, when the message of the head of the Vladikavkaz district, Baron I.A., was reported at a general meeting of the Caucasus department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society (IRGS). Wrangel that in June 1854 (according to Golovinsky (1878) this happened in 1853) in the upper river. Valerik, 20 versts from the Netkhoevsky redoubt (located in the vicinity of the village of Katyr-Yurt), local residents discovered after the collapse a “cave” in which the skeleton of a woman with jewelry was found – two gold bracelets, rings, a necklace, etc.

It was also noted here that in the mountainous part of the interfluve of rr. During erosion of the soil, Valerika and Shalazhi often find ancient coins, jugs of various sizes with "relief images" – some up to "2 buckets" filled with coins, fragments of large iron braids (!? – author) and other iron objects. Some of these finds were then transferred to the recently created Caucasian Museum in Tiflis (Radde, 1891). Later, some new information about the Valerian find was given by Golovinsky (1878) in a brief review of the archaeological sites of Chechnya discovered before 1871.

Apparently, under the influence of this and similar cases, at a meeting of geographers in December of the same 1856, the question was raised of conducting an archaeological excavation by the Caucasian IRGS department, but “... the proposal remained without consequences, as it was not directly included in the scope of the Department” (Berger, 1871, p. 37).

It seems that the first mention of archaeological and architectural monuments of the territory in question was the article by the head of the Argun district and the lover of antiquities Ippolitova, published in 1868, which cited the legend of the sanctuary near Lake Galanchozh, which the author considered the church (Ippolitov, 1868; Dautova & Mamaev, 2009).

Later, in 1871, a large article was published by the publication of a naturalist and natural scientist who was actively involved in archaeological monuments of the Caucasus, F.S. medieval architectural and archaeological sites of Chechnya (Bayern, 1871).

Note that such a “combination” of interests was commonplace for this time — it is shown that in the information of the IAC for 1872 about the excavations of the same Bayern in Mtskheta, the latter was certified as a “naturalist” (Appendix, 2009; Imperial Moscow, 1915). By the way, after that he published an article on building materials in the Caucasus, which reflected the results of his other (?) visits to Chechnya (Bayern, 1875).

Of particular interest to Bayern was summoned by the monuments of the “land of Kistins,” which he singled out separately, meaning, obviously, mountain Chechnya, where he was attracted by the structures of the Kay gorge (Kay society) – high towers of 4–6 floors with extensions to them (castle complexes) and ancient tombs including on the river. Fortang, one of which he described as a “cube” with sides of 5 to 6 arshins, built on cement from round logs or naked and bricks (?) And plastered from the outside, a schematic representation of which he brought (Bayern, 1871). It should be noted that the researcher visited (?) In Chechnya, in the same river valley. Fortangi back in 1860-1861, when he collected materials about the flora of this part of the North Caucasus (Taysumov & Omarkhadzhieva, 2012).

However, the first acquaintance of F.S. It seems that Bayerne with archaeological finds from Chechnya took place even earlier – he already headed the museum of the Caucasus department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society at the time when the above-mentioned objects from the headwaters of the r. Valerik.

Thus, there is reason to believe that Bayern – “... one of the first researchers of the Caucasus in archaeological terms ...” (Imperial Moscow, 1915, p. 21).) was almost the first Russian scientist to get acquainted with the late medieval every day and funerary monuments of mountain Chechnya.

After Bayern – in 1873 a trip to the mountainous regions of Chechnya was made by the geographer and naturalist Seidlitz (1873), also one of the active members of the Caucasian branch of the Russian Geographical Society, who noted in his notes the most prominent battle towers in particular in Khaibakh, Kie, and others. And although these medieval monuments were not of special interest to him, he sketched some of the structures, while intending to submit “... these essays to the newly formed Caucasian Archaeological Society” (p. 11).

But by far the most serious step in the process of studying archaeological sites of the considered part of Chechnya was the work of V.I. Dolbebeva, who in 1882 examined (and partially sketched) towers, castles, a sanctuary, rock fortifications, elevated crypts and cave burials, as well as recorded legends and traditions associated with these archaeological sites, in Yalkhara (Itir-Kale, Mozaroye) Galanchez, Khaibakh, Merzhoy (Meredzhi), Kai-Gala, Tsecha-Akhke and others (Mamaev & Mamaev 2014).

Of a sufficiently large number of monuments within the borders of the current Galanchog district that fell into the attention of V.I. Dolbeva, it is necessary to note the elevated two-story crypt located near the tower village of Mozaroy (Mozarg) – a large and well-preserved building standing on a ledge of a rock, built according to local residents by the legendary Miatkan (Dolbev).

It is possible that it was with this building that rumors circulated among the population of Chechnya at the beginning of the 20th century was connected. about a "dilapidated church" standing "at the snowy peaks on a huge ledge of rock", in the vicinity of which there are many caves with buried surviving bodies with bracelets, as well as many large books and many other items (Terek Vedomosti, 1904).

In 1888, the first volume of "Materials on the Archeology of the Caucasus", collected by the expeditions of the Moscow Archaeological Society, devoted to research in the Terek region, V.I. Miller (Miller, 1888). It also described the results of an archaeological expedition conducted in 1886 with the aim of studying the antiquities of Chechnya, during which the latter visited, among others, the villages of Khaibakh (in Nashkh), Galanzhozh, and Vougi (Miller, 1888). Of greatest interest to the researcher was the “remnants of the“ monastery ”, supposedly built by Europeans at Lake Galanchozh, about which A.P. Ippolitov. However, upon closer inspection, the “monastery” turned out to be the ruins of a small sanctuary “Mizir-God” (Mizir-Dela), about which Miller is nothing new in comparison with the information of Ippolitov. The researcher took a plan of the sanctuary and the tower village of Galanchozh, described and detailed the battle tower in the Khaibakh aul, giving its plan, profile, drawings of the entrance and window openings, petroglyphs and the roof (Miller, 1888), as well the Garcha rock tower with a balcony overhanging it near the village of Turkali (Miller, 1888).

Interesting, sometimes new information about the monuments of the Galanocho region continued to come in these years not only from specialists.

So, in the summer of 1901–1902. Ivanov, an inspector of the forest service, made two trips in this part of Chechnya to study the state of forest resources, the results of which he later published in the Izvestia of the Caucasus Department of the Russian Imperial Geographical Society (Ivanov, 1902; Ivanov, 1904), while paying a lot of attention and archaeological sites, as well as related legends.

On his first trip, he examined the forests of the Yalkharoy, Akkinsk, Galanchog and Khaibakh seniorities, where he got through the upper reaches of the Shalazhi and Gekhi rivers. Here M.A. Ivanov visited the villages of Upper and Lower Yalkharoy, the settlement of Talla (tower), Mozyr-Yurt, where the already mentioned “crypt of Miatkan” was located, which, according to the legend cited by the author, built a certain “Khan-Med for his daughter”. In sec. Ityr-Kale, he examined the rocky fortification, noting that several iron arrowheads were found on his wooden gallery. The researcher drew attention to the large number of towers and ruins in Akkin society, which indicated, in his opinion, a much larger population before. With. Tishli they were examined and stele with petroglyphs, and on the way to with. Akki Ivanov – the battle tower of Disha, about which he brought a legend. Here were also mentioned the towers of the villages of Zingaloy and Betsikhoy. In Galanchoz, his attention was attracted by a high fighting ("pointed") tower on a domed hill, at the foot of which there is a lake (Ivanov, 1902).

In the description of the results of the survey in 1902, which covered mainly the territory of Tsech-Akhk and Merzhoy, M.A. Ivanov noted the ruins of the tower in the Gandal-Boss glade, two towers and a “pyramidal-shaped burial ground” (tower-shaped crypt) near the Nizhny Dattykh farm, on the left bank of the river. Fortanges. Then he examined the Kori tower and two crypts (one of which is also tower-shaped) near the river. Sengelkhi, one battle and five residential towers in the meadow Mest (Mestaroy), visited the villages. Tsecha-ahk (at the same time, however, he did not mention a single tower or crypt), but described two residential towers, a tower-shaped crypt and “many grave hills” in the Duku-Emeryshki glade. In sec. Meredzhi M.A. Ivanov examined the freestanding tower-shaped crypt. Noting that towers, "pyramid cemeteries" and grave hills rise here and there in the elevated places of Meredzhoy society, he once again noted that this indicates the large population here in the past.


Thus, it can be stated that the beginning of the identification and putting into circulation (publication) of information on various archaeological and architectural monuments of the medieval era in the territory now included in the borders of the Galanzhozh district dates back to the last decades of the 19th century. A real study of these archaeological sites began later, already in the Soviet era.


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31 October 2020

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Cite this article as:

Magomedovich, M. K., Sultanovich, M. S., & Khamidovich, M. R. (2020). Archaeological Monuments Of The Galanchozh District (On The History Of The Study). In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 3121-3126). European Publisher.