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Ancient architecture of Ingushetia

Its originality and grandeur of the ancient architecture of the Ingush has long attracted the attention of many scientists. Back in the mid-18th century Vakhushti Bagrationi noted that the Ingush “are able to build from stone to lime, and from them raise up houses, towers and fortifications”. This architecture addressed Steger, Pallas, klaproth, Engelhardt, Blaramberh, V. Miller; in Soviet times – L. Semenov, E. Krupnov, M. Busarkin, A. Robakidze, etc.

Cyclopean constructions from stacked without mortar large stones scientists tend to refer to very distant times, up to Neolithic times. Typically, these buildings served the role of defensive walls, vozdvijenskaya in front of the entrance to the cave or around the home. Replaced the cyclopean buildings over time, buildings came from ordinary stone rock with the use of a bonding solution. River rounded stones was almost never used, because they do not was held together with mortar between them. The Dating of the beginning of such buildings is very difficult to establish: some scientists attribute it to the first centuries of our era, others from the 8th century BC In Dating the completion of the Ingush stone architecture scholars more or less unanimously, by consigning her to the 18th century, when the Ingush shelter of Russia and began to actively develop their drevnerusskie the land from which they were once banished by the mighty conquerors.

A variety of monuments of history and culture there are about 1500 objects, of which 100 are tower-like settlements.

Such buildings are made of stone was a safeguard from the enemies, were more durable than wooden buildings. However, various outbuildings, situated around the towers, but not right next to them, were constructed from scaffolding. The Ingush said: “the Warmth of one who lives in the tower and cold for those who have no family tower”. N. Yakovlev, in the 20-30 years has conducted linguistic and ethnographic expedition in Ingushetia, said: “Only those who have a hereditary share in the battle tower and the cemetery was considered full free Ingush”.

Scientists (L. Semenov, E. Krupnov, M. Bazorkin, etc.) objects of stone architecture of the Ingush can be classified as: residential towers, battle towers, religious buildings, burial objects, cemeteries.

The oldest are considered polojili – probevue tower. Sometimes they are two-storey, often three and four. They ended wooden ceiling, the thumb on top of compacted clay. Completed the walls of this tower on top was covered with stones, bonded with mortar. These stones, first, could rush into enemies from above, and, secondly, prevented the walls from the penetration of rain and melting snow. The first floor of this tower was given to the cattle. From the first floor via internal stairs penetrated in the second and subsequent residential floors. The front door was made of tightly-fitting oak bowls and closed with two durable bolts. Small narrow Windows gave light and was used for defensive purposes.

Over time, the higher was under construction residential tower, the narrower it became, which was due to the need to give the tower more stability. Gradually the residential towers became fighting. They also lived a certain number of people, primarily single men combat-ready. When the enemies approached the towers of the settlement, the majority lived in residential towers people rushing to battle tower, at one time were inaccessible for enemies.

Battle tower is structurally different from the living: they were higher and narrower. The entrance to the battle tower from the second floor, thus the enemies were deprived of the possibility of using a battering RAM. These towers were most often five, and sometimes six-story. In the height of these towers were raised to 25-30 meters. At this height, as though strongly not were stacked wall, they were in a small earthquake could collapse. And then the builders went to the trick: they second floor steel finish durable stone vault (mortal), which were clasped between them, all four walls and also has served as a Foundation for the subsequent third and forth floors. In some battle towers (for example, the complex Legg built by the Hanoi master Hing), to give them special strength, the fourth floor also has a second vault.

The second floor of the tower was specially sacred, because in it, on the chain hung a fraternal boiler (vasala her). He was hanging from the chain. Crimes by their gravity differed as proximity (most severe) and the further (less serious) from the source. Even if the quarry had managed to run into the tower and take a hold of this chain, he was untouchable as long as he will not depart from the fire at a safe distance for him. It was considered that above the fireplace soar the souls of the dead and because of them threw into the hearth pieces of food. Bride, married, picked up the chain, as if saying goodbye to familiar hearth, in the house of the groom picked up the chain of the hearth, which symbolized her joining a new family.

From the second floor via the holes were on the internal access ladder entrances on the first and upper floors. On the first floor were stored the food and various necessities. There were stone small rooms, for keeping of prisoners are a particularly expensive commodity of the time.

Third, fourth and fifth floors were both residential and military. The top floor, called “the Falcon tower” was mainly fighting. In it were stored the stones, bows, arrows, and later guns. A rather large loopholes in the four sides on the outside were covered with stone panels  (in science called machicolations). From a distance these boards seem reasonable, although there is nothing in common between them. Than the tower was higher, the deadlier were applied on top of the beats. Combat towers were slightly conical in shape (upwards sagas), which gave them greater stability and contributed to the successful repelling the enemy.

Often the castle complex was shielded by a stone defensive wall. At first glance the impression that the towers in the complex are arranged randomly. First, be aware that the mountainous terrain does not allow to put orderly structure. And secondly, as pointed out by E. Krupnov: “Many corners, dead ends projecting beyond the General line, single wall projections, due to the peculiarities of the terrain – all of this improves the defence system besieged”.